Listen To the Game - Nicolas Sanchez de Lamadrid Remon '18

“This will be the most difficult subject you are going to face in your next 4 years of college, and that’s why I like to call it ‘The Game’, so listen up. In this subject you have to be able to listen. I am not talking about listening to me like the way you listen to the other stupid teachers of your other stupid subjects. There’s a huge difference between hearing and listening, and let me tell you lads, that you don’t have any idea how to listen, but that’s the reason why I am here.” These words came from Mr. H, our new philosophy teacher. Everyone in our classroom thought he was high at the very moment he started to talk. No one had never seen him before but there was something special in his way of teaching, and soon we managed to understand it.

“I will record all my classes, just for fun. I like hearing myself talking when I am alone at home, and if somebody has a problem with it, he or she can clean up and leave through that beautiful door.” He said, pointing at the classroom door, “This is the moment when you have to start listening to me. Today we have a surprise exam that only has one question, and the answer to that question will be the name of one of you guys. To find the answer you just have to listen when I start talking, keeping this sentence in mind ‘The first letter that goes out of my mouth, can tell a truth that nobody will doubt’.”

At this moment people started laughing but it all lasted a few seconds, everyone was focusing on our new teacher.

“Now I want each one of you guys to tell me your name and a good reason why you are here, it doesn’t have to be true because I know most of you don’t want to be here.”

After all the people shared  their names and their reason for being in the class, Mr. H he stood up from his chair, took a good look around the class, walked around our tables, came back to his chair, sat down and said “Interesting, but I have been in more interesting classes before.”

Someone in the background whispered the word ‘cocky’ to his friend and Mr. H heared it.

“Cocky, that’s a funny word, isn’t it? First of all buddy, if you are going to disrespect me make sure I am not in the same room as you. I am a teacher who teaches how to listen, remember? So whisper as low as you can but I will still be listening to you. And second of all, just don’t disrespect me unless you want to be punished washing my wife’s car, and mine too.”

Everyone from that moment had a huge respect for Mr. H with not even more than 20 minutes teaching in our classroom. Not because of the fact that he could punish you if you did this or if you did that… He earned this respect because he knew how to control a class, and more important, focus on him.

“Okay, I think you guys are ready for the exam.” We stared at each other with confusion, myself included.

The question was very simple, in fact, it wasn’t even a question. You had to write the name of a classmate. However, nobody knew who Mr. H was thinking of. No one knew how to answer the question and without speaking, Mr. H wrote a zero in all of our exams papers. I was shocked when I realized that my name was the answer.

“As you all can see, nobody has been listening to me. The answer is the name of your classmate Nico.” People were amazed and confused at the same time, “I told you to focus on the first letter that goes out of my mouth every time I speak, and if you put them all together from that moment, when I asked you guys to tell me your name, they create the word ‘Nico’. The ones that don’t believe me, there you have the voice recorder I have used to record the class, do you really think I like to listen to my voice during classes when I am home alone? It’s just the proof of the answer, and by the way, you can keep it, I just bought it before entering here.”