“Next presentation… can I have a volunteer?” One hand went up. “Oh, okay, great! And your name?”
“It’s Maddy.” She said.
“Alright,” said the instructor, big sincere smile on his bearded face. “Oop, here – let me just note that you prefer that, on the role…” he tapped his way through the spreadsheet, while the girl with her red hair in a frizz pulled herself out of her chair.
“Oh, I’ll be under Madeline, but I prefer Maddy–”
“Call her Ma-De-Line,” sing-songed a student near Maddy, sniggering to his friend next to him, running his hand to his forehead, against the ‘front’ of his designed-to-be-backwards cap. Clearly, they both had watched the cartoon Madeline. Genius!
“She said Maddy,” grumbled a voice from across the room.
The two boys looked over at who said it. Some mature age student. Long brown hair, glasses, always had an opinion. Just some jackass who didn’t get the joke, right? One of the boys raised his hand, swinging it over his head, giving a whoosh. “You didn’t get the joke, man.”
The older student seemed to consider this for a moment, looking straight into the faces of the clearly well-intentioned young men who were just having a bit of fun. That’s all that would come of it, right? There was a faint moment of awkwardness… and suddenly, the guy burst out laughing. Loud, exaggerated, bellowing laughter, slamming his hand on the desk, and his other hand on his chest, as if to try and restrain the escaping gales of laughter.
“Oh! I get it! I get it, it’s funny, it’s funny, right, because you just ignored what she just asked you to call her! Oh, wow! That – that is some amazing comedy shit, right there. I – oh, holy shit. Did- did all of you get that joke?” he asked, looking around to the class, and his expression showed he didn’t give a damn about how awkward it was. “You guys got that? It’s funny because he was ignoring her? When she told you what she preferred! Holy shit.” The room swelled with awkwardness as the whole class erupted in laughter.
And then, snap, his expression was back to its foul thundering, he glared at the two boys, and swung around to look at the front of the class, where the instructor was trying very, very hard to not laugh.
Maddy went on with her presentation.