As if everyone heard the starting gunshot, the room erupts with our voices. Slightly distracted from my own conversation, I see the other students puzzle-pieced into their pairs. The two students, momentarily breaking eye contact, fall into the nearest chairs, already a few words into the rehearsed “hi my name is…” routines. Nodding, attentive heads accent each striped Cathedral uniform while quick smiles punctuate each sentence. Our sudden energy surprises the sleek finishes, reflective glasses, and beautiful detailed etchings that ask, instead, for soft conversation. Yet it also illuminates the pink and gold lighting of the room, lifting our spirits, until only our upright posture hints at the previous awkwardness. We make our way down the standard checklist: origins, families, school work, sliding the next question into slot before the answer is complete. Once the mechanic is out of the way, we invent personal questions about futures and passions. As we mutually, silently cross the introductory barrier, the room sighs with relief. The buzz fades, the shoulders bend once again, the legs uncross, and we fold back into ourselves. --Chia