Welcome to summer school. I’m Mr. Gutierrez and I’ll be your teacher for the rest of the summer.

You can probably already tell by the way that I’m speaking that I will not be taking any shit from any of you. From 9AM to 1PM every day, you’ll be following my rules. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. If there’s a few things you want to remember about me it’s that:

  1. I will flunk every single one of you if I feel like it.
  2. If I think you’re going to be a distraction in class, I will break you in half physically and emotionally.
  3. I desperately need someone to help me perform a magic trick this weekend.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I want to go around and have everyone introduce themselves. I don’t want to hear any jokes. If anyone tries to be funny, I will kick you out of class immediately. All I want to hear is your name, what grade you were just in, and on a scale of 1-10 how comfortable you would be lying down in a pit of 200-300 baby rattlesnakes for two minutes, maybe slightly longer. At the maximum, five minutes.

Fine, twenty minutes at the absolute worse. If I seriously mess up the trick, probably an hour, but nothing more than that.

That’s all of you?

As many of you probably noticed, we have “the four Trevors” in our class. Yes, I am aware of their reputation: known to torment teachers, make teachers cry, drive teachers insane, blah blah blah blah. I’d like you all to know that I’ve been teaching summer school for 13 years and I’ve dealt with EVERY SINGLE TYPE of person. So, don’t even think about fucking trying me, Trevor M., Trevor He., Trevor Ha., or Trevor G. You don’t want to see me angry. I will make this place a living nightmare for you guys.

Also, seriously, no one is comfortable lying down in The Pit of Absolute Death? That’s just what I call it for the show, guys — don’t worry, it is completely safe! I know why you all might have some worries — a baby rattlesnake is extremely dangerous by itself and surrounding yourself with 200-300 of them is just downright stupid. Now, while this may seem true, my previous partner almost survived The Pit of Absolutely Definite Certain 100% Death (that’s what we called it before) and he was stuck in the pit for three hours with over 800 baby rattlesnakes. So how can you tell me that he wouldn’t have survived if it was for at the most an hour with only 200-300 rattlesnakes?

See, you guys will be fine. I guarantee that you will not die. I’ll still need you to sign release of liability forms, but that’s just for legal reasons! Please.


Fine, where were we?

Right. In these next two months, we’ll be going through a semester’s worth of Algebra 2. That’s not an easy thing to do, so don’t make it any harder by horsing around. This is a tough course as it is and I will make your classmates hate you, literally want to throw you out of a window, if you make it any tougher.

I am handing out the class syllabus. You can read it on your own time because I want to spend another minute asking everyone to really reconsider participating in my magic trick.

If you think about it, it’s a simple trick. It consists of three parts:

  • Part 1 – You step into the pit with the baby rattlesnakes.
  • Part 2 – I make the baby rattlesnakes disappear
  • Part 3 – You step out of the pit.


Yes, last time I had a lot of trouble with parts 2 and 3. It was more like

  • Part 2 – I try to make the baby rattlesnakes disappear, but none of them disappear
  • Part 3 – the audience sits horrified while Gerrod, my partner (and did I mention my roommate?), screams, shrieks and, from what I could make out, says, “FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCKING FUCK, FUCK!” and, also says, “Fulfill your dreams of performing magic in fronts of thousands of people. Try this trick again. It will make you famous. FUCK, FUCK, FUCKING FUCK, FUCK!”

Yes, my partner perished, but what the main takeaway from that whole thing wasn’t that he died, it was that he told me to, “Try this trick again,” and that it would “make [me] famous.” Isn’t that intriguing?

You’re still worried about dying?

Come on. Forget that I called it The Pit of Absolute Death, just think about it as The Pit of 99.99% Survival and that the 00.01% is already dead! That means there’s a 0% chance you will die. Doesn’t that make any of you feel better?

What do I have to do? Get in the pit with you?

Fine, I’ll do that. I’ll change the trick up a little bit and hop into the pit with you.

Actually, I can’t. I’m terrified of snakes, but for non-lethal reasons. It’s just a phobia. They look weird. But, I’ll do anything else! Please. Please. Please.

Alright, fine. I guess I’ll just have to move on.

Unless anyone has any questions, I’ll begin with today’s lesson: introduction to complex numbers & how to survive in a pit of baby rattlesnakes if the magician that was supposed to make them disappear messes up and you are stuck in there from anywhere between 1 to 3 hours.