Prof. Jessica Penner | D304 | Spring 2022

Allen Shen, Short Story 2.

Dave pressed the power button on his laptop, and strained his darkness-adjusted eyes when the laptop screen booted up. Both he and Cindy, who was sleeping on the sofa on the other side of the room, just came back from an 8-hour flight from London, and they were exhausted. Dave, however, could not rest as he had one last assignment to finish for tomorrow, an assignment from his Argumentative and Persuasive Writing class. 

Dave hurriedly signed in to his email to look for the email the professor sent him. Due to his grandpa’s sudden stroke towards the end of his vacation, Dave was forced to delay his return to Los Angeles, making him skip his first week of classes. Fortunately, his teachers were very accommodating, and most sent their first assignments and even lecture notes. While Dave had completed most of them on the airplane ride, he had yet to start the one from his English 114 Argumentative and Persuasive Writing class, and he was groaning at having to complete it while so fatigued. 

His despair was quickly eliminated when he read the assignment worksheet the professor linked him. On the top of the page, it read:

The Introduction: the hook and thesis

He quickly skimmed the rest of the worksheet, and by the end of it, burst out laughing, his sharp laughter filling the otherwise quiet room. Cindy, who grumpily woke up, turned to face Dave while still lying down, and threw her pillow at him. 

“Hey, quiet down, I’m trying to sleep” 

“Sorry-” Dave was still giggling, struggling to control his laughter, “Hey Cindy, come take a look at this”

Cindy groaned, but drearily pushed down the blanket and rubbed her eyes as she walked towards him. As she bent over to peer into the computer, eyes squinting to adjust to the laptop screen, her face quickly contorted to one of bemusement and disbelief. 

“What the hell is this? Is this your English one fourteen assignment?”

“It is”

“What are the main components of an introduction??? Didn’t we learn this in Middle School? Why are you learning it in a College class?”

“Beats me.” Dave said as he shrugged. 

“Wait, you are NOT wasting your time with this. The late deadline for class signup hasn’t passed yet. Drop this class and take something else”

“I would, but this is a required class”

“Really? For a physics major?”

“I could show you my degree requirements if you want” 

“No, it’s fine.” Cindy stood back up, tying her messy bed hair into a loose ponytail. “Doesn’t this kinda suck for you? I thought you hated wasting your time, and now you’re going to have to sit in for lectures that don’t teach you anything”

“O yeah, this blows. Sitting in this class for 2 hours every week just to relearn stuff we learned at middle school couldn’t get any more boring. Hopefully the professor will allow me to use my laptop, I can just browse the news or something.”

“Good luck with that.” Cindy walked to the sink to grab a glass of water. “I’m going back to sleep after drinking this. Enjoy the easiest homework of your life.”

“Good night.” Dave quickly filled in the worksheet, and submitted it before Cindy arrived back at her sofa.  

1 Comment

  1. Aninda Das

    i really like the way the poem was written

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