March 31, 2010

The Myriad of Uses for a Free Period

I spent the entire period today sitting in the math/science learning center talking to Mario. Well, first I was talking to Mr. Booth, asking him to sign my National Honors Society application. So then we had a brief discussion on that application, and then we started talking math team.

Mario at least had the decency to act a bit surprised that I didn't make states. Then we got another motivational Beat Treeburg! speech from Mr. Booth about wanting to watch them squirm. Honestly, I think competitiveness should be more about being the best than watching the losers squirm, but Mr. Booth has a different opinion, I guess. Eventually, the Learning Center woman shushed the three of us and Mario and I returned to our work. Well, I checked my email, and he did something to the essay he was writing for Economics.

At some point, he turned around to talk to Bryant, who was taking a test on the other side of the room. "What would you say about this?" he asked.

Bryant ignored him, so Mario began commentating. "Oh, he's rubbing the ear, this must be a good problem."

This made Bryant look up. "It's decent. Not really that interesting." He went back to his test.

"Ooh, he's got the chin going now."

"Look at that pen twitch," I added.

"That," said Mario, "is a significant pen twitch."

"Is testing that much better with commentary?"

"I'd say so. Oh, look, he's moving back to the ear."

Bryant grinned but didn't look up.

"He's pretty skilled, to be able to test through that sort of distraction," I said.

"Yeah. Too bad he can't get a prom date."

"He has a prom date."

"No. Really?" He turned back around. "Bryant, you have a prom date?"


"Who is it?"

"It's Nancy. Stop distracting him," I said.

"Nancy? Seriously? Bryant, you getting Tybalt's sloppy seconds? You double tap her or something?"

This Bryant ignored completely.

"What?" I said.

"Tybalt went with her to Counties, right?"

"Yeah. I'm not sure that's precisely the language I would use, though."

He shrugged, and we both went and worked a bit more.

A later conversation:

"Oh, was it you who told Ms. Seltzia- oh, what was it...."

"The nipple thing?"

"No, she told us that was you."

"Damn, she told you?"

"Yeah. Then she wanted to know where you were that period- period 8- and I actually knew, which was kind of weird."


"Knowing that many of your classes."

"Well, I haven't got very many, so it's not like it's difficult."


"You know, I never bothered to learn Scarlett's second semester schedule."

"Are you still...?"

He shrugged. "Well, I mean, I've developed this new theory."

"What's that?"

"I'm trying to figure out how to say it. It's like, the less invested I get, the better the payout. Like, when you try too hard, it doesn't work."

"A bit depressing." Why does that sound like a hint?

"Nah, I mean, once you change your attitude a bit, what really ends up happening is that you're putting in less effort for greater returns."

I shrugged, and we both went back to our respective work, which, by now, had evolved to him crafting a flow chart on Inspiration and saying "bam" every time he changed the shape of an object, and me flipping through xkcd cartoons, looking for good visuals for English.