It is worth nothing what Mrs. Hilliard did not remember, given what she did remember.
She did not remember the OLWEUS kick off day, the quiet celebration of the triumph over a human knot, the crunching of potato chips and soft murmurs conversation. She did not remember presenting, in hurried form, on Socratic Seminar, of asking and answering what makes a good classroom conversation. She did not remember her students answering with Bromance and Swag, but also with Open-mindedness, Depth, Creativity, and Assertiveness.
She did not remember the scooting of desks, the circling up, and the tangled web of conversation (click here for "Bullet in the Brain" Socratic Seminar questions). Anders is cynical. He is flawed. He is weary and tired and sees only flaws wherever he looks (for example at the sexy cow, hubba hubba), and yet he is human with distinct and lovely memories.
Mrs. Hilliard did not remember the silent room and the flipping of pages for Read What You Want, the Goodfellas mentor text analysis, or the quick paragraph at the end of the period, not a one.
This is what she remembered: Darkness. A teacher work room. The solitude of an empty school, herself leaning against the copy machine. Mrs. Hilliard wasn't going to be at school on Friday, and her students needed some stories (to be read by Monday please). The copier going ker-chunk, and its music pleasing, the rhythm like a ploppity, off-kilter waltz. Mrs. Hilliard turns and looks at it:
Signs and Symbols by Vladimir Nabokov
The School by Donald Barthelme
The Looking Glass by Anton Chekhov
A Clean, Well-Lighted Place by Earnest Hemingway
A&P by John Updike
The Last Night of the World by Ray Bradbury