This fun little story is from Mindy.
It’s par for the course in Bais Yaakovs (and yeshivas) that some of your textbooks will be missing pages. The only questions are “Which ones?” and “How many?” Our literature textbooks were left remarkably intact. I know my brothers’ had big white stickers over some pages.
Our biology book, however, was not so lucky. Right after the chapter about animal reproduction, there was a big fat hole: the chapter on human reproduction. We all longingly fingered the cut page spines and thought about the missing contents of those elusive pages. (Not that we couldn’t have gone to our local library to fill in our knowledge gaps.)
Our teacher, however, had a full, unabridged version. In addition to the teacher’s noted around the sides of her enlarged textbook, her textbook was also glaringly complete. We all gazed longingly at her textbook as she carried it in and out of the classroom. But it was never left unattended.
One day, we were davening mincha after her class, as usual. Normally, she stayed in the class with us, but that day, she did the unheard of: she walked out. Without her biology textbook. My best friend and I were in middle of the Shemoneh Esrei, the silent standing prayer, but I knew from a sudden tension that hit her shoulders that we were both thinking the same thing: get that book.
Surprisingly, we weren’t the only ones. As soon as we finished mincha, a group of students gathered around the teacher’s desk. A student appointed herself as watchwoman over the hallway to warn for our teacher’s return. We flipped straight to the section on human reproduction, which turned out not to be that interesting after all. We’d all been to enough doctor’s offices to see cutouts of the insides of the male and female reproductive systems, and the text was pretty delicate in its telling of the dynamics.
“She’s coming!” our watchwoman hissed, and we quickly slammed the book shut and scurried back to our seats.
The contents of the book didn’t surprise me, but the number of classmates who huddled around the book did.