Frowning and stressed over a pile of student essays, Mary wrings her clenched hands and searches her desk drawers for another working red pen. Had all of them died already? Within only four hours of marking? “Oh, well,” Mary thinks to herself. “I’ll stop by the dollar store to get some on my way home from school.”
At 6:30 PM, she pushes the school doors open and says her goodbyes to the night custodian as she scrambles to her car, shoving the unmarked essays in the back seat—her hated companions for the night and the next morning.