Tension is holding on to something that is not there. Invest in loss.
"Can I talk to you for a minute?"
Emily had been waiting outside of my office door and looked visibly unsettled. I had just told her class that they were to choose partners for three scenes of violence to be presented at the end of the semester. To keep things simple I had thought that having the students pick only one partner with whom they could coordinate schedules would be the most efficient way to go about it. Of course, there was a wrinkle I had not anticipated.
"I'm stuck with Tom. I emailed the whole class and everyone already has a partner and no one wants to work with him. I really want to do the best I can on this assignment ...