How to Sink a Sub

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#700: “How to Sink a Sub”
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54: Clanging Cymbals...and the Meaning of God's Love
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1 Corinthians 13:7
7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

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Current user rating: 95/100% (126 votes)

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How to Sink a Sub

“How to Sink a Sub” is episode #700 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written by Kathy Buchanan, and originally aired on December 3, 2011.

Avery Award Winner!
This episode won two Avery Awards for Best Scene and Best Script in the Fall 2011 Season!
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Summary

When Katrina becomes their substitute teacher, Jay and Valerie rouse the class to revolt, even persuading Olivia to help with a plan to get Katrina fired.

Plot

Jay Smouse is sitting in Whit's End when he overhears Katrina Meltsner tell Eugene Meltsner that she will be substituting for literature class for the rest of the year since the previous teacher, Mrs. Gomez, is off on maternity leave. Olivia Parker comes in, and Jay calls her over, telling her how awful it will be for Katrina to be the substitute teacher. He warns that he knew a student tutored by Katrina who had to memorize all of the presidents, and says that her being a substitute will be awful.

Class goes as Jay expected, as Katrina wanted them to do a three page paper, including a reference page. After class, Jay and some other students plot to play pranks on her. Olivia refuses to join them, saying that she trusts Katrina. The pranks start with a student putting vase-line on Katrina's car door handles, and also nailing Katrina's chair to her desk. In class, Olivia gets a grade of a 'C' on a rewritten paper when Mrs. Gomez had graded a 'B' on the original paper. After class, Jay and Valerie again try to convince Olivia to join them in playing pranks on Katrina. At home, Eugene suggests that the students in literature class are just trying to test her authority and that she should press on.

The next prank is to put frogs in Katrina's coat pocket. Katrina tells the students that she plans on donating them to the science lab for dissections, much to the groans of the students. After Olivia gets a B- on her oral report because of factual errors, Valerie again tries to convince Olivia to join them to commit pranks, and Olivia hesitantly agrees, unknowingly signing a petition that Katrina was not a capable teacher.

The next day, every time that Katrina says the word 'class,' all the students scream and change seats. Katrina manages to stay calm and in charge of the class after multiple screams and seat-switching of the students by threatening detention. After class, Principal Vogler asks Olivia about class. Olivia explains it but blames a lot of the class on Katrina's teaching. Principal Vogler says that he's going to have to observe the class the next day because of this. Katrina talks to Eugene about this that night, who tries to encourage her to keep going and not to be nervous about Principal Vogler observing her class the next day.

The next day, at the end of the class, Principal Vogler interrupts Katrina's teaching to tell the students how blessed they must be to have such a great teacher as Katrina. Principal Vogler says that he himself has learned a lot during the class, and tells the students to stop grumbling. After class, Katrina shows Olivia information for a speech competition, for which Katrina suggests she strive. Katrina says that Olivia has a great talent for public speaking and should keep working hard.

After drama class, Principal Vogler talks to Olivia about the petition that Katrina was not a capable teacher, which Olivia signed. He says that Katrina resigned as soon as she saw this petition. Afterwards, Olivia talks to Jay and Valerie. The two of them are excited, but Olivia defends Katrina, saying that she actually cared about the students. She regrets signing the petition. Jay and Olivia get in an argument, and in it, show how much more they've learned in her literature class because of Katrina.

That night, Olivia, Jay, and all the students from the literature class come to Katrina's house with a new petition asking Katrina to come back and teach. After they hear that the decision is up to Principal Vogler, the students run off toward his house to show him the petition. Katrina congratulates Olivia for her bravery; Olivia says that it would have been more brave to not present the petition because otherwise she would have just felt miserable every time she saw Katrina at Whit's End. Katrina reminds Olivia of the quiz on Monday, and Olivia hesitantly thanks her, saying she looks forward to seeing her.

Discussion Questions

  1. Did Olivia do the right thing?
  2. What things did Jay and Valerie do wrong?
  3. How should you handle this sort of problem?
  4. What did Olivia mean when she said that the braver thing would have been not to apologize to Katrina?

Cast

Notes

Trivia
  • This is the 700th Adventures in Odyssey episode.
  • The album which includes this episode includes a deleted scene from this episode as a bonus feature.
  • Several characters mention Katrina's subbing for the history class in #696: “You're Two Kind”.
Allusions
  • The name for this episode likely came from the 1971 Don Knotts movie How to Frame a Figg.
  • Jay refers to both William Shakespeare, Ernest Hemingway, Charles Dickens, and his A Tale of Two Cities.
  • Katrina references Herman Melville's Moby Dick and Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin.
  • Katrina references poet Robert Frost as well as writers Washington Irving and Charles Dickens.
  • Eugene's final pet name attempt is Molly Pitcher.

Quotes

Valerie Swanson: Alright, remember the plan everyone. Whenever Mrs. Meltsner says "class", everyone screams and changes seats. Got it?


Valerie Swanson: I hate literature. Going to lit class is gonna be like, like going to prison.
Jay Smouse: Yeah! We'll be like inmates on one of those British ships she talked about today-where only one out of every five prisoners survived.


Jay Smouse: Ugh. Yes, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
Olivia Parker: See! Even Jay learned things!
Jay Smouse: Ah, no he didn't.
Olivia Parker: You just quoted Charles Dickens from "David Copperfield."
Jay Smouse: Wrong! It wasn't from David Copperfield, it was the opening lines of "A Tale of Two Cities," which I looked at because it took place during the French Revolution which had a lot of cool stuff like guillotines. So there!
Olivia Parker: I'm not going to comment on that.


Olivia Parker: Hi, Mrs. Meltsner.
Katrina Meltsner: Oh, Olivia!
Jay Smouse: And Jay! Jay's here... and pretty much everyone else from class, and a few kids we picked up along the way. And a dog, and my imaginary friend Bob, and...


Jay Smouse: I just overhear the worst news.
Olivia Parker: Like what?
Jay Smouse: Well, it started when Katrina came in and Eugene called her his Little Buttercup - seriously....


Eugene Meltsner: Well I'm certain things will calm down, my Little Brussel Sprout...
Katrina Meltsner: Oh no, no, no. Keep trying.

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