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I’m scribbling on a piece of paper as I sit in nonfiction class; I’m writing anecdotes as I listen to the professor with the other half of my brain.

“Arielle and Amanda are doing the presentation for Wednesday.”

I look up; the professor is staring at me, she knows I was absentminded and forgot the last assignment I was supposed to do. I had told her I had forgotten.

I shouldn’t have told her, most students wouldn’t have, it seems most students smooth-talk the professors so they can be well-liked and get a good grade. When I told her after class she had said she hadn’t even noticed that I wasn’t prepared for the presentation.

I am truthful; or try my best to be, by God’s grace. So I had told her and asked for clarification so I understood the next assignment; that was four or so weeks ago. Now she’s checking in with me to make sure I won’t forget this time.

I nod and smile slightly to let her know I know and will remember. She moves onto her next topic for the class.

I go back to scribbling.

Then I look up. Hmm… All I need to do now is figure out who Amanda is. It’s nearly midterms and I still can’t remember anyone’s names except my friend.

My friend is very patient; she and I were supposed to do that first presentation the first week of the quarter—the assignment that I forgot. I remember that day…

The professor was making the usual announcements, then she said: “…and Arielle are doing the first presentation today.”

I froze, but kept my face calm; I am a master actor when I need to be. My pen had been doing its usual never-ending motion of traveling in weird arcs as I turned it over and over in my dexterous fingers. The pen halted.

My friend glanced over at me with a hint of a fairy-grin. “Did you remember?” she asked me in a whisper.

I gave her the briefest of impish grins in return then I shook my head slightly.

She turned her attention back to the professor.

My mind whirled. Hmm… I had done the reading, of course; I hate being caught by surprise and so try to be prepared. Fie on absentmindedness.

Let’s see… I flipped through my notebook of scribbled notes. There had been two readings from the day; which one was I doing? My friend gave her half of the presentation first, buying me a bit of time.

I glance over at her desk; she has a nice, neat copy of typed-up notes.

I’m doomed.

I’m so confused. Which one is which? Both readings blur together in my mind. Uh oh, I’m out of time… It’s my turn to begin talking. Oh well, I can improvise; I am a master at it when I need to be, I’ve had to learn such things since I’m so blasted absentminded.

I begin talking; my tongue can be made of silver at times. I make some good observations. The professor builds on it and makes another comment. I can’t remember the point she’s talking about; my brows furrow together in bewilderment. I ask her which page it is on. I ask which reading it is; I’ve just given myself away.

Oh well; I’ve done my best.

Soon, very soon, the presentation is over with. I’ve made it. I sigh in relief. Drat; I just messed up my first assignment of nonfiction class. I hope the rest of the quarter won’t be like this.

So far it hasn’t been. We’ll see how this Wednesday goes.

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