FADE IN.

INT. - A CLASSROOM - DAY
Two dozen adults sit on small chairs, facing a teacher who's smiling and nodding to them.

Can you break the code?


TEACHER

Welcome to your kids’ first day of school, everybody. I’m sure this is an exciting day for all of you, as it is for all of us here. Let me tell you right off the bat that we’re thrilled to be working with your children. As you know, the pedagogical philosophy of the school is based on nurturing the curiosity of your children. We’ll use different methods, and different tools. Any questions?

MAN

Yeah. What is the code? For the door, I mean.

TEACHER

The code is … let me check here … the code is 0812. But it may get changed soon, and in that case, we’ll be sure to inform all you parents about it. About the philosophy. We also pay special attention to different language skills…

WOMAN

Is that really a good code? I mean…

People turn to look at the woman on one side of the room.

WOMAN (cont.)

… I mean, that seems a little too difficult to me. Will everybody really be able to remember that? I know that there are people, some people, not me, but I know that there are people who can’t remember codes that begin with a zero, because, I read it in National Geographic, the English version, not the German, that is an unreliable magazine if there ever was one, I’ve read…

She raises her voice to get to her point because others have started to make some nervous noises.

WOMAN (cont.)

… I HAVE READ … (pause] … that their brains think that since zeroes are nothing, they don’t count. Anyway, I think we should maybe consider changing the code. Obviously, of course, if others agree. (Pause). I don’t have problems remembering zeroes.

MAN (From the other side of the room).

And what about the kids?

TEACHER

What about the kids?

MAN

Will the kids even be able to punch in that code? I mean…

Man gets up, walks to the whiteboard and grabs a pen. He draws a square on the board, then adds numbers from zero to nine inside it, so that it looks like a keypad.

MAN (Cont.)

Now, some of the kids, like our Sebastian, he’s big for his age, his hockey coach would like to see if he could play against ten-year-olds, he can punch in the code, but some of them, I was just watching the kids outside a few minutes ago, and some of them are just tiny. They can possibly reach the zero…

Man points to his drawing with a pen.

MAN (Cont.)

… And maybe eight … right here. But never the one and the two … up … here.

WOMAN

Yes, you’re right.

Some others murmur.

MAN

Now, if you all agree, I mean, I don’t want to push anything down your throats here, but can we all agree that the code should be one that our children can punch in themselves. Like I said, my Sebastian already can, I’m just thinking about the littlest ones. Don’t you all agree that we should teach them to do things, instead of always doing things for them. Like open the door.

WOMAN

I read in the paper about so called Segway parents who always rent a Segway to their kids even though it’s really expensive and I don’t think this school should be about that.

MAN

So, looking at the chart here, he he, just a quick draft, really, I suggest we change the code to 0-0-0-0.

Others murmur in agreement.

WOMAN

But what about the people whose brains can’t see zeroes?

MAN

You’re right. How about … 8-8-8-8?

TEACHER

I’ll be happy to forward the information to our principal, and our janitor. Now, if I can just tell you about our food policy. We work hard to make sure special diets are taken into consideration, all food is cooked here in our kitchen, and we only use ecologically grown vegetables. Now, one idea we’ve had is that maybe the kids could bring in fruit for an afternoon snack…

WOMAN

Any kind? Even bananas? Because I've read...

A man gets up, walks to the whiteboard, grabs a pen. Another man leaves the room.

FADE OUT.

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