They gathered like sheep outside of professor Liang’s office.  Class was going overtime so she had all the students meet at her office so the next class could proceed.  After putting her things down she stepped in front of the door and announced:

“You will be working in pairs for the remainder of the quarter.  This way you can learn and struggle through the assignments together.  See me once you have found your pair so I can write your names down.”

The group of freshmen and sophomores began to converse with each other.  Some had friends in the class already.  Some were able to find an acquaintance.  Some were retaking the class, so they just needed someone that was competent.

And then there was Harry.  Who didn’t really know anyone in his major yet.  Shy and reserved, he waited towards the end where there were only a handful of students left in a similar situation to his.  This way, he could dodge the small talk and just have the professor do the pairing.  Professor Liang was looking to make the best of this situation; she tried to pair everyone as one novice and one with a little, if any, experience in Chemistry.

Looking to expedite the process a little, Harry turned to the guy on his left and asked:

“Hey, want to be partners?”

He was a tall and lanky individual.  Upon hearing the request he gave Harry a quick glance from head to toe and sized him up.  His face made a little wince as he scratched the back of his head and said:

“I’m looking for someone with more experience..”

Professor Liang proceeded to pair that student up with a different student.  When all was said and done, Harry ended up being paired with a Geology major; someone with zero Chemistry experience but found it interesting enough to fulfill their tech elective with this class.  Annoyed with his partner all quarter, Harry eventually aced that Chemistry class.  It was through guiding and tutoring that Geology major through all the projects and assignments that Harry was able to solidify the concepts in his own head.  A blessing in disguise.

As for that other student that turned him down, Harry wouldn’t see him again until his final Chemistry class of his college career.  But they weren’t in the same class together.  No, Harry saw him packing his things in the class before his.  Seeing the professor and the material on the whiteboard, Harry knew instantly that it was Chemistry 202.  Harry deduced that he must have failed every other class to still be at this point in the Chemistry curriculum.  As he left the door and as Harry walked in, their eyes met each other.  No words were exchanged, but Harry couldn’t help but chuckle to himself as he sat down at a desk:

“Big mistake not teaming up with me..”


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