College Days, a short story by Anika Joseph at
Christian Lambert

College Days

College Days

written by: Anika Joseph


I’m going to the Uni which President Michelle Obama went to, I declared on Flash. Class of 2030, here I come! On our way to the US Consulate to have my biometrics reverified and sent to Princeton, our car was stopped at least five times by the police. We flashed the consulate’s e-invitation and our ‘no-flu’ stamps each time. The journey made me recall a simpler time before Cyphevirus made its appearance.

I used up all my pocket money to buy ClassCover. I was delighted with my profile. Except for my eyes, which were scanned every once in a while, all my other features had been mildly altered for the better. I enjoyed Princeton, despite the food shortages in Mumbai. I won a prize for debate and came second in an art competition. I wasn’t good at sports and never bothered to participate. It was too much trouble to get a permit to go outdoors, have my performance recorded by a monitrone (which was expensive), and have it compared against others.

My elder brother gifted me Recess for my birthday. I was delighted, though if caught, I would be rusticated immediately. I was a diligent student and used Recess sparingly, except for Professor Max’s Medieval European History classes. One day, as Professor Max droned on, I activated Recess and curled up on the couch with my headphones on, as my Recess image filled my online spot. A few minutes later, Recess beeped a warning. I ran back to my laptop even as my Recess profile said something muffled and unintelligible. ‘I can’t hear you well Anika’, Professor Max was saying. I quickly read the question that Recess had printed for me as well as the suggested answer. Professor Max was satisfied with my response and I went back to my couch. Twenty minutes later, there was a knock on the door. Leaving Recess on, I opened the door. A flock of monitrones hovered in front of me. ‘Flat search!’

As I stood outside, the machines flew through the flat to see if anyone afflicted with Cyphevirus was hiding inside. Suddenly I heard Recess beep and my heart stopped. If I tried to go inside, the monitrones would spray me with Parylaxynne, which would temporarily paralyse me, and call in the police. Five minutes later, I rushed back to my laptop. Recess’s squeak had become really loud. Was I in trouble? A surprise test was being administered and thankfully, Professor Max hadn’t missed me. I was so relieved. With Recess’s help, I even managed to answer all the questions correctly. However, I totally stopped using Recess after that incident.

During the term break, I received an email from Princeton. ‘We are sorry to say that Professor Max has resigned’. Professor Max was caught using TeacherAmi, the rumour mills claimed. The sheer gumption! Deploying TeacherAmi to administer a surprise test for his students, whilst he took a break.

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