I was one of the last to leave the classroom and when I got into the hall, Darden and Aspeth and Dede were walking a few feet in front of me. I slowed down, letting the space between us widen. They all laughed as they disappeared into the stairwell, and I waited for the door to shut all the way behind them before I opened it again.
Blue Van Meer:
... implacable self-possession can be obtained by all, not by pretending to look absorbed in what's clearly a blank spiral notebook; not by trying to convince yourself you're an undiscovered rock star, movie star, top model, tycoon, Bond, Bond Girl, Queen Elizabeth, Elizabeth Bennett or Eliza Doolittle at the Ambassador's Ball; not by imagining you're a long-lost member of the Vanderbilt family, nor by tilting your chin fifteen to forty-five degrees and pretending to be Grace Kelly in her prime. These methods work in theory, but in practice they slip away, so one is left hideously naked with nothing but the stained sheet of self-confidence around one's feet.
Instead, stately dignity can be possessed by all, in two ways:
1. Diverting the mind with a book or play
2. Reciting Keats
I discovered this technique early in life, in second grade at Sparta Elementary.