Central Connecticut State College, College Park, College Park- Maryland, Connecticut, Delta 88, Doctor Chichester, Dr. Mukerji, Jean Tierney, Maryland, New Britain- Connecticut, Tony Kneel, UMCP, University of Maryland College Park
Tony had had enough. At twenty-one he was still young enough to chafe at authority’s yoke, but his shoulders were calloused enough to know the importance of placing that yoke just so.
Central Connecticut had been a mistake. Central was a mistake resulting from the biggest blunder of Tony’s life; Central was a down on his knees, begging Jean please request to take him back. She’d hesitated, and who wouldn’t? Tony had flitted from Jean’s light to flicker around a more glamorous, less inhibited flame, only to realize that he’d traded his diamond for, if not cubic zirconia, at least a less perfect stone with far fewer facets.
A girl, as usual, was the impetus for Tony’s actions; his begging Jean to forgive him, take him back, give him another chance, move. Jean had been reluctant, an understandable, once burned twice shy response, but after prolonged wooing Tony had packed his few belongings in his red Delta 88, strapped his two bikes to the bike rack and headed north to New Britain, Connecticut.
Jean wouldn’t let him move back in with her, so he’d found a room near Central within riding distance of Jean’s four-bedroom, three roommate apartment in Farmington. Jean was the flower and he the bee who flitted around her; far from ideal but also not the proximate cause of his distress.
No, Tony’s distress emanated from him trading in UMCP for a, if not cubic zirconia, at least a less perfect stone with far fewer facets, Central Connecticut State College. Central sucked.
Okay, not all of Central sucked, but it really was a fourth or fifth rate school and Tony was used to a higher level of higher education. The problems with Central were noticeable and the most central of these was Dr. Mukerji.
Dr. Mukerji, she always emphasized the Doctor, was Tony’s inept, nearly incomprehensible Central Connecticut psychology instructor. It wasn’t Mukerji’s pronounced Mumbai accent, it was her insistence that the class use her poorly written textbook, her capricious authoritarianism, her biting sarcasm and obvious inferiority complex that she masked with a false face of bravado and intolerance. Tony was no psychologist, but this broad was nuts! And so was Tony for paying out of state tuition to get an inferior education.
Mukerji’s yoke was placed so horridly on Tony’s shoulders that he rebelled, not in a teenage way, but rather as an adult. Tony went to Central’s department head and asked to transfer from Mukerji’s class to another, a concession which Doctor Chichester reluctantly agreed.
“It’s pretty late in the semester to ask for a transfer,” Chichester sighed, “but you’re not the first to, let’s say, have a personality conflict with Dr. Mukerji? This is your transfer slip. Get her to sign it and we’ll move you to that other section.” Tony took the slip, thanked Chichester and waited for his next class.
Dr. Mukerji had office hours, but Tony didn’t want to visit her alone in her lair. Nope, if he was going down he was going down with witnesses. Besides, Tuesday’s class was less than twenty hours away; he could wait.
Tony was one of the first to arrive and the room filled slowly. There were only two dozen students in the class and they were all sitting and waiting when Mukerji entered at 10:07 for her ten o’clock class. Seeing Doctor Mukerji, Tony stood from his front row seat and approached his ineffectual instructor.
“Dr. Mukerji? I have a transfer slip I need you to sign, please?”
“What?” Mukerji exclaimed. “What do you mean you want a transfer?”
“Well, just that,” Tony replies, laying the form on the lectern, “I’d like to transfer to a different section.”
“It really doesn’t matter does it?” Tony asks calmly.
“Are you a spy for the administration?!” Mukerji demands loudly.
“Pardon me?” he asks of the overwrought woman.
“A spy! This school does that you know!”
“Uhm, no ma’am, I’m not and if you say so. Could you sign my form please?’
“And what if I won’t?” she demands, a smirk on her face.
“Well, I guess I’ll go back to Chichester, tell him you wouldn’t sign and let him know I have a whole class full of witnesses to attest to my request and your refusal,” Tony replies nodding, a huge, malicious grin engulfing his face.
Mukerji looks up at her classroom; there are nearly sixty eyes staring at her. “Fine!” she declares, snatching the form from the counter-top, signing it and flicking it back in Tony’s direction. “Take your form and go! But there really are spies for the administration in this school.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Tony says smiling and nodding. “You have a good day,” he adds picking up the transfer slip, grabbing his book bag and exiting.
“And good luck!” he calls over his shoulder to no one in particular.