Young Student [somewhat nervous]: So, um, what’s *mumble mumble* like?
Laconic Sophomore: Not bad.
Y.S.: Um, but I heard that, well, hard case?
L.S.: Only if you ask for it. [significant pause] You know, like that one class did.
Y.S. [much relieved]: Oooooohhh. Got it!
Sr. Scholastica [Aka the Dean]: So, Slow Senor, Silly Senior, and Skeptical Senior all need to take the final?
Me: Yes. Slow had too many absences, Silly’s GPA is below the threshold, and Skeptical wants to bump her grade if she can.
Sr. Scholastica [over reading glasses]: Skeptical wants to take a final exam, of her own free will, to raise her grade?
Me [hands raised]: Yes, Sister. I believe this is one of the signs of the end times?
Sr. Scholastica: I’ll have to confirm with Fr. Gonzales, but I believe it is.
I am passing through the commons after making copies. Jaundiced Junior looks up from his sprawl in one of the lounge-ish chairs.
J.J.: Miss Red, is it true that Poland once invaded Russia?
Me: Yes, in 1603, during the Time of Troubles. Poland-Lithuania got about a quarter of western Russia.
J.J.: That explains a lot! Thanks, Miss Red.
Me: Any further questions?
A hand waves frantically from the end of the second row.
Me: Yes? [trying not to sound impatient]
Frosted Freshman [sounding impatient]: Miss Red, if this is from Chapter Three, and that was last semester, why is it on this semester’s test?
Me: Because Confucian culture, filial piety, and the Mandate of Heaven come up every time we discuss China.
F. F. [sulking]: Oh.
The rest of the class glares at Frosted.
Me: Any other questions?
F.F. [looks up from his paper in great haste]: Can we go over number ten again?
Rest of class: Basso profundo growl.
Me: No, I’m sorry, but we need to move on. Please ask one of your classmates for the answer. So, number fifty-two. . .
The last faculty meeting concludes, the fridges have been emptied and exorcised, and all books and grades are accounted for . . .
. . . and the faculty disperse until August first.