Elina wiped her slightly sweaty palms on her pants. She licked her dry lips as she tried to calm herself. Normally she was able to communicate fairly well despite some natural shyness, but the thought of speaking to this particular professor was multiplying her shyness a couple of times over.
"Excuse me, Mr. Jones." She softly cleared her throat. When the professor looked up, she continued, "I was wondering if you offer extra credit."
Mr. Jones' smile didn't seem forced at all, which seemed to speak against the rumor Elina had just heard.
"Let me guess," the professor said. "Science is not your forte."
Elina shook her head a few times, keeping her lips tight.
"Fear not," he added. "This is just an introductory course. We won't be getting into subjects that deep."
"What if one should still need some extra credit?"
"Extra credit is for those that want a free pass," Mr. Jones explained, never taking his gaze off Elina, "and I don't offer free passes." Picking up a small stack of paper from the table, he returned to packing his bag.
"Still," he said, keeping his head down, "I wouldn't worry. I am here to help if you need me."
Elina murmured a quiet thank you, turned around, and headed back up the stairs. The professor was not quite what she expected. But I didn't know what to expect, she scolded herself. Perhaps this class won't be as bad as I thought it might be.
"I do have one suggestion for you," Mr. Jones said as he caught up with her. "Daydreaming is not the best way to spend lecture time."
"Sorry," Elina replied, dropping her chin to her chest. She touched her cheek which was burning red from embarrassment.
"Quite all right. The real work doesn't begin until the next lecture."