Since the departure of former President Donald Trump, the school’s history teachers have entered a collective funk due to the lack of anything to rant about at the start of class.
“On the one hand, yes, I appreciate that our great democratic experiment has not failed,” history teacher Dr. K. Nowitall said. “But I also appreciated being able to free associate about tyranny for 15 minutes on any given weekday,” Nowitall said. “It was a tradeoff.”
Nowitall attempted to fill the time with additional content, but rejected the idea after a few days. “How much do I need to say about the Roosevelt Corollary? Seriously, kids, you want to learn that stuff, read the damn textbook. That’s not why I got my PhD.”
Other departments have also suffered from what is professionally known as TVE or the Trump Vacuum Effect, particularly English.
“Trump was an epic disaster, sure, but he was also an agita goldmine,” English teacher Neur Otic said. “My poetry has definitely suffered.”
Head of Science Department Amoe Ba-Sisters has also voiced annoyance over the matter. “Now, I can’t just kvetch about how we must trust science,” Ba-Sisters said. “I actually have to teach it. Seriously, who in their right mind wants to spend an entire period observing frog guts?”
However, no department has been hit as hard by the loss of Trump as history. In addition to Nowitall, other history teachers expressed frustration with the current state of affairs. “I made it a point to never discuss politics,” Dr. Lib E. Rall said. “But Trump’s behavior transcended politics. He was an offense to human decency. And I had no choice but to let my students know. Every day. For ten to twenty minutes.”
Asked how Rall planned to fill the time now, she shook her head and sighed. “I wish I knew. Let’s be honest, Biden’s a snooze. I guess I could talk about my children. But they’re not that cute anymore.”
History faculty debated the matter at a recent department meeting. One proposal, increasing the frequency of current events discussions, resulted in aggressive eye-rolling.
“We do not need to waste more time listening to students pretend they read the assigned news articles by parroting the comment they just heard,” Rall said. “Anything but more current events. If I hear the phrase ‘to echo Ryan,’ one more time, I’ll set my Pocket Constitution on fire.” Her statement was met with hearty applause.
Other suggestions included showing Bernie Sanders memes, seeing how long they could play a Vietnam War documentary before a student nodded off, and elaborate setting up the Zoom to receive inevitably terrible feedback. The department ultimately decided not to mandate a set time-filler, but to leave it to individual teacher discretion.
“We’re talented, academically-trained professionals,” Nowitall said. “Even without Trump, I have faith we’ll come up with something to rant about.”
Rall was less confident. “I guess I’ll have to teach how to properly footnote,” she said. “Kill me.”