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They ask us to speak up
Have our names placed right in front of us
As if we were part of a conference
But it’s just like a performance.

I suppose nobody really
Would have contributed
If it wasn’t compulsory,
I see the stark difference
Between a 0% and a 30% component.

I never wanted to speak up
I would have been a silent sponge
Sitting there absorbing information
But even this sponge isn’t working.
Words flow in then out
I don’t even understand
What they’re talking about.

Put on a mask
Conceal that tremble of anxiety
Put on a mask
Plot that perfect strategy
Put on a mask
Pretend you know everything.

I hear people reciting essays
I hear the professor’s comments
I hear the worried voice in my head
Saying “Gosh my answer is far from perfect.”

Everybody’s in a race
Chasing the most detailed answer
Everybody’s in a race
To see who gets the prof’s approval
Everybody’s in a race
Everybody’s running for their A’s.

I just wish I had a little of
That intelligence from their heads.