Maybe they didn’t like the book.
Maybe they’re sick of the circle, sick of the writing activities, sick of the pairs and the small groups.
Maybe I shouldn’t have worn my short black skirt with black tights and black boots and that orange diaphanous shirt.
Maybe they were thinking, “She’s too much of a fashion plate.”
Maybe they don’t like any aspect of my teaching personality at all, which is quite close to my actual personality, only more confident-seeming.
Maybe I shouldn’t have opened the shades at the beginning of class.
Maybe they resented me for all that light.
Maybe they were thinking, “All of her questions are just thinly veiled attempts to reveal her own interpretations.”
Maybe they were thinking, “Do we have to talk about gender themes again?”
Maybe I should have wished them a Happy Valentine’s Day.
Maybe they noticed on a sub-conscious level that the more bored they are, the wordier and more tongue-tied I become, boring them further.
Maybe they wanted to rescue me from that, but were too bored.
Maybe they don’t understand the fluid give-and-take between their own engagement and my own ability to be interesting.
Maybe they couldn’t care less.
Maybe they just wanted lunch.
Maybe they were thinking, “She’s too nice. How can we respect her?”
Maybe they don’t know how rude it is to get up in the middle of class, walk directly across my field of vision, and leave to use the bathroom or send a quick text in the hallway or whatever it is they do out there.
Maybe I should teach them about that.
Maybe I’ll stop being so nice.
Maybe we all had an off-day simultaneously.