Scenes from <i>Stand and Deliver</i> If It Took Place in an Upper-middle-class High School in the San Fernando Valley

The Principal

Jaime Escalante: Principal Richman, I look forward to teaching these kids. They come from nothing, and no one believes in them, but I can get through to them. I’ll show them that calculGAA
Principal: Wait a second, you’re a Mexican! That’s great!
Principal: Sorry, we don’t really have Mexicans around here. Go on.
Jaime: I was saying that calculus can teach these GAA
Principal: Hey, are you people filled with candy?
Jaime: No. That’s a pi+A|ata.
Principal: Sorry.
Jaime: [Exasperated] Higher learning is GAA

Meeting the Class

Jaime: [observing his quietly seated class] I know you vatos think you’re funny, but there’s nothing funny about failure. Don’t you wanna be something in life?
Well-dressed Boy in Front Row: Yes sir. I’d like to go on to graduate GAA
Jaime: NO! NO! Gangs are a dead end, muchacho. The real weapon is your mind.
[Class sits silently]
Jaime: That’s why I’m going to teach you all calculus.
Boy: We already learned calculus. I got a 5 on the GAA
Jaime: What is it with you kids and the gangs?!

The Lesson Plan

Jaime: Today, we’re gonna talk about integrals. This may be your only ticket out of here, so pay attention.
Timid Girl: Uh, Mr. Escalante, this isn’t AP Calculus. This is advanced multivariate calculus.
Jaime: Fuck.
Timid Girl: If you want, we can GAA
Jaime: What, jump me? You think you’re tough? [Takes off shirt to show scars] I been stabbed eight times, puta. Not so tough now, are you?
Well-Dressed Boy: [whispering to friend] Aww, I thought they were filled with candy.

Words of Encouragement

Jaime: You kids have futures. Even when nobody else believes in you, I do. I believe in you.
Timid Girl: Well, between our parents, numerous colleges, and society in general, pretty much everyone believes in us. Well, except for that kid, but no one believes in him.
Baal, the Golden Calf: [Sniffles, bites lower lip]