The moment Ms. Reed stood up and began switching on the projector to begin her lecture on Nigeria's three ethnic groups, it was clear that something about her made me feel uncomfortable and even hostile towards her. She did not smile, though her keen eyes seemed to notice everything around the classroom. As Ms. Reed got her materials ready for lecturing, she moved without hesitation, and the way she carried herself immediately set her off as an intern unwelcome in our classroom.
I looked around to glance at the faces of my classmates, but they were all expressionless as their eyes followed Ms. Reed. She moved as though every step she made was on a balance beam, and the grey skirt she wore swished while she moved. Even as she was bending down, her chin seemed to stick up pretentiously. After Ms. Reed's presentation finally appeared on the screen, she walked back--skirt still swishing--to the podium and began her lecture.
"You are not finished?" Ms. Reed repeated. "Let me know when you are finished then. Look up at me when you are done." The tone of her voice was so strong that it made me taste bitter and sour in my mouth at the same time. "While you are still writing, let me talk about the next slide. The Yoruba people have a mix of..." Nobody was able to retain a single word that Ms. Reed said because they were too busy scrambling down the last couple of words, and she noticed that. Clearly, this method was not working, and her Yoruba talk slowly faded to a stop after "...and they live in the Southern part of Nigera. I guess I'll just wait until you're done with this slide."