Dr. Ziskind slammed her fist down on her desk, making the pens rattle in her mug and a few stray dolphin drawings flutter from the wall. Mrs. Scheinmann and Mrs. Taichman turned around from their work, startled.
“What’s wrong?” Scheinmann ventured nervously.
“You know what’s wrong,” Ziskind growled through gritted teeth. “It’s been wrong for nigh on two years now, but this--” she brandished her class schedule-- “This is the last straw!”
Scheinmann and Taichman scooted their rolly chairs closer to look at the offending paper and gasped in unison, horrified.
“This must be a mistake!”
“There’s no mistake,” Ziskind replied grimly, “This is happening. They’ve finally done it. I’ve taught in the dark, windowless confines of 309, had twenty students in the tiniest third-floor classrooms, and I put up with all of it. I made it work. But never, and I mean never, will I teach in the middle school wing! It’s time, ladies. Time to fight back! Remember the good old days? Room 206 was ours. No ugly gray cabinets, no garish blue paint, just tastefully curated bulletin boards and a giant suffragette flag! And look at it now. Every spinny chair broken, and that giant, completely unnecessary window into the STEAM lab disrupting those few classes we still get to teach in there! I bet the students barely even remember the glory days when that was a history room. They only know it as it is now, fallen into ruin, used for extra storage space by the STEAM department. But they can’t hide the truth forever. They can cover the walls with the most horrifying shade of blue paint, but the walls will still remember. The conference tables remember. The spinny chairs – those brave, injured soldiers – remember. And most importantly, we remember. It’s time to reclaim our territory, to liberate Room 206 and take it in the name of the history department!”
A chorus of “Aye”s and “Hear hear”s echoed around the office. Taichman got up, and with an air of gravity, closed the door, lowered the blinds, and sat back down, fingers steepled.
“If we’re finally doing this,” She said, “We need a plan.”
The next morning at 8:15, the history office was in disarray, every surface covered in books and old maps, photocopies for different grades opened to the battles of Gettysburg and Thermopylae, no trace of its inhabitants.
Dr. Ziskind and Mrs. Scheinmann were in the main stairwell, leading an army of English and Core teachers they had recruited to the cause. They marched in a phalanx formation, wielding hard-cover Brinkley shields and purple dry-erase marker spears. Watching their advance, Mr. Maiman and the STEAM teachers formed ranks in front of the door and assembled a front line of eighth-grade battle robot projects. The two armies clashed, and carnage ensued. Textbooks crushed battle robots, and markers were knocked out of hands by yardsticks. In the chaos, nobody noticed that Mrs. Taichman was missing. She crept up the back staircase, bare feet making no sound, her loose black clothing blending into the shadows as she slipped into the unguarded STEAM lab. She took a deep breath, did some yoga to stretch and focus herself, and ran into a flying leap, kicking through the glass window between the lab and room 206. The crash startled the STEAM teachers, and Taichman unlocked the door for Ziskind and Scheinmann to successfully push through the last of STEAM’s defenses.
A gleeful shout went up as the history teachers celebrated. They tore through the room, kicking over cabinets and graffiti-ing the offensive blue walls. Dr. Ziskind stood up on one of the conference tables and a hush fell over the room as she hung up the purple, white and yellow suffragette flag of victory. Room 206 was theirs again.