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    MrM
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction that combine worlds created by the original content owner with names, places, characters, events, and incidents that are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, organizations, companies, events or locales are entirely coincidental. Authors are responsible for properly crediting Original Content creator for their creative works.

The Seducer: A Gone From Daylight Inspired Story - 2. William Harker's Journal: Entry 2

Thursday, August 31, 1989

“No need to turn in your papers. As long as you have something with you, it should be enough to prompt you in your explanation to the class of what you remember of Rome should I call upon you.” Dr. ‘Fwee’ explained much to my horror! Lord knows how much I hate public speaking even to a small class! I heard some mumbles of confusion from some folks, but many seemed to take what he said in stride. Perhaps they’ve had this particular professor before and knew how he worked.

I was a bit jittery about today's class anyway coming in! I found out that my tape recording didn't come out! Nothing got recorded! It was like I hadn't even turned it on and, yet, I specifically remember setting it next to me and pressing the Play and Record buttons at the same time so that I could capture the lecture! Bummer in a half! Now . . . public speaking? Eeech! Maybe I won't like this class as much as I'd hoped I would!

But of course, guess who Dr. 'Fwee' decides to call first! You guessed it: me!

I prepared to stand in front of the class like I would have in Fourth Grade, but . . .

"Where are you going? Retain your seat, Mr. Harrrkerrr. We are not in the habit of formal public speaking in this class. We are colleagues all interested in the same subject: Rome. Such displays of public crucifixion are unnecessary here, only a friendly sharing of knowledge." Dr. V's voice was only slightly chiding, but filled with, again, that subtle humor I picked up on in the last class. I was embarrassed, however, and that made me actually have to sit back down in fits and starts. If I'd been on edge before, I was falling over the edge now! Then I dropped my notebook which spilled out my notes for my presentation which I then felt the need to get on the floor and pick up. I was now completely humiliated and I hadn't even spoken a word yet! To the classes' credit, none laughed or made a fuss about my complete stupidity.

"My apologies, Mr. Harrkerr. It was not my intention to disrupt your train of thought. I will circle back when you are better settled." Dr. V said this off-handedly as he turned his attention onto another student. That comment made me feel even more like a failure as well as a little. . . . jealous! I felt like I had the Professor's full attention, but then he so casually flicked me aside in favor of a more promising older student! My humiliation was complete and I was now mortified.

The cherry on this shit sundae of an evening came when I realized that Dr. V wasn't going to have time to 'circle back' to me since the other students had taken all the rest of the class time to make their statements. I was at once relieved, but also very disappointed and, frankly, hurt by being dismissed so casually and so early in the game! I suppose my little ego got bruised a bit, but I guess that, too, is part of the learning experience.

However, since I was the last one leaving the classroom, Dr. V called out to me from his armchair. He'd lit another one of his sweet smelling pipes and the effect of it made me more likely to want to stay than to leave, which had been my main objective. I had wanted to get out of that room as quickly as possible, actually. But the pipe and the strange . . . tenderness with which my Professor summoned me changed my mind.

"Please, come sit. I was most interested in hearing your knowledge of Rome. It was unfortunate that we missed that opportunity within our convocation this evening, but, if you are not pressed for time, I'd be happy to hear your presentation now!" Dr. V said with a soft tone that settled my nerves and propped my ego back up to something a bit higher than an earthworm's.

"Um, ok. This would be probably better anyway for me. I don't . . . like public speaking much." I found myself admitting to him freely. But, disconcertingly, Dr. V merely sat back staring at me through those weird glasses of his! I suddenly felt more in a searchlight there than I would have been in front of the whole class. I felt . . . exposed somehow!

"Why? Why do you so dislike speaking publicly? Why do you fear it?" Dr. V asked and, though I found the question somewhat off topic, I felt compelled to answer: "I don't know. I feel self-conscious, I guess. Like, maybe how I look, or how I sound, or whether what I'm saying sounds like I don't know what I'm talking about."

"Why do you care what these people think of you? You may never meet them outside of class at all and, I promise you, most are not paying attention regardless. They are more interested in what they are going to say over what you are saying. Such is the way of people. If you have but one member of your audience that cares enough to listen to what you say then you have won the day! As for not knowing what you are talking about, I assure you that if you care enough about the material you are speaking to then you are already lightyears ahead of others regarding the subject. You have actually taken time to do research and to codify that into a distilled statement of knowledge that you have a need to share. If you are wrong about some points upon review, then it only gives you an opportunity to attain more knowledge. That is what learning is and all discourse of any value is about learning, especially while you are teaching! Life truly becomes . . . unbearably boring . . . when you have so little left to learn!" Dr. V said the last part with a strange note of sadness.

What he said tonight has really helped me change some perspectives on things. Basically, he was reminding me to be mindful of the information I was trying to convey and the audience that might desire that information. What I look or sound like is not important! What is important is the actual information and the one's that might be interested in having it.

Strangely, we talked on many things, none of which had anything to do with Rome! Dr. V's perspective on so many things are so fresh to me! I could listen to him all day! What is more, he was impressed by my knowledge of Eastern Europe and particularly Romania! He invited me to tea next week and promised that I'd probably learn more about the subject matter of his class in our little chats than in the formal class setting. I'd be assured of acing his finals, etc.

Even without all that, I'd still enjoy spending time in conversation with Dr. V. There is something about him that is just so incredibly interesting! I feel like I'd never get bored in his company! Does that sound weird or, worse, gay? I hope not! I’d rather not convey those kinds of signals . . . again. I learned my lesson in High School . . . fags need not apply in this life! Not if you want to make anything out it. It might be almost the ‘90s, but I doubt that will change. Plus, my folks would be sure to disown me if they ever caught on to . . . things.

Why am I suddenly curious about what Dr. V might think on that idea, being gay that is? I’m sure, being such a fine, upstanding, and respected a professor as he is, he’d be disgusted by the very thought of it! Best not to bring the subject up. Some things are just best, um . . . left unsaid.

Copyright © 2020 MrM; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction that combine worlds created by the original content owner with names, places, characters, events, and incidents that are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, organizations, companies, events or locales are entirely coincidental. Authors are responsible for properly crediting Original Content creator for their creative works.
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Interesting chapter, he and the professor are certainly in a meeting of the minds , great that he went from embarrassed to enjoying the chat

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