Talk In ClassClass is usually a place of relaxed confidence where I may show off my intelligence and perception. Listening and observing. Absorbing and analyzing. Waiting for the right moment to speak up, get involved, and wow my classmates with my mind.
The weather was less than warm - not cold, but brisk - and the gray chill helped to conceal the facts that my pocketed hands, hunched shoulders, and downward stare were more conditioned reactions to the weight on my mind, than physical responses to the early-morning, October air.
Our professor was the overtly connecting sort - perpetually smiling, always concerned, big-sister-share-your-burdens-with-me style communicator - who had obviously developed her mother-hen qualities from having too much, or too little social interaction with children in her earlier years, and perhaps not enough parental attention. Very kind. Very nice. Involved. Caring. Good. So when I remained silent during class while perspectives and opinions amassed in the room, I was not surprised that she noticed and inquired as to my state of being. I had prepared for this, but I underestimated her dedication to the desire to create a 'family' within our relatively small room.
I attempted to deflect her concern with a simple wave of my hand, and a noncommittal, "I'm alright." Rudeness on my part may have ended the conversation, but I found no desire to lash out at her, so after a brief dialogue, her "we're all here to experience and learn together, maybe someone here understands and can help," resigned me to open up:
"Ok. Well... a friend of mine and I just found out that we're going to have a baby."
Small moment of shock, but she took it in stride:
"Oh. Well, That certainly Is a big deal. I know that this can be scary, and even a little overwhelming, but it's ok. I mean, it will be hard work, but it IS a positive thing! You're bringing a Life into the world, a new person that you can love and shape and teach! I know it might seem scary now, but creating a new life is a Good thing! It's always a positive thing!"
I raised my eyes just enough to hold her gaze for a moment before letting the slow seepage of words drip out of my mouth:
"Yeah... Her husband doesn't agree with you."