Second day, which meant more classes to find. Anna looked at her schedule. Next up on the list: "English- Oaken- 12:45".
After Hans's advice from the previous day, she had a much easier time locating all her classes so far. Anna walked through the small green door into her English class.
More like a lecture hall! Anna was taken aback by how enormous the room was. All her classes so far had been in regular-sized classrooms with tables and/or desks with chairs and everything. But this was more like an auditorium! Stairs led up to more seats in the back. The further back you wanted to go, the higher up you went. Like a movie theater.
At the front, an enormous white board covered the entire wall. Students were slowly trickling in and finding seats up and down the stairs, simultaneously mingling with one another.
As Anna took in the sights around her, she suddenly heard a voice behind her. "Anna! You're in this class too!?"
Anna turned and found Olaf standing behind her, grinning. "Olaf!" she replied, smiling at the sight of him, "Yeah, Oaken, English."
"Oh! As if this day could not get any better!" Olaf declared doing a little happy dance, "Come on! Let's go find a seat!"
He grabbed her arm and began pulling her towards the stairs. Anna gave a small giggle at his enthusiasm. "Alright, I'm coming!" she said happily.
They found a seat in the middle with a good view of the front. As they sat down, Olaf leaned over to her, "So I never asked, what semester is this for you?"
"My first," Anna replied, "I'm a freshman."
"Really? Awesome!" Olaf exclaimed, "I'm a sophomore myself."
Anna glanced around the room again. "So is this supposed to be like a combination of all years English class or something?" she wondered.
"Ha! No, but I'm pretty sure there's only one or two freshman English classes offered per year, so if you aren't lucky enough to get a spot your first year, you have to keep trying for years to come," Olaf replied. He reached into his bag and pulled out a slip of paper, his schedule, and showed it to her. "See? I have two English classes this year."
"Huh. Isn't that sort of... inconvenient?" Anna asked.
"Yep," Olaf replied brightly, "But the more years you miss, the higher chance you have of getting into the class."
Anna furrowed her brow. "So it basically is a combo class... just teaching freshman material."
"Mm-hmm," Olaf replied, "But don't worry. Most people manage to get in by sophomore year. Only those super lazies who don't even try are here their junior or senior year... or even beyond." He widened his eyes and raised his eyebrows, looking at Anna dramatically.
Anna smirked. "Well I'm glad we both made it into the non-lazy category then."
"You're darn right!" Olaf said, grinning. He held up his hand for a high-five. "To the non-lazies!"
"Non-lazies!" Anna agreed, high-fiving him.
Just then the class fell silent. It was like a spell was cast over the entire room. Anna and Olaf looked around, confused. What was going on? Their eyes fell to the front of the room, where a large man stood in front of the white board. Large doesn't even begin to describe it. He was probably close to seven feet tall... if not more. It was hard to tell from this distance. He had a round, pudgy red face and flaming red hair to match, including a bushy mustache. The entire class was staring at him, most likely drinking in his enormous size like Anna was.
Suddenly he spoke. "Hello!" He said in a cheery voice. He smiled up at the rows of students. "Welcome to English 101! I am Oaken, your professor. But you already knew that, didn't you?"
There was silence. He continued on. "We have quite a schedule for this year, but don't worry. We are going to have so much fun! Books, essays, and even poems! Who likes Shakespeare?"
Some people raised their hands. Based on his appearance, one would not expect him to be so... jolly. He was like a giant, red-headed Santa Claus.
"Oh, and we must not forget our fairytale section," Oaken continued, "That always seems to be one of people's favorites. It's definitely mine. I love fairytales! Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson, Charles Perrault, Joseph Jacobs, and so many more!"
Anna perked up slightly at the mention of fairytales. She grew up reading them. They were her favorite. She had a book thicker than the dictionary just filled with them back home that she always read every night when she was younger. She clasped her hands together and smiled to herself. She might really enjoy this class.
Then she realized that Oaken was looking at someone sitting near the back. She looked back as well and saw someone raising their hand. "You have a question?" Oaken asked.
The boy raising his hand lowered it and crossed his arms. "What do you mean by "fairytale section"?" he asked.
"I mean we will be reading and analyzing fairytales for about three weeks. What makes a fairytale a fairytale? What are some of the famous ones? What is some of the symbolism and meaning behind some of them? At the end of it, you will each write a fifteen page analysis on a fairytale of your choosing," Oaken explained.
The boy scoffed. Oaken furrowed his brow. "Something wrong?" he asked.
"Well, it's just... fairytales," the boy said.
"What about fairytales?" Oaken asked.
"They're fairytales," the boy said distastefully.
"Not all fairytales are about princesses and magic, young man," Oaken said, face hardening, "You'd do well to remember that and respect them."
Anna looked back at the boy in the back. He glanced at the other boy sitting beside him and muttered something. Oaken raised his voice, "Something else you'd like to say?"
The boy looked at him, his surprised expression slowly turning to defiance. "I was just saying that I think it's ridiculous that we'll have to write fifteen whole pages on a stupid fairytale," he said.
Anna turned her head back to Oaken. He seemed to really love his fairytales. How was he going to take that comment? She saw his face harden even more than it already had. He rested both of his hands on his desk and stared up at the boy. "What did you call them?" he asked slowly.
Anna looked back at the boy once more. He almost looked afraid of the stoic expression on the large professor's face, but he remained firm in his statement. He looked him square in the eyes and repeated firmly, "Stupid... fairytales."
There was an audible gasp in the room as everyone slowly turned to look back at Oaken. He just stared at the offender, stone-faced for a long moment. Everyone was silent and tense, wondering what he was going to do.
Finally, after what seemed like ages, he broke his stare and walked around the desk. He marched up the stairs and right to the boy's side. He grabbed him by the back of his jacket and began pulling him down the stairs. "Ow! Hey! What are you-? Ow!" the boy protested, just barely managing to pick up his backpack before it was out of reach.
Oaken dragged him down the stairs and towards the door. "You can have opinions. That's what an English class is all about, but have some respect!" Oaken grumbled as he pulled.
He opened the door and shoved the boy out into the hall. "Bye-bye!" he called in his old jolly voice, "Come back when you've learned some common decency!"
He shut the door and returned to the front of the classroom, everyone's eyes following him. He cleared his throat. "Now, the section after fairytales mostly covers poems..." he said. And he went on explaining the course as if the entire encounter with the fairytale-hating boy had never even happened.
Well, this class ought to be interesting.