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Everything is Just Fine!

A letter from the desk of Vice Principal Harriet Nantuckett

Photo by Charles Büchler on Unsplash

My Dear Students,

It is I, Vice Principal Harriet Nantuckett. Welcome back from holiday break! I hope your time off was filled with festive joy. And a hearty thank you for complying with our new COVID guidances. We’ll let you know what they are shortly, once our new school nurse settles in.

Speaking of our new nurse.

I am writing to ask that you give your warmest of Plumville High Plums welcome to our new staff members! Welcome School Nurse Nantuckett, welcome Guidance Counselor Nantuckett, welcome Algebra Teacher Nantuckett, welcome Custodian Nantuckett, and welcome Driver’s Education Instructor Nantuckett!

Now, many of you are probably thinking, “umm, like, what is going on here!” Well, you’re not crazy and you aren’t living in a simulation. Not yet, anyway. Haha! Nope, everything is just fine. You see, I have decided to take on the role of Guidance Counselor, Algebra Teacher, Custodian, Driver’s Education Instructor, and School Nurse in addition to my duties as Vice Principal of Plumville High. Now, I’ve received a lot of questions, mostly from your pesky parents — lol, jk! A lot of them are asking, “why not hire a new VP?” and, “why aren’t you hiring other, more qualified people to fulfill the other positions?” and, “how can you live with yourself?”

Well, first let me assure you there is absolutely nothing to worry about. Our district’s COVID precautions are some of the finest in the country. Very basically, if a faculty member is out with “covid” and is outside the 5-day quarantine period but inside of the 10-day isolation period and somewhere around the 7-day testing policy period but hasn’t extended beyond the 4 or 5-day incubation time frame, they are encouraged to remain at home until they provide either a negative PCR test or a not-fully positive rapid test, provided it is within the appropriate and clearly marked time frames, as listed above.

Once that faculty member is out, a substitute takes their place. If the substitute also falls within the clear testing and isolation periods, then a secondary faculty member will combine classes and pick up the sick teacher’s slack. In a clear example of how everything is working as it’s supposed to, our Algebra Teachers, Custodians, Driver’s Ed instructors and School Nurses have all been placed on administrative leave due to testing positive for COVID-19.

This has put the Plumville High administration in a delicate yet turbulent position. Which has forced my hand, as VP, to subsume all aforementioned roles. Something I do with rotund enthusiasm. Yet, I had to maintain my VP role due to continuity of government. I couldn’t let that go. And since the severe tragedies involving our guidance counselors, algebra teachers, custodians, driver’s education instructors, and school nurses, I felt I would be equally, if not more, useful in these new roles. Because it is becoming increasingly clear that 80% of our school faculty will not be returning anytime soon. “But how will this work?” I’m sure you’re all asking. Well, let me explain.

It is my distinct pleasure to let you know of my new office hours. From 8am to 10:15am I will still be your Vice Principal. I’ll be laying down the law as usual, better stay out of those halls, Plums! From 10:15am to 1:15pm I will be teaching Algebra 1 and 2. My background is in physical education, which makes me a uniquely qualified educator for all you Mathletes!

From 1:15pm to 3:25pm I’ll be your Driver’s Ed Instructor. Now, I know I’ve had my fair share of accidents, so buckle up, Plummers!

I’ll be hanging out in the nurse’s office from 3:25 to 6:25pm. So please stop by for a COVID test, flu shot or to run the pacer, remember I’m a certified Physical Ed teacher. But that hasn’t stopped me from doing a full biopsy of our Nurse’s office operations. Just wait until you see the new COVID testing procedure I developed!

Now here’s where things get really fun. From 6:25pm to 2:00am I’ll be sanitizing your school to keep everybody safe. I’ve created a robust new system with the mops that I think you’ll find highly advanced for a Custodial Substitute. After 2:00am I will be answering emails, text messages, DM’s and Wordle until school starts again at 8:00am. You are welcome and encouraged to reach out to me at any point during those times. For you see, guiding is the most important duty of a Guidance Counselor. In fact, it’s in the title! One of the many titles I now have.

In breaking news, I have just received word that our mascot, Plummy, has also come down with a case of COVID-19. Not, Plummy! But as they say in Physical Education School, the show must go on! I’m delighted to announce that you will see me, or should I say Plummy, dancing and flipping around the football field this Friday night. Bring your cameras!

So, in the spirit of Plummy — RIP — who loved Christmas the most, I cannot wait to get to know each of you not as your Administrative VP, but as your Guidance Counselor, Algebra Teacher, Driver’s Education Instructor, Custodian, and School Nurse. Oh, and mascot!

Everything is just great!



Ben Stasny is a graduate student at The University of Colorado — Boulder. Ben writes, acts, directs, and makes mischief of all sorts.

Samuel Jaye Tanner is a professor in the Penn State system, a writer of some (mostly ill) repute, an improviser, and an altogether terrible basketball player.



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Samuel Jaye Tanner

Samuel Jaye Tanner

Writer, teacher, professor, improviser. Some stuff is serious. Some is not. Can you guess which is which? Oh, there’s this too: