Author: ShadowKiteKitsune PM
My name is Cody Cunningham. The world is my laboratory, and the people living in it are my lab rats.Rated: Fiction T - English - Chapters: 29 - Words: 71,771 - Reviews: 114 - Favs: 95 - Follows: 20 - Updated: 01-31-09 - Published: 12-21-08 - Status: Complete - id: 2611406
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Notes: Yes, another new story! No, this isn't the surprise I mentioned at the end of Desert Song, that's still to come. This is just another new project I'll be working on for now. It's an idea I've had floating around for a while now, and decided to finally pursue it. Since all of my stories up until now have been in the third person, I decided for this story to have the effect and feel I intended it to I would need to do it in first person, so since I'm not as adept with the first person perspective, please forgive me for any mistakes I will inevitably make. My only hope is to actually get this out and written as I've always imagined it, and hope that you all like it. It's somewhat different from my usual fare, and while it's still technically romance, it's still much different from anything I've done before. Enjoy!
If there is one thing that entertains me more than anything, it's people. To sit out in the middle of a crowded food court or a park and just watch as the people walk by, observing their actions and reactions to the people and environment around them, it's all so incredibly amusing to me. When you sit down and start thinking about what makes people tick, it can really get your mind going. Behind every action there is a purpose. Behind every belief there is a reason. People, no matter how complex or inconceivable they may be, are all an open book to me.
My name is Cody Cunningham, and I am a psychology major at the F of U. No, that isn't a real school, but I'm sure some of you were probably lifting an eyebrow or dropping your jaw, some reaction of shock or disgust at my lame little joke there. If you didn't have a reaction to that, then even that was a reaction. Just because you didn't display a visible reaction doesn't mean you didn't react, you simply concealed your reaction, which means you're probably one of those people who wears your emotions on your shoulder and keeps your cards close to your chest. In which case, you probably weren't all that appalled by that immature little joke and are used to that kind of bullshit.
In all seriousness, I am a psychology major at the University of Florida. There's not much about me that anyone would really find all that interesting. My parents are, amazingly, still together, my older sister is a high school drop-out who got married at the age of seventeen and now has three kids, and my brother is a jack of all trades when it comes to sports. Being the youngest child, nothing about me really distinguishes me from my siblings aside from the fact that I happen to like sausages over biscuits, but even then, my sister does too, she just happens to have biscuits herself.
So right now you're probably sitting there on your bum thinking to yourself, "Who is this buttmunch, and why should I care about what he has to say?" Well, first of all you have some attitude, mister or missy. Second of all, if you've come this far you must have some sick fascination with me. If that's the case, then fear not, I have something somewhat relevant to share. You see, what I said before, about being entertained by people, it bears some relevance to the story I'm about to tell you. Before we get into all that, let me begin by saying that I recently completed a sociology course. For our final grade in the class, at the end of the semester we had to do a social project. Basically, we had to conduct some research and an experiment, and document our observations over the course of a few weeks before finally drawing our conclusions. All of that was good and well, but me being the sadistic ass wipe I am, I conducted an experiment that went far beyond human cruelty. In the end the conclusion I had reached had not only changed the lives of those involved, but ultimately changed my own perspective on life as well…
Oh, Professor Oliver Webb, what a character he was. I don't know what sociology class would have been like without him, but I had a feeling I wouldn't have liked it very much without him. Interesting, and I mean truly interesting people are few and far between, and Professor Webb was most definitely one of those people. Some days he would start class with a random piece of poetry from some dead guy like Dante or Shakespeare, and others he'd come in and start screaming, shouting, and generally ranting like a madman about something, anything, usually a story he saw on the news the night before or that morning's newspaper. It never failed to amaze me how even though everyone expected something bizarre from him whenever he came into class in the morning, he would always manage to surprise even the most dour and taciturn of us, managing to get everyone talking. That was the method of Professor Oliver Webb. And thank Buddha I managed to get into his class, because I doubt I'd have made it very far otherwise.
The day had started just like any other. Those of us crazy enough to take his 7 AM class drug ourselves out of bed and downed some energy drink (or a beer for some) while we got ourselves ready and in class before we missed the morning rants. Like clockwork, every morning Professor Webb would come dragging in fifteen to twenty minutes late, depending upon the day of the week, and go off on one of his aforementioned diatribes. This particular morning, a twisted Tuesday, he came in a minute earlier than usual, dressed in an old, wrinkled brown suit jacket and equally wrinkled blue denim dress shirt, tufts of salt and pepper hair sticking up all over the place, his round, wireframe glasses slightly askew upon the tip of his nose. As if it wasn't odd enough that he was precisely a minute earlier than usual, he didn't come in quoting literature, or screaming obscenities about news headlines, or even show us some weird, abstract video clip he pulled off the internet. He just came in, sat his briefcase down on the table up front, and stood up at the podium pouring himself a cup of coffee from his canister without uttering a word. His silence elicited a response from the rest of us.
"Who said you could start talking?" Professor Webb asked in his usual dry, Ben Stein sounding voice as we began chattering amongst ourselves. "You all know that as long as I'm up here there is to be no talking unless I call upon you. Capisce?"
Nobody said anything. I sat and smirked down at my desk. This must have been a new kind of morning introduction technique. Get us used to something weird and out of this world, and then come in one day acting like a normal human being. Man, what a piece of work he was.
"As you know the end of the semester is coming up, and as I'm sure all of you are aware, that means one thing," Professor Webb said as he slurped a loud sip of his coffee. A series of moans and groans arose from a few people as a sly, telling smirk appeared on the professor's stubbly face. "Oh, I know, I know. Don't you all just love finals week? I know I did when I was going to college. Now, I don't like to disappoint you all, but I'm afraid instead of a final for my class we'll be doing something else."
I looked around the class to see what everyone else was doing, to see if I could tell what they were thinking. I don't know if they were simply looking at one another trying to figure out what Professor Webb was talking about, or if they were simply doing the same thing as I was doing. But judging upon the number of dazed, confused looks on peoples' faces, I decided on the former.
"Now everyone listen up, and listen closely. In place of an actual final, I've instead decided to assign you all a term project. Given everything you've learned over the course of this semester in this class, I want you all to conduct a social experiment demonstrating everything you've learned throughout the course. You have a better part of a month to carry out this project, so you have more than enough time to think of and execute a plan of how you intend to go about conducting your research.
"This Friday I'm going to be collecting any and all of the ideas you all have come up with, just to see that you've been thinking about a subject. If you happen to decide what you'd like to do your project on before then, feel free to run it by me for approval. You can work in pairs of two or by yourself, but as usual if you work with a partner, make sure you both have copies of the notes and observations you've taken throughout the course of your experiment. You have until Tuesday of next week to decide on a topic and run it by me for verification. At that time I will give you more information and let you know when it will be due, and with that said, for the remainder of this period you're free to move about and do whatever you please while you think about possible ideas for your project. If you have any questions, come speak with me at the front of the room. Otherwise, you're all free to go."
A project? In place of a final he was assigning us to conduct an experiment on people? The concept was intriguing to me, I mean, sure I'd watched people and observed their actions and reactions numerous times before, but never before have I actually gotten to conduct and control an actual series of experiments before. While everyone else was busy getting up and rushing out of the room to go grab breakfast or make-out or something equally useless, I was already thinking of ideas on what to do my project on.
Suddenly, everyone and everything seemed so much more interesting, and worthy of conducting my experiment on. The world was my laboratory, and the people living in it were my lab rats.