Called On in Class

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#539: “Called On in Class”
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John 16:33

33"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

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Called On in Class

“Called On in Class” is episode #539 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Bob Hoose, and originally aired on February 21, 2004.


Trent DeWhite has to give his oral report in class … and he imagines all sorts of disasters that might occur.


With fear and trepidation, Trent DeWhite wanders down the hall to his next class. He knows today is the day (horror of horrors) that he will be called on to give his oral report!

When he reaches the class, his dread is heightened by Brenda Frazier, who makes it very clear how excited she is to give her report. Brenda thinks her family heritage has destined her to do well on her report. This sends Trent on a series of daydreams dealing with a particular member of his own family tree - Abel McAlister. It seems that Trent's great-great grandfather was so afraid to speak in front of people that an entire city was wiped away by a flood. His fear had made him so unable to communicate, that he couldn’t warn them of the danger before it was too late.

Trent makes an excuse to go the bathroom and has a daydream about digging through the bathroom wall in order to escape his impending doom. He finally returns to class, after a small amount of concern from his teacher, and is promptly chosen to give his report. (He is the last one, after all.) As he hesitantly heads toward the front of the class, everything goes into slow motion. Will he truly be able to give this report?! But he begins, he tells the class a joke and they laugh. Suddenly, the report doesn't seem so scary. So, he starts into the rest of his report and...the bell rings! The report is moved to the following Monday.

Trent is reminded of what happened at the end of his great- great-grandfather’s story. Abel was able to overcome his fears, and actually ended up running for mayor. Trent used this as the greater part of his speech, and was able to successfully overcome his fear and give a great oral report.

This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »

Discussion Questions

  1. Have you ever been scared to speak in front of people or perform?
    • How did you handle it?
    • What does the Bible say about it?
  2. Read Deutoromomy 31:6. How can you apply that to your situation?


Heard in episode

Role Voice Actor
Abel McAlister Townsend Coleman
Brenda Frazier Tierra Abbott
Gladys Jenkins Shari Belgeau
Harry Turner Jim Custer
Principal Johnson Marshal Younger
Marvin Washington Jordan Calloway
Mary Lou Vartuchia Unknown
Mrs. Nietchew Shari Belgeau
Sam Townsend Coleman
Miss Slatterly Unknown
State Governor Townsend Coleman
Town Resident Bob Hoose
Trent DeWhite Corey Padnos

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Mrs. DeWhite Trent DeWhite


  • Brenda mentions the musical Oklahoma! in this episode.
  • Trent's imaginary attempt in this episode to build a tunnel and escape from Mrs. Nietchew (who suddenly has a German accent) is similar to the premise of The Great Escape. The initial music cue leading into his daydream is virtually identical to the film's iconic Elmer Bernstein theme.
  • The State Governor in this episode is most likely a parody of President Bush (43), who also speaks with a Southern accent and was previously the governor of Texas.
  • Trent's line in this episode about his classmates, "They liked me! They really liked me!" may be a spoof of Sally Field's famous Oscar acceptance speech, which contained the line "I can't deny the fact that you like me, right now! You like me!" This line was also parodied with Erica Clark in #295: “Soaplessly Devoted”.



Abel McAlister: Well, my wife gave birth to fourteen wonderful children. It became public speaking just to get the bread passed!

State Governor: That was positively stinky. I'm calling the National Guard!

Mrs. Nietchew: All right, Trent. Please continue. And put on your pants!

Mrs. Nietchew: Mrs. Nietchew can teach you!