The Scholarly Convict

Angelica Fregoso and Dianna Jimenez

Analogous to the Alma Mater of Malcolm X, the anthem of English teacher Ms. Kasner is books, so much so that after reading a chapter from Malcolm X’s autobiography, she confided in her AP Language and Composition students her clandestine fantasy to one day be incarcerated. That way she could dedicate every day to becoming erudite and meritoriously pursue a bucket list wish to read one novel written by every Pulitzer prize-winning author.


“When I was a kid my dream was to be –by accident– locked in a library overnight and just to be able to sleep in a library,” Ms. Kasner said, “so now I’ve graduated from that to becoming a criminal.”


Teachers deserve a tranquil period of leisure time every so often, away from the hustle and bustle of teaching the members of America’s future populace- what better atmosphere to achieve said serenity than the confines of a jail cell? While in a jail cell, one’s physical parameters are circumscribed, however the ability to increase one’s mental intellect is not subject to any boundaries but time itself, which is why it appeals to the weary English teacher.


“I’ve always had this goal of reading at least one piece of literature from every nobel prize winner in literature,” Ms. Kasner said, “and I am so far away from reaching that goal.”


Although a rather idiosyncratic endeavor, this dream is not far-fetched once considered from the point of view of an assiduous English teacher.


However, not all of Ms. Kasner’s students agree with such a precarious longing, one of which being junior, Jorge Serrato, who has been under the tutelage of Ms. Kasner for nearly three years.


“I think that’s a little too far; I mean she doesn’t have to go to jail or be incarcerated just to read a lot of books,” Serrato said. “She could just make more time from herself apart from work.”


Along with Serrato, Brian Chavez, 11, has also been under Ms. Kasner’s guidance since freshman year, and unlike some of her attentive APLAC students, Chavez does not share the same predominant perspective that they do. Chavez explicates that he did not perceive Ms. Kasner’s ambition literally, but merely as an eccentric hyperbole that she concocted to express her innate desire to pursue her literary endeavour.


“I think the solitude that she refers to is respectable because a lot of people today don’t read as much as they should,” Chavez said. “She’s one of the most avid readers I’ve known my whole life and I respect her a lot for that”


Having worked with Ms. Kasner for over a decade, APLAC and ERWC teacher Ms. Hill discerns the desires of her dear friend as artless and germane to the lives of every industrious English teacher.


“I think it’s a pretty typical English teacher dream because that’s one of the things we lament the most because during the school year we don’t have time to read for pleasure,” Hill said

“I think we’d have no grading in jail, so maybe we’d have time to read!”


In theory, the actions of every human increases the entropy, or disorder, of the universe. Therefore, Ms. Kasner’s aspiration will merely serve this doctrine by allowing her to organize her thoughts while being self-isolated and at the same time enriched with the literature that engulfs the peripheries of her future prison cell.