Each unfamiliar face raises their hand in turn and chirps as called. But for her, nerves are knotting the stomach and her muscles are tensed. Graffitied and compass-carved wood provides the only protection in this unknown space.
The smell of newly-shave pencils and brand new leather shoes fill the air, as friends quietly chatter and laugh - catching up after time apart.
But she has no firends; no allies, and soon, everyone will acknowledge her presence in the room.
The teacher is closing in on her - alphabetical torture:
"Smith, Tate, Thompson..."
Her heart is beating faster and faster. Soon their heads will turn and all will fall silent at the name of the alien. They'll all see her, hiding behind her battered backpack and crudely-ironed hand-me-down blouse.
"Tomlinson, Tyson, Underwood..."
Breath catches in her throat.
The name-caller takes a moment and looks her curiously in the eye.