A Boy's Class At Primrose

September 2, 1896
Elizabeth Bassett

Once again, Penny and I were running late to class. I swear it was all her fault as usual. She has a penchant for getting me to gossip and dawdle even when I know there is not time to do either.

We entered the classroom just as the bell began to toll. The class shuffled to stare as us making our entry and I felt the unwelcome center of attention fall on me. Moments like that are fortunately rare but I often wonder why they only befall me at unfortunate times, why not in a ballroom or at a dinner party?

“Nice of you ladies to join us. Please take your seats.” Dr. Phallic said.

His words penetrated the moments and allowed me the luxuries of breath and movement again. Beside me I could feel the tension of the moment drain from her as well. Neither of us wanted to be disciplined in this classroom. As we scanned the room quickly for available seats it became obvious we were indeed the only two ladies in the room.

Dr. Phallic motioned impatiently toward two desks in the front row which split the center of the room between them. They had obviously been left open for us. We quickly moved toward them under the watchful gazes of a dozen young men. I had expected to see men in this class of course, but not in my wildest dreams had I thought it would be them in the majority. How could they could call a class populated with this many boys from Brown, a Primrose class?

“Now that everyone is comfortable let us begin. Welcome, to the first physics class at Primrose College. This is an advanced science course and we will be discussing the nature of the universe within it. Our discussion will undoubtedly by lively and I intend to encourage debate as we discuss the principles of the universe itself.

However, that does not mean I will accept an unruly classroom and let me make it clear gentlemen, any disruptive behavior, any disrespectful behavior, will end with your immediate expulsion from Primrose College. Am I understood?”

The boys all nodded their heads in conjunction with a collective, “Yes, Sir.”

“Ladies, you are both aware of standard disciplinary procedures here at Primrose and do not expect anything different in this classroom.” Dr. Phallic said, staring straight at us.

Penny and I nodded our understanding and quietly said, “Yes, Sir.”

I have no doubt Penny feared as I did that we would be chastised for our tardiness on this first day in front of all those boys. Dr. Phallic either grew a heart over the summer or decided a few seconds were not worth the longer waste of time disciplining for them would have taken. I will take my luck as it comes without complaint as he launched on into the first chapter of material without giving us a second look. My hand was cramped from note taking by the end of class and by the way Penny was shaking hers I think I can safely assume the same for her.

It was obvious Dr. Phallic was less than satisfied with the textbook because his lecture exposed hole after hole in the knowledge imparted. I had filled three pages of a journal with information not contained within chapter one. I wonder if I might have enough to publish my own textbook come the end of the year? Perhaps not but maybe Dr. Phallic should write his own, it would certainly make life simpler for future students.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Ashley, a tutor with a heart, it seems.
Warm hugs,