Daydream: A Short Story

Daydream: A Short Story

It was only until he reached the basement floor and held his torch outwards that his secret was finally unveiled.

It was an ordinary day of class, and I – as students do – was sitting with my chin-up and eyes-forward, attentively observing my professor as he lectured. Of course, I don't mean to imply that I was attentively listening as well. No, that wouldn't be accurate at all.

Instead, it could be said that I was simply hearing my professor speak. The content of which, some Late-Victorian novel or some such, was of no consequence to me; rather, it was the curious style in which he spoke that held my captivation.

His language seemed an overwhelmingly obvious, but failed, attempt to mimic an academic vernacular. Meanwhile, his mannerisms served to enforce this farce as well. He stood with his back perpetually straightened, and as he spoke, his stiff arms appeared to move along a locked axis.

None of this behavior suited him. Indeed, how could it suit anyone? After all, who could be true to one's self and still act with such carefully constructed decorum?

Furthermore, he never once offered up a personal anecdote or gave an informal aside. There was a cold, inescapable, impersonality behind everything he said. His true self, or who he was outside of class, was entirely concealed to me.

Curious, I began to ask myself questions I had never asked about a professor before. What does he do in his free time? He was a scholar by day, but what was he by night? Who was the real man behind this mask that was so hastily scraped together?

When I brought these thoughts up to my classmates though, they laughed and branded me paranoid. Paranoid?! If only they could have seen him as I saw him! They would have noticed how he hides behind his blank expression.

They would have seen that his eyes, the window to the soul, revealed nothing in its frosted glass. Yes, it was clear to me that he was hiding something. But what was it?

My mind worked furiously to conjecture who I thought he was – nay, who he must be. Images were planted firmly of a lonely home, lit entirely by gas lamps and candles. It was Gothic in architecture, but it lacked much of the extravagance typically associated with the period.

I pictured my professor, alone and silent, hunched over a wooden table, pacing himself as he ate out of a can. It was an image of perfect pity, but in the isolation of his darkened home, he felt no shame. Here, there were no unwanted eyes upon him, no students who could witness his true, vulnerable form. No one except me.

I watched him finish his meal and then venture down a long winding staircase. His torch illuminated the way, but as he pressed downwards, all it seemed to reveal was more blackness. It was only until he reached the basement floor and held his torch outwards that his secret was finally unveiled.

There, in the dark underbelly of his home, were row upon row of white, faceless, mannequins. I couldn't believe my eyes! It was a classroom – a classroom of mannequins! The professor stood in front, straightened his back, and faked a smile. With a book in hand, he began to teach his lesson.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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11 Things Psychology Majors Hear That Drive Them Crazy

No pun intended.

We've all been there. You're talking to a new acquaintance, or a friend of your parents, or whoever. And then, you get the dreaded question.

"So what are you studying in school?"

Cue the instant regret of picking Psychology as your major, solely for the fact that you are 99.9% likely to receive one of the slightly comical, slightly cliche, slightly annoying phrases listed below. Don't worry though, I've included some responses for you to use next time this comes up in conversation. Because it will.

Quick side note, these are all real-life remarks that I've gotten when I told people I was a psych major.

Here we go.

1. So are you, like, analyzing me right now?

Well, I wasn't. But yeah. Now I am.

2. Ugh so jealous! You picked the easy major.

"Lol" is all I have to say to this one. I'm gonna go write my 15-page paper on cognitive impairment. You have fun with your five college algebra problems, though!

3. So can you tell me what you think is wrong with me? *Shares entire life story*

Don't get me wrong; I love listening and helping people get through hard times. But we can save the story about how one time that one friend said that one slightly rude comment to you for later.

4. Well, s**t, I have to be careful what I say around you.

Relax, pal. I couldn't diagnose and/or institutionalize you even if I wanted to.

5. OMG! I have the perfect first client for you! *Proceeds to vent about ex-boyfriend or girlfriend*

Possible good response: simply nod your head the entire time, while actually secretly thinking about the Ben and Jerry's carton you're going to go home and demolish after this conversation ends.

6. So you must kind of be like, secretly insane or something to be into Psychology.

Option one: try and hide that you're offended. Option two: just go with it, throw a full-blown tantrum, and scare off this individual, thereby ending this painful conversation.

7. Oh. So you want to be a shrink?

First off, please. Stop. Calling. Therapists. Shrinks. Second, that's not a psych major's one and only job option.

8. You know you have to go to grad school if you ever want a job in Psychology.

Not completely true, for the record. But I am fully aware that I may have to spend up to seven more years of my life in school. Thanks for the friendly reminder.

9. So you... want to work with like... psychopaths?

Let's get serious and completely not-sarcastic for a second. First off, I take personal offense to this one. Having a mental illness does not classify you as a psycho, or not normal, or not deserving of being treated just like anyone else on the planet. Please stop using a handful of umbrella terms to label millions of wonderful individuals. It's not cool and not appreciated.

10. So can you, like, read my mind?

It actually might be fun to say yes to this one. Try it out and see what happens. Get back to me.

11. You must be a really emotional person to want to work in Psychology.

Psychology is more than about feeling happy, or sad, or angry. Psychology is about understanding the most complex thing to ever happen to us: our brain. How it works the way it does, why it works the way it does, and how we can better understand and communicate with this incredibly mysterious, incredibly vast organ in our tiny little skull. That's what psychology is.

So keep your head up, psychology majors, and don't let anyone discourage you about choosing, what is in my opinion, the coolest career field out there. The world needs more people like us.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Short Stories On Odyssey: Roses

What's worth more than red roses?


Five years old and a bouquet of roses rested in her hands. The audience-- clapped away her performance, giving her a standing ovation. She's smiling then because everything made sense, her happiness as bright as the roses she held in her hands.

Fifteen now, and a pile of papers rested on her desk. The teachers all smiled when she walked down the aisle and gave them her presentation. She was content then but oh so stressed, but her parents happy she had an A as a grade, not red on her chest.

Eighteen now and a trail of tears followed her to the door. Partying, and doing some wild things, she just didn't know who she was. She's crying now, doesn't know anymore, slamming her fists into walls, pricking her fingers on roses' thorns.

Twenty-one and a bundle of bills were grasped in her hands. All the men-- clapped and roared as she sold her soul, to the pole, for a dance. She's frowning now because everything went wrong, but she has to stay strong, for rich green money, is worth more than red roses.

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