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Shy Senior Rewards Herself with a Full Day of Rest After Participating in Class


Photo by Lachlan Hardy / CC BY 2.0

Cadie Marshal (C ‘19) recently participated in class and subsequently rewarded herself for her heroic actions with a full day of rest.

Prior to this occurrence, Marshal was the only student in her four-person playwriting seminar who had not spoken all semester. It is eight weeks into the semester.

Today, during hour two of her three-hour seminar, she finally broke her silence.

Prior to class, she had spent hours reading and re-reading the assigned work for the class — an obscure play titled Our Town. Forgoing an entire night of sleep, she anticipated potential discussion topics and planned thoughtful responses to each.

Despite this extensive preparation, it was not until two-thirds of the way into the discussion that Marshal finally mustered the courage to speak up. 

“I literally blacked out for the first two hours of class because I was so deeply anxious about contributing to the conversation,” Marshal reported.

By the time she spoke up, her comment about the theme of mother/daughter relations in Act I was completely irrelevant to the current discussion, which was interrogating whether or not Grover’s Corners is the real star of Our Town.

The instructor of the seminar, Professor Aleksnder Van Marc, was shocked when Marshal finally spoke up.

“Cadie Marshal is one of the shyest students I’ve ever encountered in my 20 years of teaching at Penn,” Van Marc reported. “It’s difficult to believe she has ever spoken, let alone has an interest in the performing arts in any capacity,” she added.

Though Van Marc appeared surprised by Marshal’s response, she was also visibly annoyed. Marshal's response had unwittingly derailed the discussion and also prompted her classmate, Josh Katz (C '20), to promote his web series, which he made with members of his fraternity.

"Similar to the question of whether or not Grover’s Corners is the real star of Our Town, our web series considers whether or not Brooklyn is a fifth character in our story," Katz announced proudly in the middle of class discussion.

"As a class rule, we try to steer the discussion away from New York, male friendship, heartbreak, or literally any other topic Josh could relate back to his web series," Van Marc explained.  

Though the discussion was driven completely off-course, Marshal was still proud of herself. She decided her bravery warranted a period of radical self care. “Now that I’ve conquered my fear, I think it’s time for me to reward myself with a full day of rest,” Marshal said. "I honestly deserve it."

Plans for her day of rest included skipping all of her classes, having brunch at a restaurant of her choice, purchasing three new pairs of shoes, and indulging in a Netflix bender.

“There’s this new show called Russian Doll on Netflix I've been hearing about. But you probably haven't heard of it,” Marshal reportedly told a source close to the student. “I think I might check it out.”

And check it out, she did. Marshal watched all of Russian Doll and reported feeling “eccentric” and “cultured” as a result.

“It really made me think about things like… time… and… relationships. Kind of like Our Town,” she related.

“I love Our Town. More people should know about this play,” Marshal added confidently. She has finally found her voice. Van Marc wishes she hadn't.