Here’s What It Came Up With:
Lowers sitting at their designated tables. Darryl is etching his initials in the desk. Two girls by the white board are scrolling through the Weekender.
Ava: Something I found really interesting was the
complete lack of vowels throughout the entire nov- el. I thought it might signify–
Philip cuts her off and begins talking about his own point. He is hated by the class.
Philip: Yeah, piggybacking off Ava, I feel like
the emphasis on fruit is meant to highlight class
struggle, like the difference between “fruits” and
Ava: Could you elaborate a little more on that?
Phillip: I feel morally attacked.
Phillip continues talking and only stops when he accidentally reveals how emasculated he feels around his father. The class ignores this. The teacher chooses one of the socially awkward students to pick on. The student is reduced to tears and cannot speak, no matter how many times they are invited to speak.
On the other side of the room, Bethany and Viola discuss what happened in the dorm yesterday.
Bethany: What are you wearing to the dance?
Viola: Beth, after last night, I don’t have time
for this. I think we’re getting searched.
Bethany: Wait, what happened?
Viola: Shh. I’m trying to participate.
Students continue discussing the novel, making a halfhand-raise, half-neck spasm each time they want to speak. Each student’s point is the same idea as the last person but uses larger words so others know they are the more intelligent. They fear the teacher’s hangover will wear off soon. One of the quiet students speaks up.
Jack: Sometimes I feel really, really alone.
No one hears him. They are too busy loudly packing up
their bags 7 minutes before the period is supposed to
end. It rings and they stampede each other to leave, but
not before telling the teacher to have a nice day. Both
parties know they don’t mean it.