A Scene in a Classroom


6:10 pm, November 12, 2015, twenty-some, five, including me, women and the rest men sat in U-shaped row lecture room. Everyone looked exhausted and ready to wrap up the day. Attempting to stay awake, some focused their attention on the screens of their laptops while others scribbled in their notebook, each trying their best to take in the Professor’s words as he lectured on.

Just less than an hour before at 5:27 pm, the room was much more populated and anxiety filled the air as I walked in, everyone, including me, was nervously anticipating the before-the-class quiz. I placed my backpack on the chair, unzipped, and pulled out my writing utensils as well as my laptop. There she was, my mom, already in her seat next to me, her laptop on the table, opened to the Business Law textbook. The textbook is an e-book.

“He just said there’s no quiz tonight,” the lady sitting next to my mom said.

“Really?” My mom said, surprised. The lady nodded with a smile.

“Who said that?” I asked with both surprise and curiosity in my voice. The lady pointed to the group of boys sitting in the middle of the room. “Where’s the professor?” I asked. My mom shrugged.

My insurance agent/classmate walked in, we said hi and he proceeded to his seat. “There’s no quiz,” the lady informed him.

“Are you sure?” He asked. A gentleman assured him. Then he threw his backpack over his shoulder and walked out along with several others.

When the professor returned, about five people had left. He didn’t say anything. He sat down and asked whether we had any questions regarding the homework. A few requested for an extension while some requested for the professor to go over the entire thing. The professor laughed.

After several minutes of consideration, the professor agreed to the extension of the homework and began giving hints. Where to search, the requirements, what to write, etc.

“Now, where are we?” He said. “Oh yes, Chapter 30.” He glanced quickly around the room and his eyes landed on me. “Ms. Zheng, what is the relationship between the principal and agent?” My heart began to pound as I anxiously searched my notes for the answer. I know this, I know this, I told myself but I didn’t. I didn’t even know what he’s asking. “Who is the principal?” He rephrased the question.

Okay, that’s better. “The principal is the person hiring the agent,” I answered.

“And who is the agent?”

“The person working for the principal.”

“Do their contracts have to be in writing?”

“Not necessarily.”

“When is it necessary for the contract to be in writing?”

“Statute of Fraud.”

“When will that apply?”

“Like real estate, buying, selling house,” I answered.

“Good,” he said and I took a quick breath as he moved to the next person, my mom. “Ms. Ward, are independent contractors agents?”

I could tell by her stuttering that she’s faltering. She had been so busy earlier that day that she didn’t read the chapter. “Yes,” she answered as I discovered the answer. It was “not typically” but the professor let her through and moved on to the next person and then the next and the next, the same drill every class until we covered all the reading for that class. That’s business law.

7:00 pm, it’s time for break. Several more gather their stuff and left. I want to leave too but I know with my mom here, I can’t. I’ve already understand the material. I’ve spent my entire Thursday morning and afternoon reading and taking notes. I want to leave. I want to go home. I want to sleep. Nodding off.

Image Credit: Pixabay

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