There’s a woman in my M-W-F class who sits to my left. The professor has implemented assigned seating and stringently takes attendance before he begins the lecture, so it’s the same woman beside me every time. She’s sort of prim and proper in that “I-feel-older-than-everyone-else-in-here” kind of way (early 30’s, married). She always dresses up and she has curly, frizzy hair.

Anyway. The last time I saw her she was telling me that before this semester, she always went to school part time, at night, so that she could continue to work. But this semester, because of the state budget cuts, there aren’t as many night classes offered.

Frizzy: So I decided to come and take all my classes during the day. I’d been thinking about it anyway, but when I told my husband, it pretty much had to be ‘This is what I’m doing.’
Me: That’s great. At least you’ll get your degree faster.
Frizzy: Definitely. The only thing I’ve noticed is that since I’m no longer working, I actually seem to have LESS time than I did before.
Me: Oh, you’re not working at all anymore?
Frizzy: Oh, no. That’s what I had to tell my husband. It would be way too much to work and take four full-time classes too.
Me: (Half-smile, nod.) Um-hmmm…
Frizzy: What about you? Are you full-time here?
Me: Yes. And I work 30+ hours a week.
Frizzy: Oh.

Then silence. No doubt thinking about the not-quite satisfactory grade she got on our first exam. The difference must have been ALL that extra free time I have to study, in-between running from work to class and back again. I’m not complaining, but what I really wanted to say was “Woman! Don’t whine to me about not having any free time! What are you thinking??”

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