“ … But the ramifications of Atticus Finch’s speech are, unfortunately, lost upon his courtroom audience for the remainder of the novel. The issue of defining equality and justice — ”
Heavy footsteps to my right interrupted my trance. I lifted my eyes from the computer screen to see a man approach the seat next to me in the computer lab. His walk reminded me of a dipping bird. He also wore a shirt that was a size too large. He looked a bit like a turtle — the large outer shirt defending his interior.
He took the open seat next to me and began pouring his fingers onto the keyboard. I checked my watch and saw that class didn’t start for another 15 minutes. “Good,” I thought to myself. “Just enough time to finish my blog post before I head out.”
“Did you do the readings for lecture?” he asked out of the blue.
I assumed he was talking to somebody else around us, and ignored his question. I felt a finger poke my arm, and turned to face him. “Are you asking me?” I inquired, rubbing my arm. His finger felt really sweaty. Maybe he should wash his hands.
“Yeah,” he replied, his gaze returning back toward his computer screen. “We’re in the same lecture, in case if you didn’t know. I was too busy to do the readings for today, and I know we have a quiz.”
Shoot, I thought, looking through my sloppy class notes. I’ll probably get a 50 percent on the quiz, and that’s a high estimate. “Yeah, sorry,” I said, pointing toward my computer screen. “I had some work to do.”
I sipped the remains of my pumpkin spice coffee and said, “We have that lecture twice a week, and you had the entire weekend to do the readings. Was your Internet down or something?”
“Oh thank God, no,” he said. “I’m a mod on several online discussion boards. Guys just talkin’ about guy things, ya know.”
“The issue of defining equality and justice is one that, unfortunately, still needs to be addressed in today’s society,” I typed. The blog post wasn’t complete, but I could finish it up after lecture, or maybe even make a few necessary changes during class. “Sorry,” I said. “I already write for the Internet.”
I felt his heavy breath next to mine as he scanned my computer screen. “Ah,” he sighed, “Social justice warrior. One of those, huh? That’s too bad.”
I logged off my computer with his gaze still on me. I tried thinking of something clever, but that well was dry.
“Awkward turtle,” I said, gathering my things before sliding out of my seat. I took one last look at the guy. He had returned to his computer screen, his fingers spilling over the keyboard. I checked my watch — 12 minutes until class. “You’re gonna be late!” I called back. He gave no response.
I started skimming through the required pages of my textbook. “It’s like I said,” I thought. “50 percent on the quiz, as a high estimate. I shouldn’t worry too much over what I don’t have any control over.” I smiled to myself. “Besides, I’ve got plenty of time to finish my blog post.”