Fic: Fool

Aug. 10th, 2017 10:09 pm
afra_schatz: Made by wizzicons on LJ (Default)
[personal profile] afra_schatz

Contrary to popular belief, Bernard is neither senile nor whacky. He is, however, a bit of a bastard which is why he actively encourages both of the aforementioned characterizations of him. It makes people underestimate him which is always a plus.


In class, this is helpful because his pupils never interrupt him when he is not exactly taking the shortest route to Shakespeare's sonnets but takes them on a week-long detour to courtly love in the middle ages. If something of the concept of gallantry sticks, then good, but Bernard mostly does it to cast a questionable light on Paul Bettany's sweetheart Chaucer.

To be thought weird and random also comes with the advantage that his pupils - thinking he is well-meaning or not giving a shit either way - mostly don't even bother questioning the task he gives them, however outlandish they may seem.

For instance, not one of the kids in his A-level, his first or his fourth form protested or even arched an eyebrow when, two weeks before the end of the school year, he handed out empty postcards. Most of them were slightly frayed around the edges and smelled of cold cigarette smoke because Bernard found them in a battered box in at the local Oxfam shop.

'Look here,' Bernard said. 'I want you all to take an imaginary journey into another life. Picture yourself, say, - show me your card real quick, Jona, oh this is Mount Vesuvius! Marvellous view from up there, I hear - as a scientist studying earthquakes or - what does your show, Natasha? Is that the Pacific? - a captain aboard a cruise ship. Now write a card to your former schoolmaster and tell him about your life and your work. Carry on.'

Not one asked what this had to to with the subjunctive / 'The perks of being a wallflower' / Obama Care (the actual topics Bernard should have been teaching), and Bernard ended up with a bit over sixty postcards.

Half of them have already made it into the stack of mail of Wellesley Hall when the summer holidays are half over. Lorry drivers, archaeologists, beach bar proprietors, and even one doctor at an elephant hospital in Northern Thailand - all wrote interesting tidbits about their completely made-up lives, then Bernard added Sean's address to them and posted them.

Sean is increasingly baffled by this, but Bernard really can't take his colleague's delicate sensibilities into consideration. He bet 100 quid with Cate that, at the start of the new term, Wellesley Hall will have ended up with more postcards than Arnor House.

Bernard certainly doesn't leave the outcome of that bet to chance. He is tipping the scale with both hands. He is not fortune's fool.
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