Focus

A student needs motivation and finds it

By Lorna Brand

Lauren draped herself over the end of the desk. Her jeans tightened over her bottom as she adjusted her stance, gripping the edge. She screwed up her eyes tightly, waiting for first contact.

Up until this point, Professor Lockheart was just a very capable teacher. Her other lecturers would have to raise their voices or seek out the trouble-makers to make an example of them, just to gain some respect, but Lockheart had never had to stoop to such levels with his class. He was softly spoken but firm, and, although it was clear to see, he was in great shape, although he wasn’t physically intimidating. He just had a way about him that commanded the room, something more than just confidence. Lauren couldn’t put her finger on it, but it was very interesting.

Lauren was academically bright, but she only did what was absolutely necessary to get by. The draw of a social life at university was far more appealing than graduating with honours; she just didn’t have the drive or motivation for that. This was what ultimately landed her in this predicament.

Only a couple of hours ago, Lauren had stumbled into class, her hair scraped back without the aid of a brush or a mirror. Her blouse was buttoned up wrongly and she had a distinctive smell of stale beer. Everyone else was already in their seat as test papers were being passed back. Lauren gave a little smile as the professor’s eyes met hers.

“Student night,” she shrugged by way of an explanation for her tardiness, shuffling to a spare seat at the back of the room.

Professor Lockheart gave clear and simple instructions. Although this was not a timed test and just a practice, it was just as important as any other. The class began in silence at his command. The only sounds to be heard were the scratching of pens on paper and the constant ticking of the large clock. Every tick seemed to be louder than the last, thumping through Lauren’s head and making her increasingly worried. She couldn’t concentrate. Her mouth was dry, her eyes just wanted to close for a moment of relief. As the other students finished their papers and left, Lauren realised how far behind she was. She read the questions over and over but they were not sinking in. The relentless clock kept ticking and soon it was only her and the professor alone in the now cavernous room.

After some time Lockheart approached her desk. “How are you doing?” He smiled, knowing full well the answer.

Lauren didn’t know what to say. Looking up at him, it was hard for her to hide her disappointment. He pulled over a chair next to her and fixed his gaze at the dishevelled and defeated student.

“You know this test might count towards your final grade at the end of the year, if you need to appeal against your final exam or if you can’t sit it for some reason. This will be looked at to form your overall mark. Do you want to be judged on this paper?”

Lauren could only shake her head as the gravity of the situation hit.

“I know you can do better than this. You are not a stupid girl. However, your actions today have been!” His tone was low and alarming. He didn’t raise his voice, but being chastised in such a manner destroyed Lauren’s defences instantly.

“I am so sorry,” she stammered. How could she have allowed this to happen? She didn’t even know how much she wanted to pass this class until faced with the prospect of failing. The realisation that she may have wasted this whole year hit her hard. Trying to hold back the flood of emotions, Lauren broke away from the professor’s gaze as she attempted to lose her thoughts in the paper in front of her.

“I can tell that you are not feeling well today and that may have had an impact on your exam. I think if you had the opportunity to tackle another test in a day or so you would certainly achieve a far greater mark. Lauren, do you think that you can do better than your efforts today?”

“Yes sir, I can do much better,” she optimistically wiped her eyes, looking for a life line.

“It is a pity this was all self inflicted, otherwise I would have more sympathy for your situation. Your behaviour was reckless and disrespectful, not only to myself but to you too. I cannot let behaviour like this go unchecked. If I let you sit the test again, there are no consequences to your actions.”

Lauren broke, blubbering uncontrollably. “I understand. I’m sorry.”

A comforting hand landed on her shoulder.

“I know you are. I have had a thought while watching you struggle. I don’t want you to say anything straight away but think about it properly before you answer. I am going to give you a choice. You can sit here as long as you wish and complete this test and accept the poor mark you will ultimately achieve, or you can come back in a couple of days when you are feeling better to sit another test. This is on the condition that you take the punishment I have in mind for you.”

Lauren’s eyes widened. Although Professor Lockheart’s words were kind, she felt a wave of panic electrify her body at his delivery. “Punishment?” she croaked.

“Well, it’s more of a little taste really, given your state of intoxication. I propose that you receive four firm stokes of my old paddle across your behind so that tomorrow, when you sober up, you will remember to have an early night and perhaps study for the test ahead without too much discomfort.”

“I thought it was just decorative?” Lauren glanced at the worn piece of wood hanging next to the white board.

“I will let you digest my offer and, if you are in agreement, then you may ready yourself over my desk, and if not, I am happy to stay as long as you need to give you the best hope of a mark.”

The professor stood up, giving Lauren another friendly pat on the shoulder before making his way to his desk. He calmly took up his seat and started to mark the other papers while Lauren sat dumbstruck. What on earth was he expecting? If she was finding it hard to concentrate before, it was bloody impossible now. Her palms were too sweaty to even hold the pen. She attempted to look back over the paper in front of her, but out of the corner of her eye the paddle kept demanding her attention. Glancing up, she noted the professor’s disinterest in what she was doing as he was stuck into the work before him, but Lauren had to look at it.

This inconspicuous item that was decorating the walls along with other historic curiosities couldn’t still be in use, could it? Just because he taught about old practices, it doesn’t mean he really believes in them, does it? Surely he was joking? Something was telling Lauren that it wasn’t a joke as she watched him mark the other students’ work. The clock noise seemed to be growing louder than before as she watched the time tick by.

The professor was on his last paper, and the surrounding campus was particularly quiet when Lauren found the ability to stand up. She had every intention of walking out of the room straight past that desk. She gathered up her bag and marched purposely towards Professor Lockheart with the paper in her hand, but as he lifted his head to greet her, something changed. She dropped her bag at the corner of the desk and lowered herself onto the polished wooden top. Holding tightly, she screwed up her eyes as the professor rose from his seat to retrieve the little paddle.

A gentle hand appeared in the small of Lauren’s back and a kind whisper reminded her that it was only going to be four slaps and that, if she lay down as far as she could, it would make it a lot easier for her to grip on to the sides.

Lauren had never felt so nervous as she lay there. She hoped her jeans were going to provide some protection.

“Ready?” The professor asked softly, but he didn’t wait for a response. The first strike landed firmly on her left cheek. She squealed, making her eyes ping open and hands rush to feel the heat coming from the point of contact.

“What was that?”

“The first strike! You have three more to go, Lauren. Given your reaction, I bet you’re glad that this isn’t a proper punishment. Nevertheless, it will go a lot smoother if you stay in place. Go on! Down you go.”

Hesitantly, Lauren lay back over the desk, the buttons on her jeans pushing into her stomach as she held herself in place. The only warning she got the second time around was the swish of the wood pushing through the air towards her bum. Lauren tried desperately to not jump up, stamping her feet to distract herself from the pain now covering the whole of her behind. Professor Lockheart waited silently until Lauren had stopped dancing around and regained her composure. He was in no hurry for this lesson to be over. He found the sight of a naughty contrite young lady being spanked for the very first time, something to be savoured.

Lauren squealed out again almost before the paddle hit. She just wanted it to be over. She never wanted to be in this position again, angry at herself for ending up here, and the professor for inflicting this upon her. She clung on to the desk as tightly as she could. Her knuckles whitened and her legs shivered as the professor broke his silence and whispered softly: “Well done, only one more to go.”

The odd encouragement gave Lauren the boost to her resolve she needed. The last blow landed on top of the first, and in a second Lauren was on her feet, grasping for her bag and eager to make a fast retreat.

“You did very well, given it was clearly your first experience, but the next time you are over my desk it will be a proper spanking, so jeans won’t be allowed.” The professor smiled.

“Next time? I won’t be in this situation again!” Lauren stormed off.

Over the next few days, the parting words went around her head as she studied hard for her exam. The constant glow over that time spurred her on. It was oddly comforting, like having her own personal cheerleader screaming, “you can do better,” every time she sat down.

When the day came to sit the test, Lauren whipped through the paper so fast it made her worry. She was so nervous as she waited for the professor to mark it. 97 percent! It was the highest score Lauren had ever achieved.

“Are you free after class next week?” She found herself asking. “Only, I have an English exam and I could with a little help to focus.”

The End

© Lorna Brand 2018


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