First period, freshmen college preparatory, and the starting bell has not yet rung.

Students sit in corners talking to friends. In the desks nearest to where I am sorting books, I hear two (normally reticent) boys talk ceaselessly about their dirtbikes and the work they’re doing on them. Their precocious grumblings about the time and money they’re investing remind me of my own grousing. They clearly enjoy the bikes, as I love my old junky car, but we also enjoy complaining about having to continually invest in them. The two girls sitting next to them are polite and appear to beĀ listening to the boys’ ramblings, but they also exchange looks that clearly say they’re not really into this.

Girl 1, turning to face the boys: “Why don’t you just get someone else to fix your dirtbikes? Like those people who fix cars, what do you call them?” She looks to her friend and then back to the boys, “Carpenters?”

Boys, incredulous: “Mechanics?” They laugh at her.

Girl 2, laughing: “Yeah, duh! Carpenters are the people who put down carpets!”

The bell rings and class begins.

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