“Professor, may I have a word with you?”
I looked up from one of the portfolios I was grading to see Karen standing in my office doorway.
“Yeah, absolutely. Take a seat.”
She smiled and shut the door, then sat down.
“You probably don’t know who I am, I’m–“
“You’re Karen, you sit right up front in my 2:30 Holography 1310 class. I’ve been very impressed with your improvement through the semester.”
“Actually, that’s what I wanted to talk to you about.”
She pulled a small drive out of her purse and set it on my desk.
“I did some… Extra credit work that I think you’ll find to be better than my other work.”
“Karen, the syllabus clearly states my extra credit policy.”
She pushed the drive towards me on the desk.
“Just take a look and see what you think then.”
And then she winked at me.
I had a pretty good idea what this was all about, but I wasn’t going to say anything until I knew. So I put the drive into the hologram display on my desk that I had been using when she came in.
The first image was her, propped up against a wall in a rather demeaning position, wearing lingerie.
I looked up at her with a mixture of curiosity and pity in my eyes.
“Well? What do you think?”
I went to the next one; she was down on her hands and knees, in a position that raised her rear into the air. Very little was left to the imagination because of the lingerie.
I went to the next one. On a bed, pulling the straps off of her shoulders. Any further, and I’d be in some serious trouble.
I pressed the power button, sighed, and pulled out the drive.
“As always, your staging is fantastic. Your lighting is very good, as well. Did you take the shots on a timer?”
“Well, yes, but I–“
“You have to be careful with that. Since holograms catch everything, it’s easy to see that your left arm wasn’t relaxed the same as the rest of your body in every shot, so you had a button nearby, just out of frame.”
“There’s one shot where I had to use my right hand, since I was using my left hand to–“
I put up a hand to cut her off.
“Look, Karen, you’ve been a fantastic student. You’re very bright and very devoted. Please don’t throw it away to try and get an A in my class.”
She seemed angry, but I assume most of that was because her plan hadn’t worked out. She grabbed the drive and stood up.
“Sorry for wasting your time,” she grumbled, starting out of the office.
Her tone was very different from when she walked in.
“I know the syllabus outlines extra credit policies, but I suppose I can make an exception, on one condition.”
Her interest had been piqued. She looked at the drive, then back to me, confused.
I nodded towards the drive.
“Bring me a portfolio of 20 different holograms and I’ll see if I can’t raise your grade.”
She smiled wide, and turned to leave.
“And for God’s sake, Karen,” I called as she pulled the door behind her, “Take photos of a tree or something.”
Drew Schackmann is a contributing writer for Gutai-Pravda Assembly. You can follow him on Twitter.
© 2015; David “Drew” Schackmann, Jr.