The Mysterious Case of the Weird Girl

Had my pop culture and philosophy class yesterday and ended up sitting next to the strange girl who, on the first day, came in wearing part of her hair pulled back and tied with a jaunty white bow. It reminded me of Mrs. Hinkel, the high school cheerleading coach who also taught health class. Every straight guy (and maybe some of the gay ones too) had a crush on Mrs. Hinkel b/c she was young and cute and wore bows on her ponytail (on game days only). But outside of school spirit or community theater, I can't imagine why an adult woman would voluntarily add a bow to her hair. The next week, she showed up in braids and Mark (a guy in my class) said she looked like Heidi. I loved him just a little bit for saying that. She's also one of those people whose mouth hangs open all the time. I mentioned that to Mary Beth's boyfriend, Ben, who always gives me a ride home after class and he said, "Isn't that what they used to call mentally challenged people? Mouth breathers?"
She rarely adds to the discussion and has yet to buy any of the books. Before class, she asked me if she could page through mine, saying, "I forgot my copy at home." The other thing she does is text message. She'll sit on her cell phone, and then, every ten minutes or so, she'll unsit on it and type a message, glancing up again and again to look at the teacher to see if he's noticing, her mouth still hanging open. I was getting irritated by it yesterday, writing furiously in my notebook--things like, "This isn't high school or undergrad. If you don't want to listen in class or contribute, don't sign up for it!" Then I realized that I wasn't listening in class either, so, okay, writing in my journal instead of contributing is just a different kind of text messaging.
Lastly, she spends most of the time glancing at the clock and doodling in her notebook; nothing interesting--hearts, for instance, which she then fills in with a different colored pen or, in one case, a yellow highlighter. Maybe I'm picking on her because I'm somewhat ambivalent about the class itself. There are about 12 people in the course and over half of them never speak at all. Nothing. Not a peep or outburst. There's another five of us who generally say a few things, and one guy who talks a lot. I like the teacher, but he asks questions that don't leave my room for discussion; mostly "yes" or "no" questions like, "Do you agree with the idea that film and philosophy should be mutually exclusive?" Yesterday, I had a slight twinge of ick when he said, "When I was an undergrad at Yale..." Maybe I would do the same if I had graduated from an Ivy League, but..................................

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