Disclaimer: The author of this story does not own Arthur the series or any of the characters. Arthur the series and its characters belong to Marc Brown.
UPDATED 4/2/2014: For those of you who read this already, I came back and made some changes with the suggestion of a fellow member. Also, in an answer to a reader, I do not plan to add chapters to this story.
The Story/ Narrator's P.O.V.:
School has been in session for more than two hours at Lakewood. Ratburn's students are back in his room from gym class, lunch being in one hour.
"Alright, my students," Mr. Ratburn says, "it is time to review dividing fractions. And watch out because soon I'm going to have you adding and subtracting fractions."
"Awww," groans the class.
"Calm down class," Mr. Ratburn says. "We're not going to do it today and you are all going to do just fine if you apply yourselves and practice."
Ratburn goes on to say: "Now remember, there are three simple steps. First you are going to divide the first fraction by the second one. For example, let's take two thirds divided by seven eighths. Write this down in your notes."
Mr. Ratburn's whole class, including Muffy, Buster, and Binky, all copy what Ratburn wrote on the chalk board.
"Now here's what you are going to do," Ratburn goes on, "Ignore the first fraction for now and draw your attention to the second fraction."
"Mr. Ratburn?" asks Buster raising his hand.
"How do you draw attention?" Buster asks, "I have never drawn, or seen anybody draw a picture of attention before."
"Very funny, Mr. Baxter!" Ratburn replies. "Now please do not disrupt my class."
"Sorry, Mr. Ratburn," says Buster in shame, folding his ears halfway down.
"To draw attention to something, in case you don't know," Mr. Ratburn continues, "means to pay attention, or give attention to something. Buster do you understand that?"
Buster answers, "Yes Mr. Ratburn."
"Good, now without further ado, let's look at the second fraction, seven eights. We are going to have the numerator switch places with the denominator. Seven eighths now becomes eight sevenths. Now we are going to take out the division sign and replace it with a multiplication sign. Super! Now we have two thirds times eight sevenths. Now do any of you, besides Alan, remember what to do next?"
At first the students are reluctant, and then all of three seconds later one of them decides to raise a hand.
"Yes, Alex?" goes Mr. Ratburn.
"Uh, if I remember right," Alex says, "you multiply two by eight and then multiply three by seven."
"Very good, Alex, "Ratburn says to him, "That is correct."
Ratburn now asks the whole class, "Now what is two times eight?"
Maria, Sue Ellen, George, Francine, Fern, Brain, and Arthur raise their hands.
"Sixteen," she answers.
"Excellent," says Mr. Ratburn.
"And three times seven is twenty-one," Francine finishes.
"Thank you Ms. Frensky, "says Mr. Ratburn, "but I was going to have someone else answer that one."
"Oh," says Francine, "oops."
"So what do we have now class?" asks Ratburn. "Maria?"
"Uh," she says, "sixteen twenty-firsts?"
"That's right! Sixteen twenty-firsts," says Mr. Ratburn as he writes it on the board.
Then almost everyone looks at Mr. Ratburn funny.
"What, class?" asks a concerned Mr. Ratburn.
"Mr. Ratburn," says Brain, "you wrote twenty-one sixteenths."
"I did?" asks Mr. Ratburn quickly turning his face to the fraction he just wrote. "Oh, so I did! My mistake class, my bad!"
Ratburn chuckles a bit.
After a few more practice problems, Mr. Ratburn says, "Arthur, could you please pass these worksheets out to the class?"
Arthur agrees and does so and everyone gets to work once they receive their sheets.
Suddenly, several minutes after the students start on their worksheets:
Most of the students are startled even though they know what that is.
"Okay class," says Mr. Ratburn, "that's the fire drill, you know what to do."
It is the same fire alarm sound used in the Arthur episodes "D.W. All Fired Up" and "April 9th." As Mr. Ratburn walks to the door and opens it, the students all stand up and push in their chairs and walk to the door single file as they always do. Then Ratburn turns off the lights and his class files out of the room and head to their nearest exit.
Meanwhile, the fire alarms, which are red block-like objects with speakers hanging from the walls up under the ceiling; continue to blare really loud. In addition to the noise, the white strobe lights are flashing like lightning on everyone walking through the hallway as if the evacuees were having their pictures taken as they walk by. The strobe lights do not all flash simultaneously but they all do flash approximately every 1.5 to 2 seconds but the fire alarm buzzers all sound simultaneously.
All of Lakewood's students and most of the faculty and staff evacuate the building. Some staff members stay in the building to work the fire alarm with the help of the Elwood City Fire Department. In addition, hanging outside but on the school buildings are these round brass high pitch bells that ring during the duration of the fire drill. All the students and the teachers in charge of them wait outside for the fire alarm to shut off.
About three minutes after everyone that has had to have evacuated, all the fire alarms go silent, but no one is allowed to reenter the building just yet. Then thirty seconds later, someone blows a whistle, giving all the evacuees the "All Clear" to reenter the building. Inside the building, as the staff and students walk back to where they were before the fire alarm went off, not only are the fire alarm buzzers silent but the strobe lights are no longer flashing.
When Mr. Ratburn and his students reenter the classroom, the students head back to their desks and Mr. Ratburn turns on the classroom lights, shuts the door once everyone is back in, and says, "Alright class, return to your worksheets."
Further Information about the Fire Alarm in my story: Strobe lights were not included in either of the two mentioned Arthur episode and I have yet to see strobe lights or other flashing lights during fire drills and other fire alarm situations on cartoons, possibly because they are insignificant and possibly too complicated and time consuming to include in cartoons. But strobe lights, especially the white ones, or else the red ones, make fire alarms more interesting to me. That's why I wrote this story and wrote it the way I did. It would be really nice to see fire alarms with strobe lights or other flashing lights on cartoons, preferably white or else red, but that's just something I'd like to see.