As for Ali, the only time she noticed my existence was when she passed the desk, calling out one of her ebullient morning greetings. She never stopped and asked me to copy handouts or research something on the computer like the other teachers did. And even when she did eat in the lounge, Ali blithely ignored the groups who clustered together around Formica tables, complaining about troublemaking students or aides who weren't doing their jobs. Ali never attempted to penetrate the well-established circles like most newcomers did. Instead, she cheerfully greeted everyone, then buried herself in one of the books from her backpack--usually novels with unfamiliar titles. Occasionally, she took out a book covered in a rich red silk and wrote in it quietly in her corner. She'd write a bit, then chew meditatively on the end of her pen before going back to it. I envied her her ability to tune out the murmurings of the lunchroom.
--Patry Francis, The Liar's Diary
Just in case you don't already know, it's Patry Francis Day. If you don't have a copy of The Liar's Diary, today marks its paperback release.