The sun is in his eyes again. Squinting down the street as the wind paws at his collar. Shivering, the man adjusts his scarf quickly; being sure to get his hands into his pockets quickly after to warm. Winter was one continuous blur of freezing, thawing, and freezing again he thought to himself.
Eyeing the twinkling diamonds of snow nearby, his appreciation of beauty was interrupted once more by the glare of the sun. Bristling, he turned his thoughts towards the feedback he had be given. The score on his paper wasn't low, but it wasn't high either. Not used to this, he had walked into the teachers office and demanded to know why.
Perhaps it had been the tone of voice, but the teacher wasn't having it. He briefly wondered if it was okay for a person of their position to berate him verbally that way. The click of his boots meeting the concrete steps of the library jerked him out of his reverie. Shuffling inside he stomped his boots and found a table, unloaded the paper and the books it was based on, and sat down.
Thinking back at the yelling and how he had yelled back, it didn't feel very constructive. He looked again at the red inked review across his own words. Sighing, he read each item again, mulling it over in his mind. His own pencil highlighting and rearranging his text as he attempted to incorporate the changes.
Swallowing his pride, he attempted to remember what the teacher had said instead of how loud it had been. How often had he sat in the back of class thinking about how little his voice was heard in class. Now was not the time to ignore someone else's voice. It felt shameful to him, admitting the teacher might have been right. The hair on the back of his neck bristled at this. Why? Why couldn't he just say he was wrong?
For the next hour he mangled his words, added in supporting statements, deleted them, wrote up angry messages aimed at the teacher, creeped passive agressive jabs in, and just as quickly erased them. Setting his head down on his desk, eyes closed, he tried to let go of the feelings.
After a minute he smiled. Taking a new stance. He pretended that the paper wasn't his at all, and that he was a reviewer, here to objectively critique it with the best intention in mind: to educate. Spirit's rising, he took out a few colored pens and began making notes. Ad hominem here, unsupported statement here, unneccesary fluff. He whittled and chopped away at this anonymous writer's work until the raw truth remained.
The rewrite took little time after that. Soon enough he was on his way back across the campus, back into the slightly musty and yellow tinged hallways of the department, and standing in front of the door of his teacher. A deep breath. He swallowed again, pushing down his pride, his angry feelings, his hurt over what had been said before, and pushed open the door.