Whitby, ON – The goldfish that elementary school teacher Lenore Kerdwin acquired in order to acclimatize her students to loss has become irrelevant in light of recent events.
“I thought that having this goldfish in the classroom would be a tactile lesson in the transitory nature of life,” Mrs Kerdwin explained. “The children no longer require an introduction to that concept…”
For many of Mrs Kerdwin’s students, the global pandemic has given them an understanding of the ever-looming spectre of death well beyond their age. “I tried to get them interested in Finneas the fish,” she stated. “But they’re now unable to emotionally invest in something that is not long for this world.”
In addition to being unmoved by the development of their new classroom pet, the children have begun to demand answers from their teacher that go beyond the scope of elementary school education. Such questions include:
“What is the point of feeding a fish that will die anyway?”
“The fish and I are, what will happen to us when we are not?”
“Is it true that if you have lived in despair, then everything is lost, and that eternity does not acknowledge you!?”
Mrs Kerdwin admitted that current circumstances have made her job difficult: “I don’t know how to answer their questions and I feel as though I’m failing them… I haven’t been sleeping. In the darkness, I see their vacant and rheumy eyes..”
Given its inability to connect to the students, Mrs Kerdwin ultimately decided to keep the goldfish. Spending her evenings with it after work, watching as it swims aimlessly around the edges of its limited existence, devoid of purpose and uncertain in future.
“Maybe I’ll try making bread again,” she sighed.