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SCC: A Lighthouse in Reverse (Cameron)

Written for scc_flashfic's Lessons challenge.

Title: A Lighthouse in Reverse
Author: voleuse
Fandom: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Character: Cameron
Rating: G
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: What's truly tragic's never allowed to stand alone for long, of course.
Notes: Set before 1.06

Speech (5 units - one semester)
Major areas of study include integrity, extemporaneous speaking, the voice, impromptu speaking, and group discussion. Speech chiefly is performance course. The vast majority of the students’ time in class is spent giving and listening to speeches. Pronunciation, vocabulary, and logic are also examined, but always within the context of platform performance. Special emphasis is placed on outlining and the three-part structure of the speech, i.e., introduction, body, and conclusion.

Cameron signed up for the class because it seemed like a good idea, and because, in the hallway, she heard a group of girls talking about their homework for Speech, and their shoes were similar to the pair she wore that day.

When they left the counseling office, John glanced at her schedule and snickered. "Good luck with that," he muttered.

She tilted her head. "Thank you." She gauged his expression, and decided a smile would be an appropriate accompaniment to her reply. He shook his head as he walked away, but she found that to fit into the patterns of his behavior in the past few weeks.

The first class period she attended, she slid into the back of the room and listened to the instructor discuss Aristotle, slang, and being composed no matter what. "You are the center of attention," he pronounced, "because you have something important to say." He turned his head, and noticed Cameron. "It appears we have a new student. Welcome."

Cameron stood. "I don't belong here," she told him, and she turned her back and walked away.

Biology (10 units - two semesters)
All sophomores are required to enroll. The goal of this course is to provide students with a solid understanding of the principles and processes of biological science. Biology informs our understanding of the world from practical applications in health to the deepest philosophical questions of our origins. The class will focus on five key biological processes: evolution, cell biology, genetics, physiology, and ecology. The class emphasizes scientific methods and laboratory techniques including dissections and the use of microscopes.

John leaned across the counter and smiled at Cheri Weston. His body language was open, but one shoulder slanted towards her, as if he was blocking their conversation off from the rest of the room.

Cameron flicked her eyes between the frog splayed in front of her, and John as he worked on the other side of the room. She considered his behavior erratic, inefficient. His dissection appeared to be only halfway completed.

The instructor paused in front of Cameron's table and nodded, made a note on the roster. "Good work, Cameron. I'm glad being on your own isn't slowing you down."

"I'm good at working alone," Cameron explained. She set her blunt scalpel down and watched John until the clock ran out.

United States History (10 units - two semesters)
This course offers a chronological narrative treatment of American history, highlighting major events and developments. It will also discuss those who have contributed to our nation’s history. It will help students understand how past events are related to the present. Students will also analyze historical issues and deepen their understanding of American history.

Cameron paged through her textbook, eyes skimming over the illustrations and tables detailing the Great Depression. The teacher was lecturing about Hooverville, and the data pooled in the back of Cameron's mind, numbers shuffling into patterns.

"It's difficult for us to imagine," he said, "having to live in conditions like those. Think about it: Building a roof over your head using scraps you found in a junkyard. Living with the fear that the authorities would burn your homes down every week. Having nowhere else to go."

Cameron stared at a picture of a man sleeping inside a shack, slats of plywood and corrugated tin enclosing a nest of newspaper and threadbare sheets. His foot braced against the wall. Cameron recalled the sound of metal against cardboard, of voices echoing hungry.

"It's almost unimaginable," the teacher continued, and Cameron turned the page.

Music Appreciation (10 units - two semesters)
The course is an overview of the affect of jazz and rock music on American musical history in the twentieth century, concentrating on the blues as a common thread and its interaction with classical Western modes of harmony, melody and rhythm. The course will compare this history with an introduction to world music, emphasizing musical traditions from India and Africa.

Music Appreciation made Cameron uncomfortable, because people expected her to have an opinion on music. For the most part, she found that adhering to the information from their textbook, and the opinions of the instructor, allowed her to participate without being noticed.

One morning, the boy who always sat on her right—his friends, she had overheard, called him Mo—tapped her on the elbow before class started.

"Hey," he said. "Cameron, right?"

She looked at him. Nodded. "Mo."

"Yeah." He grinned. "Do you like this class?"

She considered what might be acceptable, and then shrugged. "It's okay."

"Okay." Mo rolled his eyes, then laughed. "What kind of music are you into?"

The teacher walked in, and Cameron adjusted her posture accordingly. "I don't know," she replied, because finishing the conversation would help her reduce future interaction.

"You don't know?" Mo dropped his voice to a whisper. "Don't you like any bands or anything?"

Cameron flipped open her notebook, slid the pen out of the spiral binding. "My brother likes Radiohead."

"Seriously?" Mo replied. Cameron turned her head. "Don't you ever think for yourself?"

The teacher passed out a quiz, so Cameron bent over the sheet and didn't answer.


A/N: Title and summary adapted from Brad Leithauser's The Odd Last Thing She Did. Link courtesy of breathe_poetry.

The course descriptions used as headings were taken from the Cathedral High School website, with no regard for whether Cameron would actually be taking this combination of classes.

Originally posted on scc_flashfic.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 4th, 2008 09:31 pm (UTC)
Cameron stared at a picture of a man sleeping inside a shack, slats of plywood and corrugated tin enclosing a nest of newspaper and threadbare sheets. His foot braced against the wall. Cameron recalled the sound of metal against cardboard, of voices echoing hungry.

As usual, you are awesome.
Mar. 5th, 2008 07:59 pm (UTC)
Man, always awesome work. Awesome x awesome. ;)

You totally got a grasp her of her voice, and I don't imagine that was easy. :D
Mar. 5th, 2008 09:03 pm (UTC)
I'm gonna leave another "*Oooh.*" comment, 'cause you pretty much just rob me of the ability to be more eloquent. So:

*Oooh.* *Very* nice. :)
Mar. 6th, 2008 01:45 am (UTC)
Very lovely! Cameron is awesome.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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