A hush falls over the room.
"Thank you. Now a new term has just started for this class, Blogging 101. As you look around the room, you'll see several new faces, several old faces, and some empty seats. Those empty seats are for students who will no doubt be joining us when they hear what a wonderful spirited group we have in this room, and there are some students who've left us to seek their interests elsewhere."
"Um, Ms. TorontoPearl...?" pipes up a gregarious young man.
"Yes...uh--" I look down at my clipboard and student names "-- Andy Hardy?"
"No, ma'am, it's not Andy Hardy. That's just how I originally registered when I signed up for this class. My name is simply Danny Miller. What I wanted to ask is if we ever get to see old movies in this course or take field trips to places like old theaters?"
"Why would we do that in a class like this?" I inquire pointedly at this pleasant-looking young man.
A beautiful, dark-haired girl with a slight accent pipes up. "'Cause it would make our learning more of an adventure! It's always fun to have an adventure, isn't it?"
A bespectacled male student points to the girl. "Yeah, Sophia's right! I can make an adventure out of almost anything -- all it takes is some imagination and an interested audience."
"And what is your name?"
"Neil Kramer. And I prefer to be called Neilochka, if you don't mind. All my girlfriends call me that, right, Sophia?"
At the back of the room there's suddenly a slight commotion. Desks are being shifted and whispering can be heard.
"Excuse me, boys. What do you think you're doing?"
"Um, we're trying to align our desks perfectly so that we can think better -- you know, be on the straight and narrow."
"And you boys are..."
"McAryeh," whispers one. "David," blurts out the other.
"Well, David, at least waste your time with something important!" I declare.
And then I hear crackling paper -- "Where is that sound coming from?" I inquire as I glance around the room. Off to the side is a trio of young women, unwrapping lollipops, and passing them around.
"Ladies...please stop that. We don't eat candy in the middle of class."
"Sorry, Ms. TorontoPearl," says one. "It's just that I have a tremendous sweet tooth, and I always need something sweet to chew on. My friends, Randi and Anne, brought me some goodies and we're sharing them. Sharing is good, isn't it?"
"And sharing helps unify people," says Anne. "I even share my ideas with people, like ideas about books and kids and --"
"And I share my humor with others. And I like to help people with problems. That's good, too!" announces Randi.
"Well, yes...sharing is good. And speaking of sharing... We have two new students who transfered from another school. They're feeling a little sad these days 'cause no doubt they feel as if they lost their best friend, and having to go into unfamiliar surroundings. Please warmly welcome Glen and Elie. Show them what goodness is all about." The two men shyly smile from the back left-hand corner of the room.
"Okay, class, I know it'll take me a while to get to learn who all of you are, and I hope I haven't forgotten to mention anything right now, but we'll soon be comfortable with one another and will have a great time in Blogging 101. Everyone ready to have a great time?"
"Yesssssssss!" is yelled out in unison.
"Good. Let's get this party started....!"