The Study Group

It seemed like a good idea at the time. “I’m going to form a study group for our final exam,” Hal announced at the end of his economics class. “Anyone up for being in my study group?”

He was disappointed in the tepid response to his invitation, but two other students, Larry and Arlene, did take him up on his offer. “I’ll reserve a small study room at the library,” Hal told them.

Hal hadn’t known that Larry and Arlene were a couple until they walked, hand-in-hand, into the small study room he’d reserved. Nothing in the way they had interacted in class had suggested that they were “together.” But Hal figured that it wouldn’t be a problem as long as they all kept in mind that the mission of the group was to prepare them all to pass the final.

But a strange dynamic had formed by the third meeting of their small study group. Hal and Larry seemed to be competing for the attention of Arlene. And Arlene seemed to relish in the competition. Focusing on economics became harder for Hal as he spent more time trying to come up with ways to impress Arlene than in learning the material.

At the fourth meeting, Larry and Arlene couldn’t seem to take their hands off of each other. It was too much for Hal, who picked up his books, said, “Don’t let my being here stand in your way,” and stormed out of the room.

Arlene came running after him. “Hal, wait,” she implored. “Larry and I were just giving you a lesson in basic economics.”

“Economics or sex education?” Hal said sarcastically.

“We were role playing,” Arlene said. “You know, demonstrating the law of supply and demand. We were creating a demand for something that is in limited supply.” Arlene smiled at Hal and said, “Me.”

Hal didn’t understand, so Arlene continued. “When there is a high demand and a limited supply, the price of the goods goes up. It’s called price elasticity.”

But how does that apply to what you and Larry were doing?” Hal asked.

“I’m the goods and Larry helped drive up the demand,” Arlene said. “So the deal is $200.”

“$200? For what?”

“For me!” Arlene said. “You know you want the goods, right? College is expensive, my friend.”

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “study.”

#JusJoJan — Blind Justice


They say that justice is blind. What this means is that justice is meant to be impartial and objective. Justitia, the Roman goddess of Justice, is often portrayed as evenly balancing both scales and a sword. She is typically wearing a blindfold, which is intended to represent that justice should be applied without regard to wealth, power, or other status.

The American justice system is designed to be blind. It’s set up with the intent that everyone should be treated equally. Unfortunately, it’s not, in practice, blind. Statistics show that, when convicted of similar crimes, poor people receive sentences that are, on average, two times longer than those for rich people. Black people, on average, are given much longer sentences than white people.

People with “connections,” with influence, power, and money, are more likely to have small crimes glossed over, and to get better treatment even in the event of more serious crimes.

And it seems that, under Donald Trump, it’s just getting worse. For Trump and the Republicans in Congress, there is a greater effort to obstruct justice than there is to preserve, protect, and defend it.

Justice in America is no longer blind; it seems to have become deaf and dumb.

Written for today’s Just Jot It January prompt from Linda G. Hill. Today’s word is “justice,” and it was suggested by Barb over at  Gallimaufry.