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Olivia had not expected anyone to seriously read her proposal and so now her mind was racing as she tried to explain Bibliotherapy, the independent major she had designed for herself while zoned out on Ativan, to a committee of disheveled faculty, glum lower-level administrators, and super-uptight students in whom she had had no interest, previously. It occurred to her they might be sadists, the spineless kind. They appeared to be enjoying her discomfort, her squirming in her chair in the bright yellow, chapel basement at eight fricking o'clock in the morning, struggling to remember what she had written about the "intersections of" clinical psychology and English (or, for that matter, Spanish or Italian or French) literature. They said the connection seemed greatly at odds to them insofar as literature aimed to reveal universal truths while "psych," according to the male student, "shot for uncovering the truths relative of [sic] the individual." Just when Olivia was about to respond, the carillon inside the bell tower started playing a Thanksgiving hymn she vaguely remembered from childhood outings to church with her Syracuse-grandmother, Pilgrim's Prayer or something, and everyone's attention wandered to some long-ago place - giving her time to develop an attitude. While she could appreciate the logic of the question, it did not lessen her impatience with the A-C-C-A-S (All-College Committee on Academic Standing) for not extending the privilege of bullshitting to her.

Story by:

Deyonne Bryant

4 November 2012