A Lesson Learned (2015)


Pierce Becker and Justino Tesoro in Nickolas Voorhees’ play “A Lesson Learned.” Photo by Tom Kochie.

A Lesson Learned by Nickolas Voorhees

Click here to watch “A Lesson Learned” on YouTube

(The scene begins just after daybreak, on a warm summer morning in Virginia. Two thirteen-year-old boys meet on their way to school. The two boys who often talk of becoming the new worlds future leaders are non other than Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington.) 

Thomas: (shouting) Hey Georgie! Hey how’s it going?

George: Hey Tommy, It’s going good, I’m just a little tired

Thomas: Oh yeah? So how’s that early to bed, early to rise thing treating you?

George: (Laughs) It’s rough, but my mother says it’s the first step for a future leader to become wise, and that’s just what I want to be.

Thomas: -but if your bedtime is so early why are you still so tired? You look like a walking zombie right now.

George: Well… I was up half the night again, planning you know, I can’t help it, (over dramatically) I want to be the best leader there ever was, for my family…for my country…Tom maybe even the whole wide world!

Thomas: (interrupting) Yes George I know! I’d love to be a leader myself, but right now how about I lead you to school before we are late again!

George: Ugh I’m sick of school, and homework keeps getting in the way of my super hero training.

Thomas: (sarcastically but also interested) Is this part of becoming a strong leader?

George: It sure is! To become a strong leader you must be…you know…strong. So after school we can start working out by chopping down some of my father’s trees.

Thomas: Ok…but your going to have to keep up, because I can totally chop them faster then you

George: No way Thomas you don’t stand a chance.

Thomas: Well if you’re so sure.. let’s bet on it, loser has to do the other person’s homework for a week.

George: Ok, well if your so confident why wait? Lets do it now?

Thomas: And skip school? (pause, they both look at each other and smile) Alright lets get crack-a-lacking!

George: Righty-o! come on my dad has axes in the tool shed!

(Both run off to grab axes, they both find a tree and get ready to start)

Thomas: Ok! Ready! 1-2-…

George: (interrupting) Wait! Before we begin I have something to say

Thomas: Oh boy here we go again…

George: I herby christen this official leadership training, for the leaders of tomorrow, may the winner be swift, decisive, strong, and free from the tyrannical oppression of homework for a week! For It is only then that one can prove their effectiveness as a future Earl, Duke, or even King! I mean who cares if we are only 13! We are Game changers!

Thomas: Yeah!

George: Yes sir Mr. Jefferson! In fact we will be such good leaders they will have to make a new name for us, something beyond that of a King.

Thomas: Oh yeah? What will that be?

George: I’m not sure yet, but it will set a new precedence for leaders. Because if we could change the present, we will be presented with the presence of a new and bright future for all. At least that’s what I’m thinking….presently.

Thomas: Wow that sounds…pressing

George: Yeah don’t worry I’ll think of a name. As for now we better get back to our training get chopping!

Thomas: Alright!

George: Ready? On your mark! Get set!


Thomas: Hey George, haven’t seen you around how’s it going?

George: I’ve been better, my dad wasn’t happy when he saw that we chopped down his cherry tree, Don’t worry he doesn’t know it was actually you, I told him I did it with my hatchet.

Thomas: Yeah you didn’t even finish chopping your first tree…I mean…I’m sorry…that a bummer (pause, then with laughter) But you still agree I won right!

George: The sun was in my eyes! Anyway as punishment my father said I have to cut all the wood for winter, since I like cutting trees so much.

Thomas: Well I guess your getting that super hero training after all!

George: I don’t know about that, I’ll get stronger sure, but I got into trouble, a real leader doesn’t get into trouble, they outsmart their enemies and avoid it. I’ve realized now that takes brains not big muscles.

Thomas: Really?

George: Yeah, so next time, lets not skip school, were going to need it some day

Thomas: Good point, (pause) and you know what else will help you be a strong leader?

George: What’s that?

Thomas: (tossing him his school books) Doing my homework for a week!

(Lights Go, Blackout)


The cast, writer and crew of “A Lesson Learned.” Photo by Tom Kochie.

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