The School

Summary (締め切り 04年2月29日)

Written By Donald Barthelme(P260〜P263)
Lots of Deaths of the School

We don’t know the reason why there were lots of deaths of our school. The trees our children planted died. The herb gardens also died. The gerbils, the white mice, and the salamander died. The tropical fish were twisted and floating on the surface of the water. The puppy, which a student helped it and brought to the classroom also died. We don’t know why it died, maybe distemper. Its name was Edger, yes, my name. Children named it after me and made lots of fun calling it. I didn’t mind and I enjoyed that.
The Korean boy who was adopted through the Help the Children Program died. We don’t know the cause of his death.

The children’s parents died: two heart attacks, two suicides, one drowning, four car accident, and one was killed in a struggle with an intruder. Of course, their grandparents also died more than ordinary rate I think.

Yes, our students, Matthew and Tony died when they were playing over where they’re excavating for the new federal office building.
Maybe the school is something wrong, but I can’t see where is wrong, I don’t see anything wrong with our school. Just a run of bad luck, I guess.

The children and I were depressed. We discussed deaths.
The children asked me to make love with Helen, who is our teaching assistant, in front of them. I refused, but I kissed her on the brow and we held each other.

263ページの「they said, but isn't death, considered as a fundemental........direction of-」
そして、その後に、いきなり、make loveを見せてくれと頼むって?

The School

A chain of bad luck occurred at the school and Edger, the teacher, and his 30 students were involved in.
It started with orange trees. Edger had the children plant orange trees. He thought it was very educational for them to see how the trees grow, and taking care of the trees was one of the ways to learn about "responsibility." However things went otherwise. All the trees died. The exact reason was uncertain.
Herb garden was also failure and in this case Edger thought the cause might be overwatering. Many pets died, too. Gerbils, white mice, salamander, tropical fish, and a stray puppy ....
A Korean orphan the class adopted through Help the Children program died. Even some of the students themselves, their parents, grandparents died due to various reasons. The class began to think there's something wrong with the school, but Edger thought it was simply a chain of bad luck.
One day they discussed life and death. Where did the dead go ? Nobody knows. Which gives meaning to life, death or life ? Probably life does. However as long as death is inevitable, it can be a measure to make our mandane life to go in the direction of somewhere higher. The children thought it was bloody shame and Edger agreed with them.
The children asked Edger and Helen (their teaching assistant) to demonstrate how to make love so that they can confirm assertion of value. Edger hesitated first but Helen embraced him. Then a new gerbil appeared at the door. The children were very excited. What would happen to the gerbil ? Would it be a optimistic future or pessimistic one ?

The School

The tragedy happened in the school.
The children planted orange trees for the education so that they could see how they grew, and learn the sense of responsibility and taking care of the things. But all the trees died. Then, all the bets we had died in order. I don' know why all the things around us passed away like snakes, gerbils and salamanders. I was not surprised when the tropical fish crooked and died.
One day, one of the student brought the puppy to school. The children named Edgar, that is my name. They made fun of it but I didn't mind being kidded. I knew what was going to happen with puppy. I gave dead puppy to janitor before the children came to school in the morning.
And then, Korean orphan adopted in the class through the Help the Children program died. We don't know the cause of death. It was a just bad luck, I think, although some of kids' parents and grandparents, Matthew and Tony died for certain reasons.
We had discussed it in the class. I couldn't answer where those people and animals had gone.
Incidentally, the children asked to make love to Helen, our teaching assistant. I refused of course, but they appealed they have never seen it. We held each other. The children were excited.
Life goes as if nothing has happened. The meaning of death does not give anything to life but life itself gives meaning to life.


私が「a run of bad luck」と本文からそのまま使ってしまったのに、middle-angelさんは「a chain of bad luck」と言い換えられてて、ハッとしました。手抜きせずに、言い換えよう!


私もぱんぷきんさんも、最後に gerbil が教室に迷い込んできたことは書きませんでしたが、middle-angelさんはそれを書かれ、それがこれからの吉兆なのか、また悪運が続くと予想されるのか、疑問を投げかけられていて、ラストは読者の気持ちしだいなのかなと思いました。
実は、「あ、またこの gerbil も死んでしまうんだ」と私は思ってしまいました。

ぱんぷきんさんも、私と同様、生徒たちが make loveを見せてくれと頼んだのは、唐突と思われたみたいですが、middle-agelさんは 死というものを考えた上での必然的な子どもたちの要求のように書かれてて、そうかもしれないと思いました。


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