Egyptians. Assyrians. Greeks. Ancient civilizations taught by an ancient professor.
I wondered what she looked like in earlier years. If her glass lenses were thinner and more chic, if her hair was longer and curled about the face as opposed to on top of it.
Her print skirts, always matched with a pastel Oxford, would have been pleated in earlier years, shorter, flirty.
As we studied, she studied us. No doubt she saw the boy next to me feverishly texting. She saw the girl falling asleep on her fists, saliva dripping out of her parted lips. She saw the smug face of the student that already knew everything.
Then she saw me, forming a picture of words in my head. Me, studying her actions and trying to make sense of what kind of person she was. I wondered if she sensed my scrutiny. Then I wondered if she was once a young woman, like me.
I wondered if she had hopes and dreams as I do, bottled up inside. Were they ever realized? Was she living in the wake of an incredible life, or the lull of a boring one? Beneath the prim exterior surrounded by books with yellowing pages, did her heart beat with the same lively passion mine did?
I couldn’t pass judgment on the woman, nor could I entirely compare us. She was her own person, as was I. Our lives were of an entirely different beat and measure, an entirely different symphony of experiences. Yet, we both were in this class; learning from each other, happily content in the pursuit of knowledge.
I took comfort in that, and then class was dismissed.