PRIMARY ENGLISH CLASS By Isreal Horowitz DEBBIE Listen now, I’ll just go really slow. (Pauses, smiles.) My name is Debbie Wastba. (She writes her name on blackboard. Each takes notebook and copies down the name.) W-AST-B-A. That’s pronounced Wass-tah-bah: Wastba. (She links each of the three syllables together on board, in the following way: WA ST BA.) Think of Wah as in wah-tah. Splash. Splash. Stah as in stah-bility. And Bah as in Bah-dum… as in (Sings "Dragnet" theme.) Bum-tah-bum-bum. Well, listen. It was literally double its length in its ancient, biblical form. (Pauses) Actually, that tune was wrong. It would be much more like… (Sings again, to tune of "My Funny Valentine.") Bum bum-bum- bum-bum-bum…bum bum-bum bum-bum-bum… bum bum-bum-baaahhhmmmmmmm… (Pauses: sees they are confused.) Well, anyway, really, you can easily check your Bibles if you want. (Rummages through stack of papers on desk, holds up lesson plan.) This is our lesson plan. That’s lesson… plan. Lesson plan. We’re going to be together for several hours and I thought it would be highly professional and competent for me to make a plan. And I did. And her e it is: (She reads, smiling confidently.) One. A pleasant welcome and normal chatter. For two, I’ve planned your basic salutation, such as the goods- good morning, good afternoon, good night, good luck, and good grief. (She laughs.) That was a mildly amusing joke: "good grief." Later in the night- after we’ve learned a bit of English- you’ll be able to, well, get the joke. (Pauses.) Let’s move along. Three will be basic customs: ours here. (Reading again.) Four will be a short history of our English language. (As the students take their notes, they, as we, begin to realize that Wastba is only writing the numbers one through six on the blackboard- no words. They raise their hands in question, but she waves them away, barging ahead.) Five will be the primary lesson on the primary English class, according to the book. And six will be the very essential verb "to be." At some point, we shall also inspect the very basic concept of silence. (Smiles.) Now then, as you can see, there are only six points to cover and hours and hours ahead in which to cover them. (All stare blankly at her smiling face.) Now then: Questions?