Dr. Ashcroft's glasses, I think, are what bugs me. They make his eyes look too big for his face; like a dog with its raised hackles, he seems to try to look larger, more intimidating, the academic equivalent of nature's bluff "Don't mess with me, I'm smarter than you think."
This room is too hot. Somebody in the back needs to open a frickin' window. I've forgotten to pay attention again, hardly noticing his nasally voice as it mixes with the dust motes in the air. I now listen. The sound, though unequivocally devoid of any depth or richness, evokes a dark philosopher's study, the kind where the oriental rugs and the dark and the leather-bound tomes and the heat - the goddam heat! - block out everything in the outside world until you've forgotten that there was ever such things as tandem bicycles or fall leaves or kids with strawberry ice cream cones that melt all over their tiny fingers. Ashcroft ignores the flickering, tired glittering of the dust as the motes turn in place, suspended in the sunlight. He continues to give the lesson, drawing on the board. I don't realize until the male students chuckle that the symbols Ashcroft has jotted are rather phallic. Knowing Ashcroft would never see it that way, I smile. He never sees anything in any way but his own, not even if it's well reasoned. He hates when I raise my hand; I'm a girl and I should sit in the back and be quiet, but he doesn't know that I don't intend to give him the peace he thinks he has earned with his tenure.
For right now, though, I content myself with reading the graffitied backs of the chairs around me: "Mike sucks dick," "Fuck you," "'86." I've never liked graffiti, but at least it says something, at least it's free. The little man finishes his lecture, then turns around, blinking at us as if emerging from a cave. Maybe Mike does suck, but where am I? I'm stuck here, in the depths of Ashcroft's unimaginative, dank academia. Ashcroft calls on someone, then rejects their answer. The answer isn't presented just like he learned it seventy years ago; it is wrong. "Not today," I think to myself, taking a stand against someone, but nobody really takes note of a revolutionary whose soapbox is inside her own mind. Taking out my green pen and stealing a glance - the ferocious glance of a true rebel - at Ashcroft, who is looking like a particularly squishable bug, I issue my manifesto on the back of the empty desk in front of me. Maybe someone later will find the green outline of a heart and not care if love and freedom and tandem bicycles are well-argued, sound and logical.