: Decorum :

an excerpt by Edith Pearlman


It began on an early September evening.  The teachers at Godolphin High, seated on the auditorium stage, were giving their annual spiel about the value of some subjects, especially subjects parents were doubtful about.  Advanced Calculus, for instance—couldn’t that wait until college; French, Good Heavens, all the world speaks Spanish; Woodworking (a passion of the headmaster) —one mother scorned it as “useless, like needlepoint.”