Posted in Short Story Sunday, Writing

Short Story Sunday #53

KNOW-IT-ALL

            He just wouldn’t shut up. Everyone in the class was getting super annoyed with him. The professor was even getting frustrated with him as well. No matter what anyone said or did, this kid had something to say. He always had to have the last word.

He was older than myself and the rest of the kids in my class. I wasn’t sure how old he was, but he had to at least be in his 40s or 50s. I didn’t understand why he was back in school; or still in school. Of course, he was coming back to school to learn something new or to prepare for a new career, than more power to him. However, in order to learn in class you need to keep your mouth shut and listen to what the professor was saying.

Every time the professor began a lecture, he would raise his hand and interrupt without waiting for her to call on him. It always related to what we were learning in class, but he always had something to say. Whether it was a statement or a question, he had to let everyone know that he knew exactly what was going on and that he was… well, smarter than everyone else.

I wasn’t sure if he was trying to be a know-it-all or if that was just his personality. However, he was giving the professor and the rest of my classmates the wrong impression. Every time his hand rose into the air, everyone rolled their eyes. Every time he opened his mouth and began to speak, people groaned.

Most of the time he was asking questions as though he was trying to challenge the professor. It was almost as if he didn’t believe anything she was saying to us about the subject matter and he was trying to prove her wrong. I wasn’t sure if he knew what he was talking about or not, but he certainly acted as though he knew everything. The professor felt the same way, I think.

Whenever this man raised his hand and began to speak, she would glare at him. Professors are supposed to want their students to be engaged in a discussion about the subject matter and ask questions. However, that was just not the case for this guy. She knew that he was trying to be a know-it-all. She knew that he was trying to challenge her and question her knowledge about the subject matter.

I wasn’t sure if he was just trying to learn more about the subject matter and the only way he felt he could do that was to be difficult and challenge the professor or if he was just trying to be mean and rude. I wondered if he felt as though the professor didn’t know what she was talking about so he just kind of tried to take over the class.

The problem was, if he did say anything useful to myself and the other students, we would never know. Once we hear his voice, we just end up tuning him out until we hear the professor get back on track about what we were talking about before.

Some of the questions he ask are probably useful information that we need to know or we’ll need to know eventually. He might bring up some pretty good points that the professor needs to explain further and none of us know what those points are because we don’t pay any attention to when he speaks. He might even end up teaching the professor something and none of us would ever know.

The class is an hour long, so it’s tough because I end up having to listen to my classmate for about 45 minutes of the time while I only get to listen to my professor for about 15 minutes of the time. Since he talks so much and the professor speaks to little because of him, you wouldn’t think that we would be learning much in class. You would think that the entire class time is wasted by listening to the old man ramble on about everything that the professor was supposed to be teaching us. Sometimes I wondered if the professor and my classmate should switch spots for a day… he would teach and she would be one of the students. I wondered if that ever happened, how much would we learn? If we paid any attention to his monotone voice, that is. How much would the professor learn? Would we learn more from him or more from the professor herself? I wondered just how much this guy really knew. According to him, he seemed to know a lot.

I went home from class that night and began to study for the final exam that was going to happen in two days. It was a lot of material to study and I hoped that the professor was able to talk to us enough without being interrupted that she was actually able to teach us something. I flipped through all my notes from her lectures and from my textbook. I re-read the chapters in the textbook. There were many things from my notes and from my textbook that I couldn’t remember actually going over in class. I grunted to myself because I figured that was probably because I had to keep tuning out my classmate because he was probably busy distracting the professor from explaining more as he wasted all our time.

It was a lot of study and it was a tough exam, but I managed to get through it. In two days, I went into class and took the final feeling a little confident, but also feeling a little nervous that I didn’t know enough. The test was easy enough as it was only 100 multiple choice questions. Multiple choice is easy because you can easily narrow down your answer and also see the correct one; even if you don’t know what it is. Something, though, by seeing the right answer it comes back to you.

I passed, but barely. The rest of the class barely passed as well. Mr. Know-It-All had a perfect score.

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Author:

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Rachel Poli is a writer and blogger. She has an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a bachelor’s degree in English Studies. She enjoys writing young adult novels, middle-grade, and children’s picture books. She is currently working on her first novel.

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