Practical Exercise

“Letter?” I asked, my brows wrinkling.  “Was there a letter?  I haven’t seen it.”

“Should have been in your morning mail,” he said.

“Student townhouses get evening mail,” I answered. 

“I get morning mail.”  He looked surprised.

“Justly earned rank deservedly enjoys its privileges,” I answered, quoting the aphorism.  “Is there a copy I could see?”

“It should be right here,” he said.  His desk was covered with stacks of paper neatly crissed and crossed.  He stopped.  “Wait.  You mean you walked into his class this afternoon, with no idea that anything was wrong?”

“Yes, sir,” I answered. “Professor Brennan handed back papers, finally reached mine, and started screaming.  Then he threw me out of his classroom, and threatened to summon lictors to beat me if I didn’t move fast enough.”  Jackson rolled his eyes.

“Here’s the letter,” he announced.  He waved a single sheet of paper.   “You’d better read it first.  Please note that I’m only the messenger.”

“Understood.” For the first time since fleeing Brennan I broke into a smile.  The letter, neatly printed by a voice-to-text spell, was three paragraphs of vitriol, and a final paragraph of school rules being invoked.  The school rulebook was ten volumes, that before you got to the precedents; I certainly had not read them. 

“He seems to be upset about something,” I observed.  “He never says what.  He claims that the Pass grade doesn’t affect my grade average, means that I satisfied the ethics requirement, and means that I don’t get charged for taking the course.”

“Correct,” Jackson answered.  “And I have the copy of the Recorder of Grades form, filed with the Records Office, confirming his claim.”

About George Phillies

science fiction author -- researcher in polymer dynamics -- collector of board wargames -- President, National Fantasy Fan Federation
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