The next day, Professor Snaglefoompus gave Maria Cincinnati a seat in the back of the classroom. Maria was still upset that she had to be in Professor Snaglefoompus' class for another year.
"I'm too old to be going to school!" Maria told Professor Snaglefoompus. "I graduated years ago!"
"You're just nervous because it's your first day of school," Professor Snaglefoompus said. "Don't worry; I'm sure you'll be a great student."
"But I'm not supposed to be a student!" Maria said.
Professor Snaglefoompus wasn't listening. "Luckily, I thought you'd be nervous, so I made preparations to have Jenny Blackenship be your student guide," he said. "That's her right there."
Professor Snaglefoompus pointed at the girl sitting next to Maria. The girl smiled and waved at the two of them. "Hi Professor!" she said. "Hi Maria!"
"This is ridiculous!" Maria exclaimed. "I don't need a student guide! I need to leave the class!"
"Sorry, but I don't allow bathroom breaks during class," Professor Snaglefoompus said. "You'll have to wait until recess. Now stop talking during class."
"Class hasn't started yet," Maria said.
"Yes it has," Professor Snaglefoompus said.
"Not it hasn't," Maria said. "You're not doing any teaching."
"My assistant Rob teaches all my classes," Professor Snaglefoompus explained.
"But you're the professor," Maria said. "You are the person who's supposed to teach class."
"Not according to rule number three," Professor Snaglefoompus said. "You can ask your student guide about it."
Maria sighed. "Jenny, what does he mean by 'rule number three'?" she asked.
Jenny sat up straight in her seat. "Professor Snaglefoompus has three rules," she said. "The first rule is that there are no puppet shows allowed during class."
"That's a weird rule," Maria said.
"It's a good rule," Professor Snaglefoompus corrected. "One time, I got amnesia after a tragic puppet show accident. I made puppet shows against the rules to make sure that wouldn't happen again."
"Rule number two," Jenny continued, "Is that on Wednesday, everyone has to bring in some food so we can have a free buffet. And rule number three is that Professor Snaglefoompus teaches class on Thursdays."
"So you see," Professor Snaglefoompus said, "I can't teach class because today is Tuesday."
"You can teach class today," Maria said. "The rule says that you teach class on Thursday. It doesn't say you can't teach class on Tuesday."
"Hey, you're right!" Professor Snaglefoompus said, jumping out of his chair. "Hold on a minute, Rob! I'm going to teach class today!"
"Um, okay," Rob said. "Today, we're learning about reading."
"Reading?" Professor Snaglefoompus asked. "That's silly! Why do the students need to learn about reading? All of them already know how to read! I'll teach them about philosophy instead!"
"Philosophy?" someone asked. "What's that?"
"It's a class where people ask difficult questions, and everyone tries to figure out an answer," Professor Snaglefoompus said. "I'll show you how it works. Does anyone have a question that's hard to answer?"
Ernie Greengold raised his hand. "I've got a question," he said. "Why haven't you been fired for gross incompetence?"
"Because I'm a great teacher," Professor Snaglefoompus said. "That's easy. Philosophy is about things that are hard, like love or goodness or juggling. You need to ask about something like that."
"Okay," Ernie said. "I pick love. What is love?"
"That's easy," Professor Snaglefoompus said. "Love is a four-letter word."
"Professor Snaglefoompus, have you ever been in love?" one of the students asked.
"Once, a long time ago," Professor Snaglefoompus said.
"Please tell us about it," the class begged.
So he did.