The cartoon begins with an exterior shot of a school classroom. Through the windows, children are visible at their desks. They are learning arithmetic by rote. The main character, Ralph Phillips, is bored with this lesson; on seeing a bird outside, he imagines that he is free to use his arms and legs to propel himself through the air.
Miss Wallace interrupts this daydream and assigns Ralph to solve a column of numbers on the blackboard. He is intimidated so much when the numbers come to life. He fights back by using letters as weapons.
Back in the classroom, he finds the geography lesson tedious until the sight of a fish in an aquarium triggers his next daydream—as a deep-sea diver who kills a shark and rescues an immobilized submarine, before a tentacle from an octopus grabs him away.
Miss Wallace loses her patience and sends Ralph to the corner, but this doesn't stop him from turning the classroom into a boxing ring. On being sent home, Ralph imagines himself as Douglas MacArthur and repeats the general's most famous line: "I shall return."