We’re about to pull up to a 9 a.m. Directed Studies philosophy seminar feeling GOOD. (Okay, so not to flex, but I feel good every day. Probably because I do the reading, and additionally, do said reading in obscure locations unknown to most Yale students. Pro tip: there’s a wonderful little cafe right next to Bass Library. You can use your Durfee swipe there — thank me later!)
As soon as I walk through the door, I do a quick scan of the room. What’s the move, sis? Where do we sit our eager-to-learn ass down? Thankfully, there’s a free seat right next to my professor. Last week, we shared a truly excellent conversation at office hours. I went, not because I had any questions on the material per se; he seems like a cool guy and I genuinely just want to be his friend. Within our brief conversation (13 minutes according to my Apple watch), we talked about the soul, life, love. Everything.
In the classroom, my professor greets me as is his custom with a small yet encouraging smile. (At this moment, I am reminded of Pindar’s quip: “Custom is king.”) Despite my manifold doubts about my intellectual capabilities, I relax. Imposter syndrome will really get you at an elite institution of higher learning. So, thanks Prof — it’s the little things in life.
The discussion begins. I bite my tongue to keep myself from blurting out my revelations. Oops, I couldn’t contain myself. I feel frightfully off the cuff; what if I say something stupid? No, I must be free. I am a citizen of the world. As I inhale, I extend my limbs beyond my small space at the table. My fingers brush the edge of someone else’s papers. Obviously power-posing is a myth, but I just want to try it out.
As usual, I have actually made some notes ahead of time. I’d always thought my meticulous habits were a freak accident, but I guess not. Maybe I’m just (do I dare say it?) prepared. Through no intent of my own, my thoughts flew from my head onto the page into something that resembles … could it be … a SPEECH? I could not stop the motion of my frenzied pencil as it dashed across the page, scratching out the sound of the timid girl speaking across the table. Bashfulness melts away from my visage just as when the spring’s sun shines forth on the looming mountains and the snow turns to mild water (#HomericSimile). Maybe a line to bring up in a literature seminar later on?
I smile at my peers. No response. I clear my throat upon sensing a tentative hand wind its way heavenward on my left side. Inspiration bursts forth from my lips. I cannot let another comment slip by.
What can I say, time runs away from me! Have you ever had so many thoughts you felt like you would explode? Oddly enough, none of my classmates seem to have had this experience. We don’t really know one another outside of class. It’s only the beginning of the semester — we still have so much time with one another (subtext: you cannot escape me). Perhaps I could set up a GroupMe convening an extra section chez moi, Dubra’s on me.
Class lets out, and we only grazed the very surface of the incredibly rich and nuanced text we are reading — and I was mid-sentence. Given a few more seconds, I could have tasted sweet enlightenment. I am sad, or rather, I am quaking! Whatever, I can prove myself next time. I’ve really been trying to work on an optimistic mindset. People here are such pessimists. Not me. I imagine myself a warrior. No, I am a philosopher-king. Bow down to me.
Out in the open, beyond the cave-like confines of our classroom, I spy my roommate. She waves me over, and we walk together, ducking past others chattering and complaining. The negative vibes here — that’s it. No cap. My roommate also seems sad, following my footsteps listlessly. Haters can get a girl down, ya feel?
“Hey, what’s up?”
“There’s this total asshole in my class. The way he acts, you’d think no one else does the reading. Today, he started talking and just didn’t stop. For all. Of. Section.”
Who is this man? I want to take him out with my teeth. How dare he!
“I hate that for you.” I give her a hug. “Someone needs to do a PSA or something about the very real problem of section assholes. We need to increase awareness! How can people protect themselves from these parasites?”
She looks at me, hopeless. “Can’t you see, Esther? They’re already everywhere.”
I bite my lip. I refuse to give in. I cannot surrender. This one’s for all the loyal fans out there. Okay, it’s for my mom.
“I know,” I say. “I will write an article about section assholes.”
Esther Reicheck | firstname.lastname@example.org