Saturday, June 13, 2009

Vlad: XV.

I remember it all clearly. We were in the classroom trying to act like it was just a normal day. The priest was talking with Eric on the seventh floor. We hoped the vampires would soon be screaming and changing into bats and flying out the windows. But we were afraid too. We were afraid of what would happen if the plan didn't work. What if they beat back the priest and then attacked the rest of us? There were so many of them now!

Every minute seemed an hour while we waited there for the class to begin. You can't imagine how difficult it was for us. We couldn't let the vampires see we were nervous, but we were terrified! It was hard to stay calm, but we had to. If they suspected us, something might go wrong. They might prepare themselves to fight.

Then Eric came in with the priest and said that a friend of his was going to teach the lesson that day. The priest wasn't wearing special clothes, so the vampires didn't know yet that he was a priest. Eric said his friend was named Daniel Bauer and that he was an English professor from Fu-Jen University. Some of the vampires started doing their stupid laugh and glancing at each other when Eric said this. But I don't know what was funny about an English professor. They were all so weird!

Eric went toward the back of the room and opened the windows a little.

"It's stuffy in here today," he said.

Then he sat down in an empty chair in the third row. I was very nervous because I saw the priest was starting to teach, and I thought he would take out the cross right away.

"I have something I want to show you," he said, reaching into his black leather book bag.

I held my breath. He was going to take out the cross!

"What is it?" he asked, holding up a pencil in the air.

"It's a pencil," said Kurt. "It's a pencil!"

All the vampires laughed their stupid laugh. And I wondered why the priest had taken out a pencil. What was he going to do? You can't kill vampires with a pencil!

"Yes, it’s a pencil," said Father Bauer. "Is there a pencil? . . . C'mon. Everyone. Is there a pencil?"

"Yes, there is a pencil," we all said.

"Good," said Father Bauer.

He picked up a marker and wrote the word exist on the board. This was a new word for us.

"There is a pencil," he said. "Does the pencil exist?"

We didn't say anything. We didn't know the answer.

"Okay, repeat. Exist."

"Exist," we said.

"Exist. Three times."

"Exist. Exist. Exist."

Then he wrote on the board:

Is there a pencil? = Does the pencil exist?
"Does the pencil exist?" he asked.

"Yes, it . . . ." said some of the students.

"Yes, it exists," said Father Bauer.

"Yes, it exists," we repeated.

"Karen, do you think the pencil exists?" he asked.

"Yes, I think the pencil exists," replied Karen.

"Very good. Now everyone. Do you think the pencil exists?"

"Yes, we think the pencil exists," we all said.

"Very good," Father Bauer said.

Then he wrote the word God on the board. Most of us knew this word.

"Judy," asked Father Bauer. "Does God exist?"

"I don't know," said Judy.

"Okay," answered Father Bauer. "Do you think that God exists?"

"No," said Judy. "I don't think that God exists."

"Does Judy think there is a God?" he asked us all.

"No," we answered. "She doesn't think there is a God."

"Luke, what about you?" asked Father Bauer. "Do you think that God exists?"

Luke hesitated. Then he said: "Yes, I think that God exists."

All the vampires laughed again, except for Luke. He looked around the class.

"Do you go to a church, Luke?" asked Father Bauer.

"I used to go to a church," said Luke. "But now. . . Well. . ."

"Everyone. Does Luke think that God exists?"

"Yes," we answered. "He thinks that God exists."

"Okay," said Father Bauer. "Now I'm going to teach you many new words."

I was very nervous now. When was he going to take out the cross? Why didn't he just attack the vampires directly? We didn't expect he was really going to teach English. We thought he would just come in the classroom and start the attack. But after asking the questions about God he started to write the following words on the board:
Christianity > Christian(s)--
Catholicism > Catholic(s)
Protestantism > Protestant(s)
Islam > Muslim(s)
Buddhism > Buddhist(s)
Taoism > Taoist(s)
He taught us the word religion. He said these were the religions in Taiwan. He told us their Chinese translations, then had us repeat all the English words many many times. They were very hard to say correctly, especially Catholicism. He asked: "What does a Christian follow?" And we were supposed to answer: "A Christian follows Christianity." He wrote the word worship on the board, and the words temple, church, mosque, and then asked: "Where does a Buddhist worship?" We had to answer all his questions and pronounce everything correctly. He taught us that worship means to sing and pray and kneel and listen to priests and go to the altar. He wrote the word altar on the board too. All this went on for about twenty-five minutes and he called on me many times and I started to wonder if he was ever going to take out the cross to fight the vampires. Then he taught us the word incense and the word icon. And he taught us not to ask the question: "Are you a Christian or a Catholic?" He explained why this was a bad question and that it was a question Chinese asked because they translated the words directly from Chinese.

"Are Catholics Christians?" he asked.

"Yes, Catholics are Christians," we were supposed to say.

He made us answer this question probably seven or eight times. I thought he would never clean out the vampires. I started to look at Judy, and she looked at me too. I could see she was worried. Then he asked David if he was ever in a church before.

"Yes," said David. "I have been in a church before."

"Good," said Father Bauer. "Then you have probably seen one of these."

He reached in his bag, pulled out a large gold cross, and held it out toward the class. The vampires cried out at once and jumped from their seats. They started hissing and screaming, holding their hands above their eyes!

Father Bauer held the cross before him and slowly stepped toward the students while he said in a very loud voice: "In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I command you demons to leave this place at once! Leave, vampires! Never return! In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I order you out!"

Some of the vampires were changing into bats at the back of the classroom. It was disgusting! They were hissing and screaming so loudly! Father Bauer even touched Gangster Wilson on the arm with the cross as he repeated the words about Jesus Christ. Wilson screamed louder than the others and smoke was coming off his arm. He was burned! Then all the vampires--they were bats now!--began flopping and fighting to get out the windows. Only Kurt was still not a bat. He was too slow! Father Bauer started to move toward him as if he were going to touch him too, but then Kurt hissed at Father Bauer, changed into a bat, and flew out the window. They were finally all out.

Father Bauer closed the windows and locked them. Then he came back to the front of the class.

"So," he said. "There aren't many of you left. Here's what I want you to do for homework."

He put the cross back in his bag, turned around, and started writing our homework assignment on the board! He was too cool! He didn't even need a drink of water after cleaning out the vampires.

Father Bauer wanted us to write fifteen questions and fifteen answers. We were supposed to use the new words we learned and also use the verbs follow, worship, and exist. We had to write all the new words three times. What a drag!

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