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Saturday, February 6, 2010


Today, my café crème tasted just a little richer, the blue sky was actually showing through the omnipresent Breton clouds, and I swear there are fewer piles of dog crap littering the sidewalk.

I try to picture the scenario. I’m not sure which professor graded it, or if they even do their own grading. Maybe it was the slightly older professor with the wild, painfully cliché curly hair. His lectures are usually replete with stories that begin, “The last time I was in Liberia…” or “Obviously, we didn’t know the uprising was going to break out the very next day…” Maybe he was lurching home from a night out. It was the end of the semester, after all.

I like to imagine him sitting down in an overstuffed chair, and there at the arm, is the stack of exams to be graded. Some are pink, some yellow. He grabs the top one and pulls a pen out of his pocket. He begins to read. He smiles at the adorable grammar errors; perhaps he chuckles softly at this particular student’s inept and simplistic attempts to describe decolonization in the Middle East. Although the corner of the exam, where the student’s name goes, is folded down and stuck shut by adhesive in order to keep the grading fair, the professor knows exactly which of his students has written this essay.

But what does it even matter? He feels good, exams are over, and he has had a good meal. He’s French, that’s enough. He makes some satisfactory remarks on the paper and tosses it in the “finished” pile.

*a sufficient grade to continue on to second semester studies.
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