Operation Normal Social Interaction

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Oddball
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Operation Normal Social Interaction

Post by Oddball » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:00 pm

Operation: Normal Social Interaction

One of the problems with being deaf is the inability to properly socialize. One can't engage in small talk without an interpreter, and when using one, it comes across more along the lines of bragging than merely sharing similar points or preferences.

There are, however, ways around this if one tries hard enough. If I can't casually interact with others by chance, I can force casual interaction.

[I have paperwork to take care of for student council, so I will miss class.] I sign to Misha.

[Okay! What are we doing? Is it anything super fun and interesting?] she signs back with a great deal of enthusiasm.

[There's no need for you to join me. I have to do some budget calculations.] I sign to her. [It's just boring math. I can handle it.]

[I guess I wouldn't be that much help to you then!] she signs and follows up with a laugh. I feel bad about excluding her in my plan, but I do have my reasons. To be a strong leader, you can't allow people know your weaknesses. As much as I enjoy Misha's company, I am still in the leadership position ... and to be honest, she's really bad at keeping secrets. I'm only missing one class anyway, the last class of the day, I doubt anyone will make a big deal about it.

[Make sure you tell the teacher I had student council business to attend to.] I sign before exiting the room. That puts the first part of the alibi into affect. From there I go to the student council room and remove a paper from the desk. I had already started filling it out in advance for this occasion. I put in on top along with a pen, then double check to make sure the ink matches what's already been written on my paper. After that, I purposely spill a drink over the top of the desk. To finish the effect, a splash a little on my uniform. Should anyone come looking for me, they'll see that I made a mess and should assume I went get something to clean it. Should I run into anyone in the hall, I can use the excuse that I need to go change.

Alibi established. Now to the Residence Hall.

… I should have used water in hindsight. Soda feels nasty when you've spilled it on yourself. It's probably going to be harder to clean out too. Live and learn.

I don't allow guests in my room as a general rule. It's a privacy issue. However, I hid the package in the back of my closet regardless. You never know. The infuriating thing about exceptions is that they are exactly that. You can't plan for an exception.

I have to wait for some time to pass now. If I plant things too soon, there's a chance somebody else will come across them first and move them, even though there shouldn't be any reason for anyone else to be in the common rooms at this time of day. Still, the school body is made of special cases and exceptions. It makes it hard to predict. I use my extra time to change into a fresh uniform and and clean-up.

Once a sensible amount of time has passed, I sneak to the third floor common room and place my recent purchases.

The main subject of my little plan is a board game were people ask each other questions about themselves, everyone writes down an answer and then tries to guess which one is correct. It's slightly more complicated than that, but not much. This particular game wasn't my first choice. It was closer to three or four on my list, but it was the only one of my top ten that was available in large print and braille. Even then it had to be special ordered. It was important to me that everyone be able to play.

Along with the main object, I bought a few other things to mislead people as to their purchaser. A samurai movie, two music CDs, and an exceptionally imbecilic looking horror movie. Things appear in the common rooms all the time. Students leave things they don't want. Teachers, parents, and faculty occasionally drop things off for whoever wants to use them. There's nothing suspicious about several new still-in-the-package items appearing from nowhere. Nobody would suspect that these are things I bought. I don't want this to look like some desperate attempt by me to fit in or reach out to others after all.

That's exactly what it is, but I do have my pride.

I walk at a brisk pace back towards the main school building. Women shouldn't run unless they have to. I'm a firm believer in that. Unnecessary physical exertion is simply unbecoming of a young lady, no matter what they try to tell you in gym class. If you're going to sweat, you should be doing real work and accomplishing something.

Once inside the school building again, I go to the restroom next to the computer club. It's closest to the school's air conditioner machine, so the temperature always feels several degrees colder and the force of the air is considerably stronger. It's really just a delay to give me time to refresh myself. It wouldn't do to give myself away now.

Once I feel I've recovered appropriately, I make my way to our student council office and begin to clean-up my mess. I do a purposely slapdash job. After all, if a cover story is going to work, there needs to be evidence. I can do real cleanup later.

Or I can make Misha do it to make up for her not helping me with the paperwork. I allow myself a devious smile. Still, that all can wait for later. I do have other priorities today. No woman is an island and even the most diligent of us need social interaction from time to time. As an additional plus, I might also be able to recruit some individuals for the student council if things work out to my favor. There is so much I could accomplish with a higher social standing… any social standing if I'm going to be honest with myself. Misha is a good friend, but she's my only real friend. That can get lonely at times.

I'll never admit it though. Not to anyone.

I time the ending to my paperwork with Misha's arrival, finishing my counterfeit workload soon after she enters the door. There is some brief communication between us about classes, but I have a difficulty time focusing on that now. I try to keep my enthusiasm from showing through and can only hope I'm doing a good job at it..

[I think we should do a walk-around inspection of the living quarters today.] I tell Misha after a few less important exchanges.

[Really, Shicchan? What do you have in mind?] she asks curiously. She knows that these inspections are usually just excuses to recruit others for student council duties.

[It's not dreadfully of the essence, but there are certain duties we need to accomplish that I would rather have additional hands for.] I shrug to make the rest of my story look more realistic. [They really could wait if we can't gather additional help.] Even I have my lazy streaks on rare occasions, after all. Misha accepts my non-committal vague answer and laughs.

We make our way back to the ladies dorms, briefly discussing who would make good workers. I keep my side of the conversation as vague as possible and Misha never catches on to my real motivations. I decide to start our search at the third floor, for no real reason, as I tell Misha and naturally, our first stop is the common rooms. When looking for recruits,you never want to start looking in the same place too often or people start to catch on. This is all the justification I need for choosing where we start.

No one has yet to enter it, which means my planted goods have yet to be disturbed. I would have been considerably upset if I arrived here and somebody had already claimed them as their own and left with them.

[What do we have here?] I ask Misha.

[Oh wow! New stuff!] she signs with excited motions.

[Is there anything good?] I sign back, carefully maintaining my illusion of innocence.

Misha picks up each item and looks it over before turning back to answer me.

Misha first tries to sign without putting down the objects that have caught her attention, but quickly realizes that it won't work after I scowl at her. [There's a game and some music and some movies!]

[A board game.] I don't even try to hide my enthusiasm this time. [In that case, as student council, I feel it's our duty to properly examine this game to see if it's appropriate.] She knows my weakness for board games and knows that the excuse I'm giving her is just a joke.

[Are you sure? The game looks kind of childish.] Misha signs. No Misha. Don't do this to me. [and this movie, it's one of the one-armed-swords woman flicks. I really really want to see this one! I've never seen it before!] No Misha. [But I guess if Shicchan says we should play the game, we should play the game!] She finish her signing by placing her arms across her chest and laughing. Inwardly, I breath a sigh of relief, but I make no obvious visual signs of it. I take the game from Misha's hands and look it over. Although I already know what it says on the box, I want to make it appear as though I don't. Once I have examined it, I lay the box back down.

[This game looks like it would be more fun with more players. Go see who you can find.]

[Who do you think we should get?] Misha asks.

[Anybody. I can beat anybody.] I sign back confidently. I had considered signing “It can be anybody” instead, but I felt the more confident wording would work better. [Round up some people and tell them there will be pizza.]

[Oh boy. We're going to make a it a pizza party! That's sounds fun fun fun!] Misha signs back and races out the door. Now to wait. As much as I hate to admit it, gathering people for events such as these is one area where Misha does better without my assistance. I wonder who she's going to recruit. Will she go after specific people or just attempt to get whoever she sees? I purposely gave her no instructions on this. If I'm going to socialize normally, I shouldn't have control over who gets invited. That's not how unplanned encounters work.

Even if I planned them.

As I wait, I look over the movies and music I've picked out. Misha enjoys samurai movies. I had not known that; it's useful information to file away for later. The plot summary on the back doesn't appear to be anything special. The horror movie likewise seems to be pointless graphic violence. The music CDs...

Some of the deaf students I've talked with in previous classes have told me that can appreciate music by putting their hands on the speaks and feeling the vibrations. I've tried that before. There didn't appear to be anything extraordinary about it. I don't know why people make such a big deal out of these things. Maybe it's simply an acquired taste. I wonder if there are hearing people that simply don't like music; I've never thought to ask. I put the CDs back down and open the game box.

I divvy up the scorecards and the dry erase boards, the small markers that the game comes with, and then begin to shuffle the main game cards themselves. I'm sorely tempted to peak at the cards. I would be completely justified in doing so, as I both made the purchase and arranged for the gathering. However I don't. While I have an idea about some of them, I want the people coming in to be on an even footing with me. The victory here isn't in winning the game, it's in establishing myself socially. I hope Misha brings back some popular students. Hard working students would be nice as well.

The idea that Misha was looking for specific people vanishes as soon as the first person walks through the door and sits down by the board game.

Rin Tezuka. It was be generous to say that she is not my favorite person in the world. She tends to slack off and impudently disregards the rules of the school whenever it suits her, which is often. Following Rin was Emi Ibarazaki, also not a favorite, but she has an admirable competitive spirit. That I can relate too. It's a pity that it's in something as meaningless as gym.

I know the next person more by reputation than from direct interaction. The rest of the school's opinions on Saki Enomoto vary from either being someone they really love or someone they really hate. She takes a very direct approach to things and isn't afraid to get into people's faces. I have thought about recruiting her, but the student council doesn't need two pack leaders. Also, Misha doesn't get along with her for reasons she's not explained to me.

The next girl to enter is from my class. Molly Kapur. She's rather intelligent and unusually polite for a foreigner, unfortunately she tends to be a dreamer and far too submissive for my tastes. Still, she is in my class, which means I have to make sure I watch out for her.

Despite what others may have you believe, I don't keep track of ever single student in the school. Most I can recognize by sight, but not always by name. The next two were like that. A girl with an eye-patch and a tall blonde foreigner. I believe the girl with the missing eye is in Lilly's class. I want to say she has better vision than most in her class, but I'm not positive of it. The tall blond I genuinely don't know. It's not that I've never encountered him. I've seen him several times, but we've had very little interaction. The very fact that he's a tall blonde foreigner alone reminds me of somebody I'd rather not put up with. Except that while Little Miss Can't Do Her Job is overly proper and goes out of her way to avoid making a scene, he's obnoxiously familiar with people he doesn't know and tends to make a fool out of himself at every opportunity; it's almost as though he enjoys it. Both he and Lilly are lazy and seem to avoid doing any real hard work though. They do have that in common. The most exasperating thing is that you can't even argue with the man. He just has this sad puppy dog face when he's feeling low that manages to make you feel like you're the one who lost.

While I'm still reeling from the foreigner making his entrance and immediately going from a passable attempt at acting cool to shamelessly flirting, which Misha seems to find hilarious, the single worst person that could have been invited shows up. I miss Lilly's greetings and what people are saying to her, as Misha seems occupied with the foreigner. I have to grab the back of her shirt collar and yank on it to get her attention.

[What is she doing here?] I ask Misha.

[I didn't invite her.] Misha signs, following it up with a laugh.

[Then she invited herself?] I ask again. Misha looks slightly embarrassed and upset for a moment.

[I may have said that anyone who wanted to come could. Maybe I also said they could invite anyone they wanted to.] Misha shrugs slightly and giggles trying to play it off, but she knows she's messed up somehow. [The more the merrier?]

The stern look I give to her tells her how much I disagree with more always being merrier. By this point, Lilly has already engaged in conversation with several of the other people here. They seem rather happy to have her around. I cannot confront her and force her to leave now.

I will not be the bad guy here.

I sign to Misha to translate my message to Lilly.

[Hello, Class Representative. We're so happy that you could take time out of your duties to join us for a friendly game and refreshments that we put together.]

[Thank you. I had no idea you were the ones respon-sible for this gathering. Showing in-terest sociable events seems so unlike you. It's good to see that you can take time to organize a party like this. Isn't that nice! We should thank her!] Misha translates for me. It's easy to see which comments she added herself. [Molly and Saki asked me to come and have fun. We've been aquintances since I helped them prepare for the festival last year.]

No. She did not just do that. She is not bringing up the festival. If she's issuing me a challenge, she knows she's outclassed. I can easily best her in a battle of wits. The real question is would people like me more for proving I'm superior or would they like me less for attacking someone that's sadly enough more liked than myself. Why she's more popular is irrelevant. People never appreciate the really valuable things. I weigh my options.

[Have a seat. Refreshments should be here shortly and then we can start playing.] Misha is so surprised she doesn't even translate for me until I repeat myself. Lilly seems an equal amount of relived and caught unaware herself. No doubt she was spoiling for a confrontation herself, but today is a day for new friends, not old enemies.

Let her think she's won for now. This isn't a defeat. This is a strategic withdrawal in order to better prepare for victory. I'll crush her later. Just to make sure I remember, I write her initials on a small notepad and drawn a small box next to it that I can check off when I've completed my payback. I add Saki and Molly's names as well. I won't spoil their fun today, but I owe them.

[Order pizza.] I sign to Misha. [I think three should be sufficient.] I take another look around the room. I'm not sure how much the tall boy eats. [No. Make that four. One avocado shrimp. Large size of course. You can pick the rest yourself. Surprise me.] Misha smiles at me when I tell her to surprise me, like I'm trusting her with some huge responsibility.

It makes her happy to know she helps so I try to let her have her say here and there. She also eats more pizza than I do so she knows her toppings better. I'm not a big pizza person, but it does set the mood for a party better than most foods. Potato chips are actually a better party food, as they're less cumbersome and you can use them as makeshift gambling tokens, but you can't lure people to a party with the promise of chips.

[Before you order it, I have one question. Why is that blond idiot flexing a prosthetic arm for that other blonde idiot?] I say looking across the room to Lilly and her companion. Misha doesn't have an answer but she seems to find it hilarious.

While Misha is on the phone ordering refreshments, I'm begin to pull chairs around the table for the game. Once that's done, I simply sit and wait. I should have put more thought into this. If I ever get the inkling to do something like this again, I'll have to remember to order first and insist on inviting at least one other person that knows sign language. With the number of deaf students in this school, it should be mandatory that at least one student per class and per club take sign language. If no one volunteers, someone should be assigned to do so. It's just basic efficiency.

Right now people are just wasting time.

More importantly, they're ignoring me. This is the exact opposite of what I wanted.

I jump in shock as I feel something rest on my shoulder. I just wasn't expecting it and it took me by surprise. When I get a hold of myself, I see my second favorite blonde haired idiot in the room is standing there, bent over a bit so he can look me in the eye and smiling.

The idiot is trying to talk to me. I push him back, scowl, and respond with language of my own. Sign. Let's see how he likes it.

[A. W. W.(?) I'm. Not. Good. At This.] He signs back with a pouting face. He knows sign? It's true, he's poor at it, but part of that might be due to the prosthetic arm. It seems to lack a full natural range of motion. The question is, how long has he known this and why hasn't he ever mentioned it before?

[You know sign language?] I respond.

[And French] he replies.

[Why haven't you said anything in the past when I've tried talking to you?] I ask, somewhat frustrated. He looks back at me and smiles. [It would have made things far more convenient when I've had to deal with your class in the past.] I continue. He smiles wider, looking what goofy even for him.

[I. Don't. Have. (I have no idea what this word was) What. You. Saying. Too fast.] he replies some what cheerfully. Well, at least he tried. This gives me somebody to talk to anyway. He'll just have to try harder.

[You can learn. Experience is a good teacher. You fail often, but every time you do you come back stronger.] I tell him.

[I missed . Part . I do fail often. Still. I catch that stuff.] He replies. It's a bit faster this time, but his wording is still really poor.

He quickly spins around as though something has caught his attention and waves to somebody across the room before walking over and starting to talk with Molly and Saki, perhaps shamelessly flirting would be a better description. I can tell from the body language.

I really didn't want to talk to him anyway.

Now he's lifted Molly on top of his shoulders and is giving her a piggyback ride, something she doesn't seem to enthusiastic about, even though everybody else is laughing. They start laughing even harder when one of Molly's legs falls off.

This is not the kind of party I wanted. This isn't having fun. This is just acting stupid. They are breaking so many rules right now. Even Miss Class Representative is laughing and she can't have the slightest clue what they're doing. Tezuka is doing something with Molly's legs now and Ibarazaki looks somewhat embarrassed by it. I can't even tell what it is, but I know something is wrong with that.

I look over at Misha, who's still on the phone.

While I'm waiting, I might as well get the game set up, since nobody else is doing anything productive. … Now he's wearing his tie as a headband. I don't mind when people lose the tie or bow, or loosen some of the buttons to make themselves more comfortable after school hours are over, but that's just blatant disregard for uniform policy.

I can't wait for Misha to get off the phone now. I storm over to where he's standing and stare him right in the eyes with my arms crossed.

He looks like I've just kicked his puppy... into a stump grinder. Now he's trying to talk to me, regular talk, not sign. He knows I can't understand that. Yet he does it anyway, and he appears to be blubbering like a baby.

I point to Molly, who is still on his shoulders with an expression that's partially laughter and partially fear. He sets Molly down, sort of. As she's one leg short at the moment, he holding onto her shoulder helping to balance her.

[Sigh.] He actually signs the word sigh. [I was just having fun. Come on. You have fun. Also you.] he signs to me. I think I understand his meaning, but he really does need to work on his signing. I'm more amazed by his ability to turn on and off the tears at will. I need to learn that. I wonder if I can get him to teach me.

[You call that fun?] I sign furiously. [You're not doing anything but making an idiot out of yourself.]

[Yes. It is Fun.] he signs to me. I really want to hit this guy.

[If you want to have fun, then let's have fun.] I reply to him. This seems as good a time to start the game as any. In fact, it seems well past time we started what they came here to do. I snap my fingers to get everyone's attention. I have no clue how they perceive this, but it always seems to work. When I see my cousin cringing, I snap them again.

One gets one's pleasure where one can.

Now to get organized so we can start the game. I pull out a chair by the game table to better illustrate what I'm referring to and then motion Misha over to my side. The people stop what they're doing and look at me. Judging from their faces, they seem as enthusiastic about this as I am. That's good.

And now I'm flying though the air. I don't even have time to register what's going on. All of a sudden I'm lifted from behind. Now my head is near the ceiling and I'm being spun around. I think I even audibly gasped. I hate doing that.

It take me more than just a second to process what's happened. The tall man has lifted me up onto his shoulders and is spinning me around. This is … So … not cool!

I desperately want to grab onto something, but there's nothing available except his hair and I'm sure that isn't going to help me if he looses his balance. Oh God! What if this idiot drops me?

I just know he's going to drop me!

This idiot is going to drop me and I'm going to die!

I think I'm going to be sick too.

I try to dig my nails into his head, but he doesn't seem to react. I curse myself for keeping my nails short.

Looking out at the people watching my hold on for my life, I can see them all laughing at me and cheering this idiot on. I … I'm going to … I don't even know what I'm going to do to him, but it's not going to be good! There's got to be about a half dozens rules I can report him for for this.

Then I'm dropped onto the couch. It happens so fast that I don't even know if he did it intentionally or not. I just suddenly hit fluffy cushions and am upside down. I feel a bit of an impact and look to see that he's sat down next to me.

Collapsed would probably be a better word. He looks over at me, smiles, and says a few words before remembering I can't hear and then he blushes and sighs.

Then I remember I AM STILL UPSIDE DOWN. I quickly push my skirt back into place and then right myself. I don't know if I was showing anything or not, but I shouldn't have been put in that position regardless.

Next, I fix my glasses because they're hanging half-way off my nose. I don't know how I didn't notice that either, but in my defense, I don't think my breath or heartbeat has caught back up with me yet.

[That was fun.] he signs at me. I slap his hands, only to end up hurting myself on his prosthetic. The more time I spend around this guy, the more I hate him.

I feel a hand on my shoulder. Lilly seems to be trying to say something to me. Other people are gathered around laughing at me. Some of them even dare giving me a thumbs up or a mock applause. … Somebody should really tell the girl with the eye-patch that talking really slowly doesn't help me understand her any better. Ah. There. I think somebody just explained it.

Why isn't anybody translating any of this?

[That was awesome, Shicchan!] Misha signs to me smiling. [It looked like you were having so much fun~]

[Think I sick] I roughly sign still trying to get myself orientated. [I feel slightly disoriented after that.] I correct myself.

There's a pat on my shoulder, the eye-patch girl I don't know. [I guess you're not the stick in the mud I heard you were. Why of course she isn't. She just takes her work seriously. That doesn't mean she can't have fun too.] Misha translates and I'm adding her own comments as well.

Thank you Misha, Go to hell eye-patch girl and all of you leave me alone until the world stops spinning.

[Let me help you up.] Misha signs and quickly grabs my arm, pulling me to my feet quicker than I can think “No. Don't pull me to my feet. Just let me die.” I shake my head as though that will help me clear it.

I take a second to get my head together and reassure myself that I'm okay. Then I tell myself that of course I'm alright. I'm made of sterner stuff than that after all. Nothing that weak should stop me. It startled me is all. Disoriented me at best. I consider give the tall boy a stern talking too about what he just did, but somehow I don't think that it'll get though to him. I have a better idea.

When a lecture won't work, revenge usually does.

I leave and return to my own room. Once there, I retrieve a punch bowl that I had used two years ago for a student council event. I really don't have much use for it most of the time. Misha has told me I should just leave it in the dormitory kitchen for other to use, but it is a very nice punch bowl. It take it to the ladies room, fill it with water, and walk back to the common room.

It's a bit more difficult carrying a bowl full of water up the steps than I had expected, but I think it will be worth it. I get a few strange looks walking back to the day room. I don't care.

I stop outside the room, set the bowl down and walk back in. By this point the rest of the students are watching that disgusting terror movie. I walk up to Misha, who's watching the movie with her hands over her eyes and only peaking out at it. Normally, I could carry on a conversation with her in the middle of a crowd without anybody else knowing what we were signing. It's quite advantageous. At this moment, however, there is one person that could listen in and it's the only person I don't want to listen.

We go out into the hall to talk. I give her the instructions she needs and she goes back in to keep his attention occupied.

There's still a few people that almost give away my plans. I can see a few of them snickering and trying hard not to look or point, but I pull it off.

One bowl of very cold water is dumped right on top of his head.

And victory is mine.

While I'm trying to decide whether I want to strike a dramatic dominating pose over him or a more playful victorious one, he leaps up from where he's sitting and vaults over the couch in a ludicrously fast blur of motion. I brace myself to be ran completely over, but he instead just slaps me across the back and puts his arm around my shoulders and starts laughing.

Great. Now I'm wet as well.

Maybe I didn't think this through.

No... no. I DID think this through. It's his fault that he's not going by the script.

I jerk away from him and give him a harsh disapproving glare.

He doesn't sign but he does laugh and he smiles. Really? He thinks I'm joking? I'm going to have to get revenge on him for my revenge now.

A momentary glance around the room tells me that most people have stopped what they were doing and are paying attention to me again. Not quite what I wanted, but it's something at least. Several of them are trying to make some crude signals with their hands and arms and giving me exaggerated facial expressions. It's a tad patronizing honestly.

Saki holds up her hand, at first I think she's giving me that “talk to the hand” expression. I hate to admit took me forever to understand what that meant, but instead she seems to have written something on it in shaky handwriting. All it says is “Good One.” I nod happily accepting her approval. Not that I needed it. I look to the others to see how they're reacting to this.

Lilly looks confused, although her classmate is trying to explain it to her. It doesn't look like she's doing a good job. Rin is watching. I don't know what she thinks about it. Knowing her, nothing that makes any sense, I'm sure. There's a tug on my sleeve. I look to see Misha trying to get my attention. [You've got their attention, now what?]

[Give me some conversation highlights. I need to understand the room's mood.] I sign to Misha. There's far too many people here talking to expect her to translate everything, but I need a place to start.

[Most of them thought what you did was hilarious. They also think that's it's pretty cool seeing you di – diz – dishev-ele-ed like that. Messed up looking and wet, I mean. That don't see that often.]

[I think the word you want is disheveled.] I sign it once again slower to make sure she has it. She repeats it to me to make sure. I'm sure I'll have to remind her again at a later date. I left the fumble in her last sentence go. There's a lot going on and she can't be expected to keep track of all of it and still sigh perfectly. Not yet. One day she'll get there. [Address the room for me.] I Misha says something with her usual exuberance. Unfortunately she's waving her arms while she does so; I'm left unable to tell what she's swaying. Finally she makes a gesture as though she's introducing me. Part of me wants to begin my statement meant thanking them all for coming, however that's too formal for the circumstances. [The pizza should be here soon.] I sign for Misha to announce. [In the meantime, who wants to play a game? There will be prizes. A player draws a card and writes down the answer and the rest of the players have to guess what the answer is.] A draw a card from the deck and have Misha read it aloud.

[You're starting to loose them.] Misha signs. [They don't seem that interested.]

She's right. Of all the people here, only Rin and the tall boy seem like they want to play.

Frankly, I'd rather eat my glasses than try to play with those two. It's a shame. I really wanted to try out that game too.

Instead, a sit down on the couch between Misha and Molly. I tap Misha with my elbow and sign to her, which she translates for me.

[Are you enjoying the movie?]

[It's actually really interesting. I've never really sat down and watched a samurai movie before.] Is the translated reply.

[It's been a long time since I saw one too.] I reply. [Do you like music?] I ask her.

She looks at me strangely. [That's a weird question. I guess.] is the reply Misha gives me. I'm not sure if all of that is Molly's statement or not.

Before I can press her for more conversation, the tall idiot decides to sit right between us. There isn't really room for a person between me and Molly, so we both end up uncomfortably scooting over.

[How is movie? I more like western me. Cowboy. Shoot shoot.] he signs roughly and makes gun motions with his fingers.

Hopefully the pizza will arrive soon.
Not Dead Yet

FISCHERWMT
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Re: Operation Normal Social Interaction

Post by FISCHERWMT » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:17 pm

I think the title really catches how she sees the matter, It's wonderful how everything goes wrong by Madam Class President's way of thinking but is accomplishing what she wanted and she does not realize it.

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Craftyatom
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Re: Operation Normal Social Interaction

Post by Craftyatom » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:20 pm

This was very well-written, the dialogue and characterizations were brilliant, but the lack of conclusion kind of ruined it for me. It felt like the story was building up to a moral or a twist or something, but instead it just kind of ended, and on a bit of a bleh note too. (there was a bit of a lesson in that Shizune gets socially involved despite nothing going to plan, but she doesn't actually learn that lesson, as far as we know) Besides that, I quite enjoyed it - your Shizune really was very well done.

I found a few SpaG errors (not including the intentional ones, which were amazing and really added to the characterizations imo):
Oddball wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:00 pm
I'm sure that isn't going to help me if he looses his balance [...]
I left the fumble in her last sentence go. [...]
I Misha says something with her usual exuberance. [...]
Instead, a sit down on the couch between Misha and Molly.
Anyways, a good story, albeit not one of my favorites.
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Re: Operation Normal Social Interaction

Post by brythain » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:04 am

That was entertaining. Very. A bit meta, and I like the avocado shrimp pizza touch. Where's Kenji?
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Re: Operation Normal Social Interaction

Post by NoticeMeOppai » Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:28 am

Very enjoyable little romp there Oddball, your sense of humour shines through as usual. I agree with Crafty on the ending though, felt like it ended a bit abruptly. Other than that, couple of minor SPaG issues (couple of instances of a instead of I) but overall a good concept, well executed.

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Re: Operation Normal Social Interaction

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:12 am

Why does everybody just assume the story ENDS there and this is not just the first of several chapters?
I have to say this story is very typical for Oddball with all the zany interactions - which is not a bad thing at all.
SpAG is impeccable except for a few typos most of which have already been mentioned. The only thing I'm not sure is a mistake or a typo is the distinction between "to" and "too" in one or two places.
One thing I found the story was missing was any introduction of the two original characters, eyepatch girl and french guy. Hitomi? Knowing Oddball he probably has his reasons, though...
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: Operation Normal Social Interaction

Post by WorldlyWiseman » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:36 pm

I myself am actually okay with the abrupt end. Getting stuck with the sign-inarticulate guy is a good punchline for a story that's dunking on Shizune. I honestly think the beginning could use some trimming since the bulk of the action is during the party. We're setting up Shizune as a neurotic overplanner, yes, but following along during the ditching of Misha and the trip to the dorm doesn't add any conflict, nor any detail that couldn't be given faster by cutting to the setup common room and having Shizune imply the steps of the plan there.
Oddball wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:00 pm
There's a pat on my shoulder, the eye-patch girl I don't know. [I guess you're not the stick in the mud I heard you were. Why of course she isn't. She just takes her work seriously. That doesn't mean she can't have fun too.] Misha translates and I'm adding her own comments as well.
This is a bit hard to parse, I honestly thought you missed some brackets somewhere. Misha and Eye-Patch's sentences just run together? I know Misha is working fast, but I think Shizune's brain would know to split the two.

I do appreciate that you're paying attention to the mechanics of Misha translating, that's something I failed to do in my own story.

Man, I'm putting my critique sandwich on the thinnest bread. I guess I do really want to hear the background of a guy that learned two forms of sign language with a prosthetic hand, and really loves Westerns. I bet he'd get a kick out of McCree from Overwatch.
Hanako's favorite joke is The Aristocrats, but she never tells it because Lilly finds it really offensive. Instead, she practices her delivery in front of a mirror when she's alone. It's the only time she never stammers.

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Re: Operation Normal Social Interaction

Post by Toothless » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:27 pm

That was quite an interesting read. Really enjoyed it.

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Re: Operation Normal Social Interaction

Post by SJFzone » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:14 pm

This was a really cool idea for a Shizune story, it's not a side a lot of people see. And yep, that's a great title. I do agree with the lack of ending being bothersome, but only because it doesn't seem telegraphed beforehand that it's not a oneshot. Not in the title, and not in an author's note before or after the fic, so it's a bit of a tease for anyone just in the mood for a oneshot. But that's pretty minor, great job on this fic! :)
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Re: Operation Normal Social Interaction

Post by Oddball » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:26 pm

FISCHERWMT wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:17 pm
I think the title really catches how she sees the matter, It's wonderful how everything goes wrong by Madam Class President's way of thinking but is accomplishing what she wanted and she does not realize it.
I think you nailed it there. That's exactly what I was going for. She got what she wanted, but it wasn't the way she wanted it so it either doesn't register or doesn't count.
Craftyatom wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:20 pm
This was very well-written, the dialogue and characterizations were brilliant, but the lack of conclusion kind of ruined it for me. It felt like the story was building up to a moral or a twist or something, but instead it just kind of ended, and on a bit of a bleh note too. (there was a bit of a lesson in that Shizune gets socially involved despite nothing going to plan, but she doesn't actually learn that lesson, as far as we know) Besides that, I quite enjoyed it - your Shizune really was very well done.
Maybe the ending could have nailed it a bit better, but the point I was going for was that Shizune DIDN'T learn anything and couldn't recognize what she accomplished, despite it being somewhat obvious to the reader.
brythain wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:04 am
That was entertaining. Very. A bit meta, and I like the avocado shrimp pizza touch. Where's Kenji?
Kenji doesn't hang around the girls dorms.

... or when he does, he makes an effort not to get caught.
One thing I found the story was missing was any introduction of the two original characters, eyepatch girl and french guy. Hitomi? Knowing Oddball he probably has his reasons, though...
Quite simple. Shizune doesn't know who they are, and this is from her point of view. The guy, I wanted him to be a wild card she had no way to control. The fact that she doesn't even know his name should emphasizes that.
This is a bit hard to parse, I honestly thought you missed some brackets somewhere. Misha and Eye-Patch's sentences just run together? I know Misha is working fast, but I think Shizune's brain would know to split the two.
They're meant to run together. Misha is not the best of translators. Shizune can figure out what it means, but it might take her a second to do so.
Mirage_GSM wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:12 am
Why does everybody just assume the story ENDS there and this is not just the first of several chapters?
And finally... is this a one-shot?

Maybe. I told the story I wanted to tell... but there are other ideas connected to it that I might expand upon. I just might follow it up with additional chapters. Might.
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Re: Operation Normal Social Interaction

Post by WorldlyWiseman » Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:53 pm

Oddball wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:26 pm
They're meant to run together. Misha is not the best of translators. Shizune can figure out what it means, but it might take her a second to do so.
Okay, thanks for the clarification. I think removing the "and I'm" - making it "Misha translates, adding her own comments as well" - would be helpful for future readers. Jokes about their relationship aside, the current version is like Shizune is popping up in the middle of Misha's sentence and muddling up who the owner of the action is.
Hanako's favorite joke is The Aristocrats, but she never tells it because Lilly finds it really offensive. Instead, she practices her delivery in front of a mirror when she's alone. It's the only time she never stammers.

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