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The Disorganized Award Goes to…

Bugg Davis

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I sat at my desk and stared at the stack of books spread across it. There were papers everywhere, crammed between books, torn and ripped, and even all over the floor. I was searching for a paper that was due the next day, panicking, because it was lost amongst the tempest of work.

 

*ring, ring*

The alarm on my phone shrilled, telling me to dress myself for the scholarship event. I tried to tell it to leave me alone, but every time I pressed that button to shut up, ten minutes later it yelled at me again. So reluctantly, I put on some clothes.

 

Kay picked me up, and we showed up at Jobe Hall five minutes prior to start time, that is, according to the paper; but Lord knows we weren’t going to start on time. And we didn’t.

 

We sat in the stadium style seats by factions—educational factions—looking down into the stage, lit by sun it almost seemed, and empty chairs sat across it. My eyes scanned the room, and I pinned two of my professors sitting on the other side.

 

“Kay, look, there they are!” I was excited, because, well they were the teachers in my list of top ten favorites of all time. Let’s be honest, every student has one of those. I’d be willing to bet all five of the pennies in my pocket that teachers have one of those for students too, even though they might not admit it.

 

Kay looked back at me and grinned. We possess similar lists. However, although admiring our list proved entertaining for a moment, after a long delay, the impatience in me rose. I shook my restless leg up and down, up and down.

 

“TBH, the snack table in the foyer is calling my name. I can’t sit here much longer.”

 

“Right behind you.” Kay laughed.

 

“I wonder what world crisis has caused them such a delay.” My sarcasm was unruly, but timely, as the words left my mouth, a caravan of prestigious looking people walked in a straight line and sat down in the chairs on the stage. One of those prestigious looking people was our [Lang and Lit] department chair. That dude was about to give me some money, so I was certainly happy to see him, but I still kept thinking about the snacks.

 

“You know there were brownies in there.”

 

“Brownies are my favorite.”

 

“Well you know what my favorite is? My favorite is for them to hurry this mess up.”

A man came up to the podium at center stage, and in a loud voice he announced: “We do not have a microphone for today’s ceremony, so I am just going to speak loudly. Can everyone in the back hear me? Raise your hand if you can’t hear me.” There was a polite giggle, even though that one is as old as dinosaurs.

 

“He missed the microphone part, but he sure has a snazzy tie on.” I complimented the man who was wearing his glasses at the tip of his nose, so much so that I thought if leaned forward at any degree of angle, they would fall to the floor and shatter. “I wonder if his glasses actually are useful to him when they are barely on his face.”

 

“They probably are there to add to his prestige.” Kay smirked in a whisper.

 

The man began to go through each department, calling out names as each Chair stood to hand scholarships to students. On multiple occasions, the man came to the end of his list, while students stood presuming to receive something. This laid out a rather awkward moment of conversation between the calling man and the Chairs, as the Chairs had to pick up the slack and finish the names off. There was one set of students, though, who went down to receive a scholarship, and neither the calling man nor the Chair had anything to offer them. So, they melted back behind the curtain awkwardly, with their tails tucked between their legs in embarrassment.

I shaped my voice to sound like a TV commentator and quietly said to Kay, “And the most-awkward-and-disorganized-ceremony-of-the-year award goes to Mississippi’s very own, Delta State University.”

 

She simultaneously laughed and rolled her eyes. I was pleased with that and nodded in agreement.

 

Eventually, they summoned the Lang and Lit Department to stand, and it seemed like half the stadium stood up. I felt pride rise in my chest, as the other departments turned to look at the outrageous number of outstanding students we have. I lifted my chin a little. Oh yeah, our department could beat up your department, suckers. It was a glorious moment as we marched down the steps to the stage front. I felt like a proud mom. I wondered if my favorite teachers on the other side of the room did, too. I also wondered if any of the other departments had any teachers that showed up to support them like ours. My pride told me ‘probably not.’

 

They called our names one by one, we received our scholarships. We took a photo and then we were done. The hard stuff was over, and snack time rolled around. My favorite time. The snacks were as prestigious as the tie that calling man had on. There were fancy rolls ups, spinach and artichoke dip, crackers and cheeses, fruit trays, and vegetable plates, and even the brownies looked fancier than normal brownies. I ate my share of it.

 

The two teachers that were on my list came and spoke to me. That made me happy, but I tried not to show them, because I did not want to be unprofessional.

“Congratulations on your scholarship.” One of them smiled.

Oh my gosh, Hi! Thank you so much for coming! Thank you so much! I saw you when I walked in but I was too nervous to say hello, and I am glad you are here! That means so much to me. Did you know you are one of my favorite teachers of all time! Do you want to hang out after this?…

“Thanks so much.” I actually said as I remembered that teachers and students typically aren’t BFF’s. She smiled, and then left.

 

Eventually I left too, and went back to my apartment. I walked through the door, only to find what I had forgotten. I had papers to write. A lot of papers to write. I looked down at my desk at the mess, and I changed my voice to sound like a TV commentator and said, “And the real most-disorganized-award of the year goes to…”

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