Chapter Fifteen: Joy in Naming Inanimate Objects

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 Chapter Fifteen: Joy in Naming Inanimate Objects

      “And thus we have the eternal conflict pondered for decades by even the brightest of minds: good and bad. Though it may seem simple and like such a trivial thing to debate, there is so much more to it! It’s the deep-seeded motivation behind everything you do! You’re all at that point in your lives when decisions are being made left and right, and you are the ones who have to determine whether they are good or bad. Sometimes your rationality gets blurred and you go down the wrong path that you wouldn’t normally choose. Essentially, good and bad are two issues encountered almost constantly,” the elderly man paused his monologue, looking around the room to make sure all the attention was on him. “Ah! Mr. Kent, would you say that chewing gum in this class is a good choice, or a bad one?”

      All eyes were on the unlucky Preston as he processed the question, trying to come up with a smart-sounding answer. “Well, Dr. G., it depends who you ask,” my brilliant best friend replied fluently.

      “I’m asking you,” the doctor said.

      “I think that for me—like from my perspective, it’s a fine choice because I like chewing gum and it’s better than me pacing around the room to drain my boredom,” Preston began, a few clutched laughs sounding from the back of the room. “Now, from your perspective, Doc, it’s ‘bad,’ because you don’t like when we chew gum in class.”

      “Okay,” Dr. G. took a large gulp of air, his point not being expressed how he had wanted it, “but Mr. Kent, while those two variables may come into play, which would choose? To chew gum, or to not?”

      “Well, I like living life on the dangerous side, so I’ll probably take my chances and chew gum,” Preston said dully, as serious as he ever would be.

      “And thank you Mr. Kent for expressing your opinion on the matter. Here, Preston would choose the bad over the good. Which brings me to the climax and rationalization behind this lovely soliloquy from which you’re all probably internally dying,” Dr. G. began the conclusion of his speech. “For your next project, you’ll be working in groups,” well, Olivia Ross already hated the project, “of three, and will be exploring the differences between good and bad. You will all be expected to create a presentation and orally,” stifled snorts from immature junior boys including Preston Kent rose around the room, “present.”

      Groups. That was like a buzzword for my anxiety to just spring out of nowhere and hit me like a freight train. People weren’t my forte, and working “well” with them was even lower on the spectrum of things that I liked. Projects. I could handle those, depending on what they were and involved. Working by myself was what I preferred because I knew I what I wanted and didn’t have to compromise or talk to anyone. Now, group projects, on the other hand, were like a sick mash up invented by teachers to torture the smart kids and allow the dumb ones to breeze by. I hated group projects. They were terribly terrible in every way and I just hated them.

      “Now,” Dr. G. began once again, “onto the groups.” Groans sounded around the room as our educator picked up a single leaf of paper, holding it between his slender forefinger and thumb. He began reading off names of people, until I heard my name being called and then stopped paying attention once again. I didn’t know who I would be working with, but I knew that they would know, so wasn’t worried.

      And sure enough, when Dr. G. stopped talking and gave the OK to go, I heard my name being called once again from two different directions, and opted for the one closer to me—to Preston. “Livy,” my best friend said with a giant smirk that he couldn’t seem to contain, “looks like we’re working together…AGAIN!”

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