Monday, August 21, 2006

Her First Day of College.

Today was Meg's first day of college.

Well, sort of. She's really still in high school, but she's taking a Latin class because the high school doesn't offer one. This morning she headed off to school and then, about a half hour later we received a frenzied telephone call: "My class starts today! It's not tomorrow, it's today! I need to be picked up at 11:40!" She hadn't got her books yet, so we parked at the University bookstore, where she found her books in the basement annex. We paid for them amid the crowds of college students who were just now getting to that errand, perhaps after their first class. I told the middle-aged cashier that my check was probably alot better than theirs. She cracked a knowing grin.

I dropped Meg off at the building we'd checked out a few days before, after asking if she wanted my cell phone, just in case. She declined it and marched bravely into the crowd, into Recitation Hall.

Had a few errands to do on campus, so I'd be picking her up after class in about an hour. I'd prayed that the day would go well, for it hadn't started well. She's been trying to get over a disappointment with a friend and was still discouraged about it, and her class schedule at school had been botched, so she was called into the office and accused of truancy. Fortunately that was soon straightened out, but it left her wondering what more could go wrong.

After class I found her at the appointed place.

"How did it go?"
"Oh, OK-- but it sure was weird: I got into the class and everyone was sitting there absolutely silent!"
I started to laugh.
"Yeah, so I sat down and the silence was so deafening that I finally decided I had to break it, so I went into my bag with the express purpose of loosening a piece of Velcro in there. Rrrriiip! But even then, nobody said anything. Finally a couple of girls started to whisper to each other! I decided to label everyone who came in. I got through three: a "lawyer", a "politician", and a "hit man". Then the teacher came in."
"A hit man??"
"Yeah. The "lawyer" was a girl; she had blond hair in a ponytail, glasses and a crisp, exact way of talking."
"What's the teacher like?" I asked, snorting.
"Oh, the teacher is a young gal who I think is a grad student. She had us all introduce ourselves and give our majors and say why we were taking Latin. Everyone was so quiet about it. When she got to me I decided I'd be loud! And I told them I was only a high school senior but wanted to take Latin because I am interested in languages. Most of the others were there becuase they thought it would be an easy class, or because they wanted to be lawyers."
"How did the teacher react to that?"
"Well, she thought it was cool that I wanted to study languages. But what was funny was that there was this one guy who must have been a senior, or old enough to be a senior. He'd just changed his major and was starting practically all over again. And you know, he looked as scared as I felt!"

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