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Part1b - Ralph Goes to School

Part1b - Ralph Goes to School

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Published by Gifford Watkins

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Published by: Gifford Watkins on May 28, 2007
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01/01/2013

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INTERIOR. FALL. EARLY MORNING.NELLIE(givingRALPH hissamelunchbox)Now you play well with the other kidsRALPHI promise, but what if they gang up on me?NELLIEWell, you just tell me and I’ll doubletheir homework when they come for lessons.RALPH(smiling ashe turns toleave thehouse):Promise?EXTERIOR. ROAD. SAME MORNING.(RALPH is walking toward an intersection where the crossroad leads tothe wharf and his dory. He continues to pass by the wharf road, veryslowly, then resumes his former pace.)EXTERIOR. SCHOOLHOUSE. SAME MORNING.School-age children are in the yard playing. RALPH can be seenapproaching in the distance. The children stop as RALPH walks by themall (he is in his early twenties.)SMALL CHILD ONE(speakingto SMALLCHILD TWO)That’s LLOYD’s Uncle RALPH, isn’t hestrange?SMALL CHILD TWO:What’s he doing here, is LLOYD in trouble?SMALL CHILD(giggling ashefinishes):LLOYD said his Aunt NELLIE is tired of him,so she sent him back to school.INTERIOR. ONE-ROOM SCHOOLHOUSE.
© Gifford Watkins
 
The teacher turns from her chalkboard and sees RALPH sitting in one ofthe very small chairs. His frame is too big and he looks silly as hetries to fight embarrassment.TEACHER(with astern look)Well, Mr. JEFFERY, we’ll have to see how wecan accommodate you.TEACHER(turns,picks up abell, thenwalks overto the doorand underher breath)If you’re here that long.She rings the bell, and the children start pouring into the classroom.RALPH is still trying to adjust to the seat. His front desk legs aresuspended from the floor, so he tries to widen his legs. He isnoticeably uncomfortable, and as the children take their seats, theycuriously look at him and giggle. He is not offended, but starts tomake some funny faces when the teacher isn’t looking. This makes herturn quickly. It is obvious that RALPH is going to fit in well, butnot necessarily with the teacher.INTERIOR. SCHOOLHOUSE. LATER THAT FALL.The teacher is asking RALPH to solve a long division question on theboard. RALPH gets up nervously from a noticeably bigger desk. Heapproaches the chalkboard and begins to write furiously on the boardsolving the question, while muttering to himself. He is writing andtouching his face with the same hand. The children are murmuring asthe chalk begins to accumulate on his face, especially around hismouth.He finishes the question and turns to look for the teacher’s approval.The classroom erupts in laughter for the chalk looks like doughnutpowder all around his mouth.TEACHER(sternly):Children, what have I told you? Very goodRALPH. You are showing vast improvement.RALPH(sheepishlybegins tosmear thechalk withhis sleeve)
© Gifford Watkins
 
Thank you, ma’amEXTERIOR. SCHOOLHOUSE ROAD ENTRANCE. DAY.LLOYD(age 12 isrunning tocatch upwith RALPH)Uncle RALPH, can you help me with my math?RALPH(seeminglyignores hisnephew ashe iswalking)LLOYDUncle RALPH? Uncle RALPH!RALPH(now stopsto turn):What’s that boy? You said something?LLOYDYeah, I don’t understand math at all. Ithought maybe you could help me.RALPHWell, I never thought about it. What areyou having trouble with?They walk together, the scenery comes into focus as they stray from theroad. Snippets of conversation can be heard.RALPHIt takes 5,678 steps to get home on a stilldayLLOYDHow do you know that?RALPHI’ve counted every day. If it’s blowing anaverage of 15 knots from the north, ittakes 15 more steps to get home. If it’sblowing the same from the south, it takes15 less.LLOYD:WHY?RALPH:
© Gifford Watkins

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