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Mar 2015
Standing before the room,
the distance between you and each individual reduced
to an almost claustrophobic space.
Self conscious, you began to pace yourself,
slowed down your breathing and straightened your shirt every so often.
You've practiced your speech countless times
it's practically embedded in your crowded mind.
Crowded with assignments, dates, numbers, faces, moments.


Subtle shifts in their seats, gentle tapping feet, suppressed coughs, cleared throats.
Your ears seem to be most sensitive to each miniscule sound today.


There goes the first of many.
When all else fails, you resort to bad habits.

Don't feel bad.
12 years of lenient teachers built you this way.
Teachers who expected the most but weren't as expecting as you'd expect.
Teachers who prior to the start of your presentation had already dotted your scoring sheets with "A"'s.
Teachers who figured it's best to let you pass.
For your sake, sure, but mostly for theirs.

Don't fidget with your clothes.
Stop bouncing around so much.
Stand still.
Don't fling your arms around
Stop playing with your hands.
Stop whipping your hair.
Stop using your hands to play with your hair.
Don't laugh.
You're nervous.

Get to the point.
Raquel Martinez
Written by
Raquel Martinez
   Arlo Disarray
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