Education

The room is crowded, filled with students too young to know their baggy pants and greasy hair won’t make them cool forever. They file in, walk up to the desk where a thin woman sits and complain about the wait time. Then they sit down. The young men wear baggy hooded sweatshirts and sit with hats cocked off the sides of their heads. The girls carefully applied thick makeup this morning rimming their dim eyes in dark lines and pulling on tight pants to impress their male counterparts.
The clock on the wall keeps track of the slow passage of time. Some of them shift in their seats, uncomfortable, clearly nervous, desperate to hide it so no one will notice. A thirty-something man sits with them, a student, returning back to school to get a degree.
A shrill voice complains to the two exhuasted looking students manning the desk. The thin woman has a pretty face, but is dressed in clothes very unbecoming. She struts around with a stack of papers in her hand, not realizing that she herself is just like the girls whose chairs line the wall. She flips her hair with her hand and smiles, trying to be authoritative while the kids’ eyes glaze over.
Registration problems are the reasons these people crowd into the room that is seldom used otherwise. They whine and mope, complaining amongst themselves, finding solidarity in the anxious crowd.
Then a name is called. Attention is riveted toward the desk. They are no longer a group of misplaced youths.
They are hopeful; their eyes betray that much.

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