“This homework has an unacceptably high cussing: work done ratio.”
Going to college was an eye-opening experience. Katie had seen the world, but little was more fascinating than white kids trying to be individuals when their own sphere of experience was very sadly limited.
The fact that she had become a kind of instant guru in her dorm because of her experiences was one shocker. The fact that someone had mistaken ‘in college’ for 'of age’ was a surprise to that someone - and so was the knowledge that Katie had picked up some very interesting self-defense skills.
And she’d shattered a few Granola Girls’ dreams about being one with nature with a few home truths about getting back to it.
But that had almost settled, now.
Janice watched Katie as she carefully wrote two versions of her assignment. One for Hackmeyer, which justified his erroneous grasp of physics, and one for herself, which shredded his theories into a fine dust.
"Oh aye,” said Katie. “This one’s got a high swearin’ tae accomplishment ratio.”
“I thought Hackmeyer was this brilliant physics wonderkind…”
“He was, once upon a time. The understanding of the universe has changed since his theories were world-changin’…. And in order tae fookain pass, I have tae back 'em up wi’ his own bullshit.”
“And that’s why the swear jar is getting full,” noted Janice.
“Aye. Me only problem’s gonna be not handing in my version.”
Janice watched Katie’s hand jink between notebooks. “Do you keep your versions?”
“Aye, of course I do.”
“Maybe… you should send them to someone.”
“And who’d listen to a fifteen-year-old girl?” she shrugged. Her mind may be sharp enough to get her into college young, but after that, people judged the age and the breasts first.
Janice shook her head. “Jesus. I keep forgetting you’re a kid. And Hackmeyer gropes you?”
“Accidentally-on-purpose, aye. Nobody’s doing anything 'cause of tenure.”
“Fuck,” Janice got up and put a quarter into the jar. “I’m glad I’m just doing medicine. You physicists have it rough.”
“Try bein’ a guy nurse sometime.”
“I said I stopped giving him trouble,” Janice twiddled with her hair. “I guess it’s the same everywhere. Go where you’re not expected and you catch trouble from the people who don’t expect you to stay.”
“Then it’s up to us to wake others up on occasion, aye?” Katie put her pen down and stretched. In the process of getting up, she stuffed a ten dollar note into the jar. “Fer me sins.” She toured the common room, smacking her butt to bring life back into it. “The more people as wake up and stop bein’ nasty… the better off we’ll get.”
Janice was staring out the window. “If anything happens? Like, if Hackmeyer happens to you or something? I’m gonna take your 'beta versions’ and try to publish them. The world needs to know.”
“The world probably won’t care,” sighed Katie.
“I’m still doing it,” said Janice.