The Psych of the Round Table
By Becca Miller
We don’t talk about the unexplained disappearances and reappearances of the round tables in the dining commons. Those eagle-eyed few who have the ability to see past the mundane know better than to bring it up. We notice, but we don’t speak. They are always listening.
They know that we notice, of course. That’s the whole point. We are nothing but lab rats to them. They watch us run around our cages, throw ourselves at the walls of our glass tanks. They watch us stumble through our mazes, push the buttons to turn on the lights and get the treats. They scribble on their clipboards; how interesting, let’s try that again, compare that to the control group.
Who are they? You mean you haven’t figured it out? I see you’re one of the sheep. Well, that’s what we enlightened thinkers are here for, to open the eyes of drones like you. Just think, who has both an interest in the psychological functions of the students and the power to alter our environment? There is only one who it could be. We call her Trajt.
That’s right. You heard me. Trajt and her AP Psychology class have been conducting experiments on the rest of the student body. It’s simple really-- just make one small, seemingly inconsequential change in our environment and watch how we react. And the tables in the dining commons are perfect for such an experiment. What do we do in the dining commons? We eat lunch and hang out with our friends. We are freed from the confines of the classroom, we have our guards down, we are as uninhibitedly ourselves as we ever can be in school. That makes us completely vulnerable to observation. And the table itself is such an excellent choice for a variable factor. We congregate around those tables like wild animals at watering holes. The watches can visually see how our herd behavior is impacted by the loss of such a focal point, how differently we interact with each other when there are no clear boundaries between packs, when we are scattered and isolated in folding chairs six feet apart. It’s pretty genius of them, actually. But we are smarter than them. We’ve figured out their game. We know they’re out there, but are too afraid to acknowledge it. We walk around with the knowledge that our every move is being noted. One flew East. One flew West. One flew over the cuckoo’s nest.