The rain was pouring outside the window. Outside was full of nature, and this classroom was full of mankind. No one told me how hard college spanish would be. My parents could not afford this college, but my grades got me in on a scholarship. However, in order to keep the scholarship, I had to keep a high GPA. It was only my first week, and I am already barely passing with a 67.3%. I would raise my hand in class to ask a question, and he, my professor, would tell me to “hush,” and then continue speaking spanish sentences. College classes are difficult, but when you are a timid girl like me, they are even more of a struggle. It is like ripping off a band-aid every time I have to speak or raise my hand in class.
My professor is a cold man. His eyes always follow me throughout the room. They are a deep brown, the kind that pierced right through his thick glasses. He was a tall man. He used his height to tower over and make me feel small.
Day after day, I would get my papers back. I would see a “D”, sometimes a “F”. I have been giving my full effort, and it isn’t enough. I wanted to ask him what I was doing wrong and get help, but it is so hard to come out of my shell and speak. One day he handed back a pre-exam with a big “F” written on it in red marker. That red marker felt more like a hot-fiery brand than a simple blob of ink. I was so mad and decided right then and there that I need to step out of my comfort zone and talk to the professor. I flipped the page and saw a note he had made.
If you want to pass my class, you will need to come in when I am not having a class and we can discuss what you are doing wrong.
Finally! I will have answers. I went to the front of the room and asked him with a shaky voice, “when should come into talk about my grades?” Beads of sweat were forming on my neck and hairline. He stared at me so deep that I thought his pupils would leave a scar in the back of my head. Simply and forcefully he replied “hush.”
The next day I walked from my warm, cozy dorm back to the language building. The walk seemed to take forever. The rain was coming down like salt from a salt shaker. I felt like every piece of me was covered in water by the time I got to building. I walked in the front door and down the hall to the spanish classroom. Today was the day that I would finally get some answers. This scholarship meant so much to me and my family, and I couldn’t bear to let them down.
I turned the cold metal doorknob and pushed the door open. As walked in, a wall of icy air ran over my skin, giving me defined goosebumps. He was standing there waiting for me. Relieved that I could finally get some help, I set my books down on the table.
I half-smiled and said quietly, “Thank you so much for helping me, I really need this for my sch…..” I stopped due to the sound of his shoes walking around the room to the door. He didn’t seem like he even heard what I had just said. I stood by the desk, confused. He shut the door, and turned the key to lock it. He turned around and said “hush.”
He is a tall man, and when he was standing next to me, his height seems even more threatening. His forceful hands were holding me down against his desk. The weight of him and what he was doing was enough to stop me from breathing. I tried to lift my head and get away, but he just slammed my head against the desk. All I could see was blood and that red marker that reminded me of the “F” that had once pierced my heart. When he was done, he told me that my grades are looking better already.
I stumbled out of the room with my shirt wrinkled and my scarf hanging off my left shoulder. He knew I wouldn’t tell because I could barely work up the courage to talk to him about my grades. I am voiceless and shamed. Hush. There is nothing but dark silence in this class where language is suppose to be the lesson.