Cafeteria coffee in hand, Mark made his way towards his first college class. The mostly empty cafeteria and nearly deserted yard confirmed the fact that most Xavier students avoided eight am classes. Gallagher’s clocktower read seven fifty-plenty of time to get to Alter’s basement. What class was this again? Oh right: math, yuck. As if he wasn’t already nervous enough about starting college, he had to start off with his least favorite subject.
He took another sip of coffee and; “On your left!” he nearly choked on it as he scrambled out of a Lime scooter’s path. Good grief, she’s in a hurry. Where would she be headed? Elet, maybe? That must be it. Well, no coffee on me so no harm done.
Alter’s giant door swung open slowly and released the sound of students. He sighed and took another sip of coffee, relieved to have confirmation that he wouldn’t be the only pupil in class. Room zero-zero-seven had about a dozen students already in it, working quietly. Oh no, I’m late! How could that be, he wondered?
“Hi, I’m sorry I’m late, I-“
“ No, no you’re not late! I simply like to give warm-up work” explained a smiling person who appeared to be his teacher. Although, the ripped jeans and graphic t-shirt made him look more like a student than Mark in his khakis and polo-style shirt. “Just sign in here and get started with the problem on the board.”
He took the seat closest to the door and pulled out a piece of paper. There was a series of basic algebraic expressions, followed by an alphabet with numbers written beneath each letter. Better start with the algebra, Mark decided. Those problems weren’t hard and went by quickly. But what should he do with the alphabet? Looking between the work he had already done and the board, he realized that all of his previous solutions were listed under a single letter. With a growing suspicion Mark listed the solutions he had already, and copied the letter which was above it on the board below it on his paper. When finished, it read:
Maybe college at Xavier wasn’t as scary as the movies made it seem…
By Olivia Campbell | Guest Writer