"Class," began their Introduction to Figure Drawing instructor, a Vulcan, "today you are going to draw a nude." Behind her, a young human male ambled up to the middle of the classroom, where there was a small riser and a chair. He began to shed his clothes – a flannel shirt, blue jeans, a tee shirt. He was one of the groundskeepers at Oxford University. Behind him, the wall chronometer showed the time – 1356 hours – and the date – September 10, 2182.

A young furry woman took out her PADD – she removed it from her body's pouch, actually – and gulped. Tentatively, and a little scared, she raised her hand. "Yes, Miss Daranaea?"

"Uh, Professor? Is, uh, is that nude as in, um, no clothes?"

The class chuckled as the tips of the furry woman's large triangular-shaped ears turned crimson. "Yes," replied their instructor. The Vulcan nodded at the model, who had stopped what he was doing and stood there in a tee, socks, and briefs. "You may proceed."

"Inta," an Andorian woman said to the fluffy one in a stage whisper, "Didn't you read the course materials before you signed up?"

"I, uh, oh, my." Inta looked down at her fluffy, dark brown hands. "I, I don't know whatever I shall tell my brother Vidam and Mama and Mother Dratha."

"It'll be okay," the Andorian tried to assure her again, "just think of it like, I dunno, another finger or something."

"Right." Pressing stylus to PADD, Inta began to draw the model. He was a handsome fellow, very well-built and a little sunburned from spending his time outside clipping hedges or weeding the flower beds on campus. She was fine with drawing his face – he was clean-shaven, which was a strange thing for a Daranaean such as herself to see – and his hands and feet and chest.

The instructor came over and looked over their shoulders as they worked. "A little smaller," she said to the Andorian. "This is figurative art, and not wish fulfillment."

"Yes, of course, Professor." The Andorian turned a tiny bit bluer.

"Miss Daranaea," the professor said, "you will need to draw it at some point."

"I, I know, Professor. It's just, we are not supposed to see a, a mature person of the other gender until we are married."

"Aren't these classes supposed to be culturally sensitive?" asked the Andorian.

"Yes," admitted the Vulcan. "If you wish, you may be excused."

"I, uh," Inta thought for a moment, "no. I will stay. You are correct that I need to draw it. And, and I will not be a good artist if I can't."

"Very well," replied the professor, "but if you change your mind, you may be excused and instead make up the work by drawing a landscape."

Inta nodded and continued. Finally finished, she saved her work, electronically sent it to her professor and then put her PADD back into her pouch. The Andorian was also finished, so Inta asked, "What were you drawing that was too large?"

The Andorian chuckled. "It."


The model put his clothes back on as the professor checked over their work. There was a large screen in the front of the room, and graded works began to appear on it, but without the students' names attached. Inta recognized her own work immediately; where there had been none; she had drawn a cloth, draped nearby but not preserving the model's modesty. Next to that image, there was an A-.

Outside of class, the model approached her. "I'm sorry if you were uncomfortable."

"It's okay. I have a lot to learn about your ways."

"I've seen you," he remarked, "as you go from class to class. I do look up sometimes, yanno. I don't recognize what you are."

"Oh, I am a Daranaean."

"Ah, so you don't have a real last name," he said, "I know they call people by a species name if there isn't one. Call me Jake."

"I am Inta."

"Inta," Jake said, "all these smart people, they kinda intimidate me."

"Me, too."

"Wave when you walk by, okay?"

"Of course, Jake." Inta smiled a little. "But I will not tell my mother exactly how we met."