The comfort of a small, intimate circle of desks in my high school’s AP English Language and Composition class couldn’t calm my nervous, hammering heart, which seemed to accompany my impulses to speak. No matter how much I tried to convince myself the nervousness was unfounded—there are only 12 of us! You have friends in this class! You’re smart!—I still found reasons to silence myself, keep my lips together, and tuck my ideas about A Streetcar Named Desire away to be elucidated on paper; there, at least, they were organized and confident, their words meticulously chosen. I’d get warm, my mouth would get dry, and I’d wait for the nervousness (and the opportunity to speak) to fade away. Needless to say, my confidence in classroom discussions continued to drop....