Classroom

At 1:30PM, fifteen students and one teacher gathered around a table. It was on the top floor of a building that was normally inhabited by much younger children who knew it as their nursery school, but at 1:30PM all the children had gone home, as had their teachers.
The group of students in the white-washed, fluorescent-lit, mildly air-conditioned room were definitely not children, although their parents might have had a different perspective on that. They were all young adults, college-aged, facing the world on their own to some extent.
No two of them looked alike. Each had his or her own unique style of dress, whether it was blue hair, a classic polo shirt, or a t-shirt bearing an illustration of the Peanuts cast of characters on it.
The one thing they all had in common was their fear. It was palpable; they themselves could almost taste it in the air of the stuffy room, the sickly smell of fear with some odd sweetness in it that might have been just the hint of excitement. They knew that in the coming months they’d be baring some part of their soul to these strangers.
Two hours isn’t a lot, but sometimes it’s enough. At 3:25PM, the fear smell was a little less dominant. Laughter had relaxed the students, as had the teacher’s laid-back manner, the way he literally leaned far back in his chair and lounged like a teenager. There was comfort in his ease, and it spread to the others by osmosis.
At 1:30PM a group of fearful strangers entered the room. At 3:30PM, a group of curious, uplifted, excited acquaintances left it.

Directly from My Pocket

The following is a copy of the notes I took during my shift today, with comments that I’ve added in now:

Overheard on June 15:
-“I force myself to finish books.” 😦 [Comment: This made me incredibly sad when I heard it. The woman who said it then complained to her friend that it felt as if she used to read four or five books a week. I wondered if this was true, or if this was just something she was saying because she thought that reading books was something that she should be able to do more easily. Other people who I helped later in the evening were unabashed about their inability to concentrate on fiction books, and while I felt very sad for them, because books are my entirely healthy addiction, I also appreciated their honesty.]

Seen on June 15:
-Blue-eyed, round cheeked boy, finding more and more books, shyly admitting “I like books…” [This made me happy, because I could tell that the boy would grow up to be an absolute stunner, and it made me joyful to see someone who I can see becoming a lady’s man enjoying books so much at a young age.]
-Some people walk around smiling all the time. [I don’t know why this is. It just seems that some people smile continuously, or whenever they’re out in public. It’s unclear to me if they’re smiling at someone, something, the world in general, or to themselves. Whatever the reason, they sometimes make me uncomfortable, but other times they make me think that I should smile more often.]