General education classes. No student wants to take them, but everyone is required to. This is how a Business Major finds himself sitting in Chemistry and the Citizen.
Time must be having a lazy day too. I sat in the front row of Kuster Auditorium with my eyes singularly focused on the hands of the clock. I writhed side to side a bit trying to relax. Clearly these cramped lecture hall seats were not made with comfort in mind. My eyes darted back to the wall clock.
12:59pm? GREAT. Class is already taking long it didn’t even start yet!
About a second later my fellow class mate came shuffling down the aisle. I never learned his name but I always called him Lecture Hall Larry in my head. Mostly because he always ended up in my Gen Ed classes, which always happened to be in Lecture Halls. Spoiler alert: this guy is kinda weird.
Larry greeted me before sitting down, “Oh! Hey man! How are you? Good?! Yeah good man?”
Um I didn’t get a chance to answer.
Larry finally plopped down and unfurled his notes from inside his blue Jansport bookbag. His fashion sense irked me slightly. It was the middle of April yet he always sported a thick denim jacket with matching color jeans. Some please notify the Fashion Police.
Dr. Crayola stood up from behind her desk to make an announcement, “Okay class! I finally graded the exam from last Tuesday! Overall not too shabby, but we do need to review a few things.”
Oh yeah that test was easy!
It was subtle, but I began to feel small vibration. I slipped my hand in my pocket quick to look for an alert. Nope. I stole a quick glance right and discovered Larry fidgeting maniacally. Cleary he was anxious.
A salmon read paper with a huge 89 circled in red pen landed on my desk. Of course I nailed the exam as usual.
“Hey man, how did you do on the exam?” Larry must have noticed the stupid grin on my face.
Amazing, as always.
“Oh me?” I poorly faked a less than satisfied look, “Yeah I guess I did OKAY. What about you?”
Clutched with the pain of uncertainty Larry looked at me a second before responding, “….. Well you know how these things go man? Like I THINK I did good, but I mean jeez this was a hard one. Maybe I could have studied more ya know? I’ll find out soon though.”
“Oh yeah I feel you”
“Like I know I could have studied more. Next time I’ll definitely study more. I can’t regret slacking now, just need to do better next time.”
“Yeah I totally get that. I thought some parts were hard too. Don’t worry too much! I’m sure you did good!”
Dr. Crayola smacks a salmon colored exam onto Larry’s desk facedown. I notice him hesitate a second before flipping it over. From my seat I saw a big fat 63 circled in red ink on the top right corner his exam.
Well I take that back.
Disappointment stains every facet of Larry’s movement. I begin to sense the shock in his unnatural paralysis. It was as if he was recovering from a freshly opened wound.
This is awkward now……
I tuck my exam away in a folder and pretend not to have seen Larry’s paper. “So how did you do??”
He shifts to the left to face me deadpan, “I’ll do better next time.”
Good luck Larry – Barry