19 October, 2011

red in the face

History of the Environment in the U.S.

I'm almost positive that I am one of five people (out of 40) who do the readings for this class. Fortunately, we had an essay due so the discussion about Thoreau  and Muir was destined to be a decent one. People were trickling through the door five, ten, fifteen minutes into the class; they were the ones who had waited until that morning to start the seven-page essay. 

The discussion had already started, the basic question: How did you like Muir? 
I instantly responded with, 
        "Better than Thoreau." 
When asked to explain why I continued: 
        "His writing style is much easier to follow. He is succinct. Thoreau went on and on about the trees and the Indian guide. Muir didn't waste words. His descriptions were..." 
At that moment I looked up to see my professor smile at another student and tap his watch. 
I got flustered. 
       "Um... ya, Muir is succinct, which I am obviously not being..." I tapered off. 
Professor turned his attention to me and said (loudly) "Oh no! I wasn't referring to you! Please, continue."
       "It's okay" I replied, "I don't really have anything else to say anyway."
       "No! Please, I want to hear what you were going to say!" He urged.
       "I think my face is turning red," I stammered as my face rose in temperature and turned the color of a tomato.
       "Rachel, finish what you were going to say," he pleaded.
       "I just need you to stop," I stated helplessly. The class laughed at this demand I made of our teacher to leave me alone. 
       "Alright," he agreed, "We'll come back to you."

Yes, I thought, right after my face returns to its natural color.

I eventually did rejoin the conversation and it was a good one because people were prepared. When class ended he approached me, 
        "I wasn't tapping my watch at you. A student had just walked in a half an hour after class had started. I didn't mean to embarrass you." 
I smiled, shook my head and  assured him it was fine. 

And it was. I don't usually get embarrassed. You can't really afford to get embarrassed in my family otherwise your face would be permanently red from all the jokes we make at each other's expense. I guess now I just have to be on my guard with my professors. 

p.s. if you want to read a good nature book, here ya go. Not only does he describe one of my favorite places in the world but he also rides an avalanche. 

1 comment:

  1. I know your pain! I had a professor call on me while I was in the middle of a daydream and I didn't know how to answer his question and I told him "I don't know" but that didn't satisfy him and he kept pressing me to give him the answer when I had no idea what he was talking about...then he yelled at me in front of the class and said, "Do you want to fail?!?" I felt so stupid...my TA made the professor apologize to me after class and told him I wasn't dumb.