WILLIAM stepped into the cool November air. Not even the excitement of learning where he would spend the spring semester of his senior year student teaching could dull his ill-tempered mood. The maestro conducting his executive function directed a mental orchestra to alight a cascade of tears in one moment, and a torrent of abuse the next. William inhaled deeply, hoping the crisp autumn air would settle his angrily churning thoughts. He hawked a mouthful of phlegm and spat violently as he crossed the gravel driveway in front of the three-family home where he rented an apartment on the top floor. He kicked at the stones. His toe struck one of the larger stones at a right angle, and sent it careening across the driveway as though skipping along the surface of a glassy lake. He gritted his teeth and held his breath as he watched the stone skip twice and take flight in the direction of his car. The stone missed the passenger-side window by a few inches and sailed over the roof. William exhaled with a deep sense of relief; a cracked window would be the cherry on top of an already miserable morning.
He unlocked the front door, dropped into the driver’s seat, and slapped a key into the ignition. The Volvo’s engine grumbled to life. The car’s electrical system chimed once, and the radio captured AM waves from the morning broadcast. A DJ’s tinny voice carried over the AM static, “Even with Florida still undecided, the results are official - Barack Obama and Joe Biden have been re-elected.”
William punched the radio in an effort to silence the report. “Ouch, fuck,” William whimpered, caressing a bruised knuckle. The broadcast continued by cutting to Obama’s re-election acceptance speech. “Stupid fucking Americans,” William hissed. He pus...
... middle of paper ...
...tiative,” the professor said.
“That’s a bunch of crap and we all know it. Obama used his Race to the Top grants to bribe the states into adopting the Common Core so that the federal government can direct education policy. This is another example of Obama’s tyranny.”
A pretty, blonde student in the front row turned and faced William. “Why don’t you just be quiet,” she said. “Nobody cares about your political nonsense. It might be helpful if you stop getting your news from Glenn Beck”
“It’s not nonsense,” William said. “The Common Core is a blatant attempt to limit state rights and expand the authority of the federal government.”
A boy sitting next to the blonde co-ed turned and faced William. “You heard the lady, right? So, shut up. No one gives a damn about your Tea Party nonsense.”
The boy and girl exchanged a tender glance, and turned back to face the professor.