Apostrophe – Abbreviation:
Trip leader, on a clandestine meeting:
her: “meet me @ 22 ww”
me: “Ok. what is ww”
’13: “working in one wheelock. LNC?”
Me: “sure. what is lnc?”
In the Rauner common room
Floormate: “guys I just flitzed my professor”
Me: “You mean blitz?”
Her: “I know what I said, I know the difference.”
Apostrophe – Possessive:
The season isn’t particularly relevant, but it happened to be freshman spring. I leave my water bottle in the lecture hall of my 12 o’clock class. I realize it during lunch, and I promptly return to retrieve it. I see there is another class in session, but decide that most professors wouldn’t mind if a student pops into a big lecture to grab a forgotten object and leaves discreetly. I wait for someone else to open the door, but as I walk into view the professor immediately stops talking. I walk up the stairs to the back, but she stops me before I get very far.
“Can we help you?” Her voice is impassable.
“I just forgot something in my previous class. I didn’t mean to interrupt.” I move further back in the room. I see it perched in the very back row. She sees where my eyes are focused. She reads my intention.
“A water bottle. You stopped my class because it was so urgent that you immediately have your water bottle.” The derision blows hot on my neck, but I am now within 20 feet and I can’t stop now.
“I’m sorry I didn’t realize it would be a distraction. I didn’t mean to interrupt.” I’m moving quickly now, knowing I have only moments. I triumphantly grab the forest green plastic and turn to the front. She has completely stepped out from behind the podium. The gawking faces of the lecture hall beneath me seem only to magnify the disgust in her gaze. She points with one finger.
“Get out of my classroom. Now.”
It’s the first week of sophomore summer and I am sleeping in my new room in my fraternity. I finally have it set up how I like, and I go to bed every night to the reassuring twinkle of President Hanlon’s upstairs window. Each morning the sun rises warmly into my room on waves of birdsong, strains of Peer Gynt Suite following not long behind. It’s Thursday. My first class isn’t until noon and I can sleep to my hearts content. Despite that, I wake in the dappled pre-dawn light. I feel a flurry of movement near the end of my bed. Looking up, I see a squirrel perched on my toe. I gaze into his eyes, black and calm, and for a moment we are both still. I don’t feel fear or confusion, it is just me and the squirrel. He is in my bed and I am in his bed – thoughtless, perfect understanding. Then I flinch and he bites my toe and he runs back out the window. I look out to check the ledge directly below, and his head pokes up over the sill right as I arrive. He lets go out of shock, and for a second I expect a splat on the ground. Before I can go back to bed, I see him scurrying across the porch. This is the first of several times Amos visits me during the summer.
Sophomore fall. I’m standing on the green at night by myself. The air is warm for November, warm enough that I am bare foot. The grass is damp and refreshing beneath my feet, and a wind stirs in my hair. With sudden clarity, I realize that I am dreaming. I grip the grass between my toes. I start to run. I approach the library, and I’m in mid air. The wind is howling past my ears now, and I propel myself higher into the air. At such high speeds, I sense the prevailing currents as they flap my shirt sleeves. The ground is a distant sight, and for a minute I know only the terrifying isolation of being miles in the sky, unsupported as I zoom through space. As the sun rises, the upper valley opens up underneath me, the Connecticut a blue slash through flaming mountains and twinkling villages. My fingers grip the air like reigns – each digit sensing the elaborate connections between myself and the world beneath. I’m no longer flying; I hover in the air as I rotate the earth beneath me. There is a growing tension. The art I am engaging in grows increasingly delicate, as if it all might collapse at any second. With a faint pop, the illusion dissipates, and I fall into a shallow stream in mid morning. The forest is around me, and I forget where I came from. I lie in the sun, dozing back into the wakefulness of my room in the River. I stay under the comforter for some time, happy to waste the morning contemplating wherever it is I had just come from.
I’m sitting at the top of the hop and my attention span has gone dry. Not just for the present moment – as I lay the book against my stomach and watch the sunset, I doubt I will spend another second studying for the rest of term. The sky spins like a marble, purple and orange and azure streaks drifting behind the silhouettes of budding trees. Campus burns slowly in the fading day. I have one final thought before I relax into the thoughtlessness of the moment. I’m happy.