Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Charlie Brown Christmas

This has long been one of my personal favorites. I learned the Biblical passage from Luke AND the works to "Hark, the Herald" from this show! I'm so glad Shultz just smiled, patted the dude's head, and left the room. That's MY kind of man! 


In December 1965 came A Charlie Brown Christmas, the most successful special in television history. In a simple story from Peanuts' creator Charles Schulz where Charlie Brown looks for genuine meaning in Christmas while Snoopy and Lucy revel in its glitter, the show defied convention by using real kids' voices, no laugh track, sophisticated original music and uncluttered graphics:

"No one was more ready than Charles Schulz to write a parable about commercialism when [his agent] Lee Mendelson telephoned one Wednesday in May 1965 to announce that he had just sold a Christmas show to Coca-Cola. ... He brought in Bill Melendez, the Disney animator who had earned Schulz's respect by not Disneyfying thePeanuts gang ... [by] changing their essential qualities, either as "flat" characters or as his cartoon characters. ...

"[Schulz left] Lee and Bill to audition some forty-five kids, ages six to nine, then train the cast of seven principles, some of them too young to read ... [to deliver] their lines with startling clarity and feeling. ...

"Schulz loathed the hyena hilarity of canned merriment and rightly judged that an audience would not have to be told when and where to laugh; Mendelson countered that all comedy shows used such tracks. 'Well, this one won't,' said [Schulz] firmly. 'Let the people at home enjoy the show at their own speed, in their own way.' Then he rose and walked out, closing the door behind him. ...

"On the subject of scoring and music, however, Schulz put aside his own tastes ... [and his producer hired] Grammy Award-winning composer Vince Guaraldi. The catchy rhythm of 'Linus and Lucy' ... became the centerpiece of A Charlie Brown Christmas, and eventually a pop music standard. But it was the slower, mixed-mood, improvisational pieces in Guaraldi's jazz suite, especially 'Christmas Time is Here,' that elicited the unarticulated emotions lying below the holiday's joyful surface. ...

"Lee and his wife had read Hans Christian Andersen's 'The Fir Tree' to their children the previous year, and when he suggested that the show somehow involve a comparable motif, [Schulz] seized upon the idea: 'We need a Charlie-Brown-like tree.' ... [And Schulz] insisted that the season's true meaning could be found in the Gospel according to St. Luke, and they agreed that the show would somehow work in the Nativity story. ... When the script was finished in June 1965, Lee Mendelson made a stand against Linus's recitation of the Nativity story, insisting that religion and entertainment did not mix on television. '[Schulz] just smiled,' Mendelson later wrote, 'patted me on the head, and left the room.' ...

"In a screening room at network headquarters in New York, two CBS vice presidents watched the show in silence. 'Neither of them laughed once,' Mendelson recalled. When the lights came on, the executives shook their heads and shrugged. 'Well,' said one, 'you gave it a good try.' 'It seems a little flat,' said the other. 'Too slow,' said the first, 'and the script is too innocent.' 'The Bible thing scares us,' said the other. The animation was crude--couldn't it be jazzed up a bit? The voice talent was unprofessional--they should have used adults. The music didn't fit--who ever heard of a jazz score on an animated special? And where were the laughs?"

David Michaelis, Schulz and Peanuts, Harper Collins, Copyright 2007 by David Michaelis, pp. 346- 358.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Southern Sayin's

*snickers* Mom sent this to me this morning. My personal favorites were "light in the loafers" and "mouth overloaded his butt." Enjoy!

Southern Saying: Like a chicken with your head cut off
Translation: Confusion
Usage: That boy was running around like a chicken with his head cut off!

Southern Saying: Butter my biscuit
Translation: Isn't that something!
Usage: Well butter my biscuit!

Southern Saying: Speckled pup in a red wagon
Translation: Reference to being cute or precious.
Usage: That baby's cuter than a speckled pup in a red wagon.

Southern Saying: Two goats in a pepper patch.
Translation: That's some hot stuff.
Usage: It's hotter out here than two goats in a pepper patch.

Southern Saying: Snowball's chance in hell.
Translation: Not a very likely occurrence.
Usage: You ain't got a snow ball's chance in hell of gittin' that girl.

Southern Saying: Argue with a fence post.
Translation: Stubborness
Usage: That woman would argue with a fence post.

Southern Saying: Rode hard and put up wet.
Translation: Looking rough
Usage: Man, you look like you been rode hard and put up wet.

Southern Saying: Heebie jeebies
Translation: A condition similar to the chills.
Usage: That fellow gives me the heebie jeebies.

Southern Saying: Light in the loafers.
Translation: gay
Usage: Leroy, that fellow light in the loafers to you?

Southern Saying: Three sheets to the wind.
Translation: Drunk
Usage: Betty Lou is three sheets to the wind.

Southern Saying: Short end of the stick.
Translation: Treated in an ill manner
Usage: We got the short end of the stick on that deal.

Southern Saying: Half cocked.
Translation: Lacking all the facts.
Usage: That fellow went off half cocked.

Southern Saying: Skint
Translation: Very versatile term meaning to remove hide, drunk, or to beat up.
Usage: I skint his hair back.

Southern Saying: Above your raisin'
Translation: Acting as a snob acts.
Usage: Little Miss Priss is shore above her raisin'.

Southern Saying: Ruffled her feathers.
Translation: Upsetting
Usage: I really ruffled her feathers.

Southern Saying: Chewin' the fat
Translation: Talking up a storm or � uh � talking about nothing in particular.
Usage: We was just a chewin' the fat.

Southern Saying: Like a stuck hog.
Translation: Screaming or squealing in pain.
Usage: Bo hit is finger with that mall and hollered like a stuck hog.

Southern Saying: I declare.
Translation: I did not know that or that is surprising or it can merely be used when there is really nothing else to say.
Usage: I declare!

Southern Saying: In a coon's age.
Translation: A really long time.
Usage: I ain't seen nothin' like that in a coon's age.

Southern Saying: Bump on a log.
Translation: Refers to one being unknowing.
Usage: He was just sittin' there like a bump on a log.

Southern Saying: Mouth overloaded his butt
Translation: That individual cannot back up what they are saying with actions.
Usage: Boy, you're lettin' your mouth overload your butt.

Southern Saying: Countin' your chickens �
Translation: The very risky act of assuming the outcome.
Usage: She's countin' her chickens before the eggs hatch.

Southern Saying: Bitten' off more than you can chew.
Translation: Taken on more than one can handle.
Usage: I really think this time I've bitten off more than I can chew!

Southern Saying: Caught with my pants down.
Translation: That individual was taken by surprise or was totally unprepared.
Usage: She caught me with my pants down.

Southern Saying: Like white on rice.
Translation: Southern symbolism at it's finest. Reference to traits or characteristics that cannot be separated two things that always go together. (Other colored rice is not eaten in the south except by those tryin' to live above their raisin'.)
Usage: She was all over him like white on rice.

Southern Saying: Barking up the wrong tree.
Translation: A situation to avoid at all costs. Indicates you may be about to have your hair skint back.
Usage: You're barkin' up the wrong tree now boy.

Southern Saying: Meat on that bone
Translation: There is still more to go - as in not complete.
Usage: There's still meat on that bone.

Southern Saying: Can't see the forest for the trees.
Translation: Unable to see the big picture.
Usage: Boy, you can't see the forest for the trees.

Southern Saying: Like water off a ducks back
Translation: Reference to the certainty of some event occuring or the ease at which it occurred.
Usage: It was like water off a duck's back.

Southern Saying: Shut my mouth
Translation: An expression of speechlessness. No, we can't keep our mouths shut and this is how we tell you.
Usage: Well shut my mouth!

Southern Saying: Two peas in a pod
Translation: Suited for each other or identical.

Usage: They like two peas in a pod ain't they? 

Saturday, December 13, 2008

St. Theresa's Prayer

This is almost unbearably lovely. It's my prayer ... she just said it ten thousand times better than I ever could!

May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content. Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


What are ten years?

Are they minutes?




Or are they memories,

Memories that can never and shall never be again?

Is a decade a grain of sand in an hourglass,

Or is it a puzzle piece to the world?

Are the passing years contained in the inches added to children’s frames,

Or the contests lost and the concerts given?

I cannot grasp this.

I cannot wrap my mind around the concept of a decade.

Time running on…

Life moving forward and grinding to a halt…

Love. Despair. Joy. Pain.

Life, trying to be contained in a single moment,

A moment that suddenly becomes years.

Ten years.

People call it a decade, to make it sound shorter,

More manageable.

Can time ever be managed?

I do know this:

A decade can never be regained.

Those ten long, short years,

A decade,

Has disappeared on the wind.

It is utterly lost, swept away down the river.

And you’ve missed it.

You’ve missed it all.

You’ve missed the inches, the concerts, the love, despair, joy, pain,

and growth.

You’ve missed the memories.

I would pity you, if you wanted it.

But you don’t.

You don’t understand the concept of a decade.

That’s all right, neither do I.

But these years, these passing, flowing puzzle pieces,

Refuse to be contained.

I won’t pity you.

It was your choice.

What is a decade?

I don’t know, but I do know this:

It’s been as short as a summer,

As long as forever,

And I know that I have the memories.

That’s enough for me.



Hell Week

There's a reason that over the decades/centuries, the final week of the college semester has come to be called Hell Week. It's like that scene at the beginning of The Mummy, the one where they're all being mummified alive.

Or maybe it's more like having bamboo splinters shoved up your fingernails and being given an egg drop soup high colonic, as Colonel Potter said so eloquently on M*A*S*H...

Or like walking up to a poof of a dog that's sitting demurely on the sidewalk, only to look down to see that the name on the collar of said fluffball is "Killa" and that it's grinning madly in your direction with glistening, saber-esque excuses for teeth...

Or! Perhaps Hell Week is like having to be shut up in a room with really awful rap music playing constantly and you can't escape and you get a monstrous headache and your left eye starts twitching IN TIME with the music...

Maybe it would be more accurate to say that Hell Week is like going out on a boat with your family one summer day and thinking it's going to be an amazing time of fun in the sun only to realize that you've forgotten sunscreen and you slowly burn all day and then the fun time finishes with a fish scaring the daylights out of you and you fall unintentionally into the water and have to sit in a car all the way home in the squashy shorts that you had on at the time and they chafe and that's not cool... (That was quite possibly the longest run on sentence to grace the literary world since the Gettesburg Address. I feel kind of proud.)

Or may it's just hell, however hellish it might be.

You get the idea.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Diary Entry of an Exam Hunter

8 December 2008: 

The final hour of my quest is nearing now. I cannot believe that the moment has come. Everything for the past four months has led to this moment, and I know that I must not fail. The safety of the modern world (Third World countries don't count. They're on their own on this one) depends on me and on me alone. It is an intensely lonely and stressful situation in which I find myself now, but I know that I must somehow bear and forbear. 

It is my destiny.

It is my calling.

And I like to pause a lot for dramatic tension.

And use long vocabulary words, that helps, too.

At the moment I have my prey locked irrevocably in my sights. It is cowering in the corner of this scholastic jungle, knowing that its doom is near. For four months now this wild animal has stalked me, and has gleefully kept me in a constant state of panic and fear. It never dreamed that it was being stalked as well. It never knew that its time of domination was limited. The beast has, on occasion, injured me and caused me to lose precious sleep. However, as an experienced exam hunter, I have learned to simply ignore the pain, to accept the pain and thank it for making me better and more qualified for my quest. (Sound like a Jedi, don't I? Sweet.) 

However, there is a small, pitiful part of me that knows that this exercise is utterly futile. I can kill the exam now, which I will, but later the animal will regenerate and begin the hunt anew. It is an impossible fat to escape. I am stuck in an eternal quest, an unending safari, and I shall not be free of it until I begin to inflict the animal exam on my own pack of unsuspecting little students. My grasshoppers will then have to learn all that I have learned on their own.

It is their own destiny.

It cannot be escaped.

Told you I liked to pause a lot. Captain Kirk taught me.

I must close this diary soon. The rock salt I have used to surround and cage my prey will not last forever, and I shall then be forced to wrestle with it for domination. It is my belief that I will not escape this battle completely unscathed, but perhaps with my own excruciating pain, I can keep the wild exam from harming another soul for another six months. It is a thankless, dirty job, but it is a job that must needs be done. Countless minds are resting on my victory, that I might preserve their sanities

Fear not, college students around the globe.

A new day will come.

It will dawn bright, shining, and free of any shadow of the stalking beast.

It is my gift to you.

And somebody please help me with the pausing thing! It's driving me crazy!


I disturbed the beast. 

It's leaping for my throat!

Gotta run.....

Sunday, December 7, 2008

If Dr. Seuss Wrote for Star Trek: The Next Generation

Picard: Sigma Indri, that's the star,
So, Data, please, how far? How far?

Data: Our ship can get there very fast
But still the trip will last and last
We'll have two days til we arrive
But can the Indrans there survive?

Picard: LaForge, please give us factor nine.

LaForge: But, sir, the engines are offline!

Picard: Offline! But why? I want to go!
Please make it so, please make it so!

Riker: But sir, if Geordi says we can't,
We can't, we mustn't, and we shan't,
The danger here is far too great!

Picard: But surely we must not be late!

Troi: I'm sensing anger and great ire.

Computer: Alert! Alert! The ship's on fire!

Picard: The ship's on fire? How could this be?
Who lit the fire?

Riker: Not me.

Worf: Not me.

Picard: Computer, how long til we die?

Computer: Eight minutes left to say goodbye.

Data: May I suggest a course to take?
We could, I think, quite safely make
Extinguishers from tractor beams
And stop the fire, or so it seems...

Geordi: Hurray! Hurray! You've saved the day!
Again I say, Hurray! Hurray!

Picard: Mr. Data, thank you much.
You've saved our lives, our ship, and such.

Troi: We still must save the Indran planet --

Data: Which (by the way) is made of granite...

Picard: Enough, you android. Please desist.
We understand -- we get your gist.
But can we get our ship to go?
Please, make it so, PLEASE make it so.

Geordi: There's sabotage among the wires
And that's what started all the fires.

Riker: We have a saboteur? Oh, no!
We need to go! We need to go!

Troi: We must seek out the traitor spy
And lock him up and ask him why?

Worf: Ask him why? How sentimental.
I say give him problems dental.

Troi: Are any Romulan ships around?
Have scanners said that they've been found?
Or is it Borg or some new threat
We haven't even heard of yet?
I sense no malice in this crew.
Now what are we supposed to do?

Crusher: Captain, please, the Indrans need us.
They cry out, "Help us, clothe us, feed us!"
I can't just sit and let them die!
A doctor MUST attempt -- MUST try!

Picard: Doctor, please, we'll get there soon.

Crusher: They may be dead by Tuesday noon.


Worf: The saboteur is in the brig.
He's very strong and very big.
I had my phaser set on stun --
A zzzip! A zzzap! Another one!
He would not budge, he would not fall,
He would not stun, no, not at all!
He changed into a stranger form
All soft and purple, round and warm.

Picard: Did you see this, Mr. Worf?
Did you see this creature morph?

Worf: I did and then I beat him fairly.
Hit him on the jaw -- quite squarely.

Riker: My commendations, Klingon friend!
Our troubles now are at an end!

Crusher: Now let's get our ship to fly
And orbit yonder Indran sky!

Picard: LaForge, please tell me we can go...?

Geordi: Yes, sir, we can.

Picard: Then make it so!

Yeah, I couldn't resist. It's not mine. I found it on facebook, just fyi.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Eyes, Ears, Nose and Mouth...and, um, feet....

I would love to know why God, in His unfathomable mercy and omniscience, couldn't make me live up to my name a little more than I do. I mean, I'd like to think that I'm pure grace in my behavior towards others, but why can't I be even slightly more graceful in physicality? I don't even have to be pure grace. I'm not greedy. I can live with tainted grace, or even substandard grace. Just a little help here would be nice, that's all I'm saying.

What brought on this rant? Why, I'm glad you asked! 

This evening, my absolutely wonderful friend, Julianne, and I were able to get together. She graduated school last spring, so I don't get to see her much now that she's been kidnapped by the real world, aka, a job. It's truly amazing how that one syllable word can strike cold, sickening fear into the hearts of humanity. Makes one shudder by sheer reflex, doesn't it? In any case, whenever I can steal her away for a couple of hours for some girl time, it's much appreciated, especially now with exams staring me in the face. Boo, hiss!

We went to O'Charley's first, where we decided to fight against society's image of the perfect girl (cough cough Barbie cough cough) and devour our meals with the utmost Heart and Fortitude. We got a lot of talking done despite the shoveling of food that went on, and the conversation was lovely. It was very, very nice to be with another person rather than just being glued to my computer. While my computer is a marvelous companion, it just cannot fulfil all of my needs. But shhh! Don't tell the computer. I need it. I can't have it thinking I'm cheating on it or something. I'm personifying it again, aren't I? My apologies. 

After that, we went to see that marvel of marvels, Twilight, again. This makes five times total for me so far ... some people survive for months on the amount of money I've cavalierly blown on movie tickets, but it's kept me sane, so I consider it a small price to pay. I rather like being sane, thanks. Julianne and I found some promising seats and sat down near the top, where we hopefully wouldn't be disturbed. The theater started the fill up, though it wasn't bad.

Until ... they came.

Yes. It was the dreaded Preteen Brigade. You know, the ones that are super loud, obnoxious, and utterly without parental supervision. Ugh. 

Double ugh.

They settled themselves behind Julianne and I on Make Out Row. (Hey, I didn't know it was called that! Bobby told me. I'm woefully ignorant on this sort of thing.) They then proceeded to completely fulfill my high expectations of them by talking loudly and kicking the back of our seats. From their loud, uncouth mouths I learned that:

Robby is dating Sophia now. Dude, for real???

Tyler got his hair cut by some Chinese woman and now refuses to take off his hat.

So-and-so (didn't catch a name on this one. I know, I know, I'm ashamed of myself) snuck out of the house to come to this cheesy movie. Dude! Sweet!

And so on and so forth. I won't sully this high and intellectual blog with any more such drivel.

Julianne looked at me in a pained manner and I looked at her. Considering the fact that we'd just had a conversation on how much less patience we had with such things than we used to have, I knew what she was thinking. "Want to move?" I asked her. 

"Yes," was her automatic reply. "But we're blocked in!" She was right. We were boxed in and getting out would be extremely awkward.

To which I was all, "Psh, the seats in front of us are empty. You step on the armrest, step down again, and Bob's your uncle." (I think I was showing my age with that one....)

Julianne was still looking hesitant, so I handed her my purse and proceeded to show her how it was done. Everything was going swimmingly until I got my foot stuck in-between the armrest and chair bottom on my final step. I managed not to fall and maintain my suave image (okay, I guess I'm not entirely graceless) and get down without looking like a total klutz. I also managed not to show that my foot hurt, really really really badly. Julianne sat down with me and everything was good. A nice looking lady down the aisle from us was looking at us with questions in her eyes for our monkey-esque behavior. I leaned over and whispered, "The Preteen Brigade up there..." and finished by gesturing vaguely.

She nodded knowingly and said, "Ah, that explains it. I've got one almost that age." 

I looked at her in sympathy and said, "Good luck." 

"Thanks!" she replied with a laugh. She was pretty cool ... all throughout the movie I would hear her husband whispering in either disdain or amazement, "Are you crying?" To which she would politely tell him to shut up. It made me laugh.

I'm sure you will share my devastation, though, when I tell you that the Preteen Brigade then did the unforgivable: THEY MOVED BACK DOWN TO THE ROW BEHIND US AGAIN!!! ARGH!!! They were like boomerangs, or Groundhog Day.

Anyway, once things got dark, I relieved the pain in my injured appendage by making atrocious faces. When the house lights finished going done, I nonchalantly leaned down and felt the top of my foot. I kid you not, there was a lump there! That takes talent. Too bad it's not a quantifiable talent. I can give you all the cheerful news that it's already turning black and blue. It's going to truly be a thing of beauty.

Before the movie really got started, though, Julianne got up to go to the little ladies room and I was left by myself. I could hear two of the Preteen Brigade talking quietly behind me, but it's kinda hard not to miss a conversation that's taking place right in your eardrums. "This seat is broken!" one complained. 

"Yeah, said the other. I think it's why those girls moved. That and they were being b-----."

Oh, no he didn't. Yes, he did. And yes, I totally did. I turned around and said, "Um, guys? Point of interest? I have ears. Just fyi." There was silence for a moment while the mom down the row from me snickered. The two kids kept on whispering, though, obviously forgetting that vital, scientific fact that sound carries. They probably don't pay attention in school, poor things. I just rolled my eyes at them and went on about the serious business of Edward drooling. Hey, I'm single. I'm allowed to admire a Picasso when I see it! Although Picasso would have probably given him four ears and two mouths, which would have been utter blasphemy...

In any case, I am now left with several things as a result of this lovely evening. 1.) A foot that could pass for a kaleidoscope for its varying and mesmerizing colors, 2.) that evil little smug feeling that comes of putting a bunch of punks in their places and 3.) a lighter wallet, but a matching happier heart. It was a good evening.

Now, on to the latest mission: survive exams...

That might bruise me even worse, come to think of it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Note to All You Crazy Kids Out There that Want to Be Stalkers When You Grow Up

No, I do not mean stalker in the creepy-hide-behind-blinds-and-record-videos-of-you-singing-in-the-shower sense of the word. This is a serious entry that's going to advance the lot of mankind, folks. If you perform certain actions toward me, I will henceforth dub you a stalker. Anyway, if you think you might like to be a stalker someday, this note is for you!

First, I suppose I should clarify just what a stalker is to all you ignorant folks. Here are some helpful hints that might help in the classification process. If you have four or more of these qualities, you should probably take a long, deep look inside yourself and abstain from your computer for a while. (That is, of course, if you don't want to be a stalker. If that is, in fact, your career goal in life, then by all means! Do please continue on your present course!)

To find out if you are a stalker, ask yourself the following questions:

1.) Do you spend inordinate amounts of time on facebook?

2.) Do you send friend requests to friends of friends, aka, to girls you've never met or only met once before?

3.) After being accepted as friend, do you begin to comment on every single item on their page?

4.) Do you think that talking once online makes you and said girl the absolutely perfect partners for one another in life?

5.) Do you feel that you have been rejected often, and thus have an oh-woe-is-me-all-girls-are-scum-if-she-could-only-see complex?

6.) During your conversations, do you automatically assume that either everything the girl says is a flirtation, or that everything she says is putting you down?

If so, then, by golly! Welcome to the stalker biz! Pull up your chair, err, computer desk, 'cause we've got a lot to cover. Here are some tips for those prospective stalkers are there. Hear and heed, and you may get to stay in the same creeptastic position for the rest of your days!

1.) Start out the conversation with lots of compliments, especially if you don't mean them. She'll never be able to tell the difference, and then she'll probably fall all over herself for you! Go you!

2.) Share your entire life story, including past sexual encounters and break-ups, in one breath. Chicks dig that. Hardcore.

3.) After you've talked for a mere five minutes, there inevitably comes the (duh duh duhhhh!!!!!) awkward silence. This is the signal that she's dying on the other end, waiting for you -- you hot stud, you -- to ask her out! By no means should you think that she's waiting for you to shut up and leave her alone. Oh, no. This is your chance! Leap for it!

4.) When the girl asks for a rain check or doesn't reply, ask considerately what the problem is with you guys "just getting to know one another. As friends, strictly, of course." It'll make her think that you're one of those strong yet sensitive types if you act like you care about her problems or hang ups. After all, it's not like she doesn't want to go out with you! Duh!

5.) Gasp! She turned you down? Seriously? No way, Jose! She said she was uncomfortable with that whole meeting you alone thing or whatever? Well, then, ha! You are free to show your true colors now and begin cursing and hounding her, saying that she is sexist, shallow, and an idiot for guarding her heart. That's very bad for a girl to do, obviously.

6.) When she starts to get squiffy right back at you, or threatens to sic her brother on your butt, back off of the hostility for a minute. Now is the time to use the guilt trip. It's one of your most powerful weapons, boys, so make sure you wait for the opportune moment. Make her think that she's the most despicable of creatures for ever not seeing that you guys are absolutely perfect! Work it, fellows, work it. She's obviously blind to the fact that you are an amazing piece of manflesh. Point out the fact that she's being short sighted not to see you in all your glory. Lay on the shame!

7.) Oh, I forgot to tell you earlier: be sure and have grammatical and spelling errors in ALL your messages. She'll be so busy editing it in her head that she'll completely miss the fact that you're a grade A jerk!

8.) When she turns you down for the last time, get huffy, sign off, and then proceed to tell all your mutual friends what a witch-with-a-B she is. That's sure to get her to come crawling back! Never forget, stalkers: You are pure awesomeness. Even though it seems like she doesn't want you, it only seems that way. It's all an act, big guy. Don't fall for it!

9.) By all means, give up after the first time. If nothing else will convince her of the heartfelt, sincere nature of your devotion, this sure will! She won't be thanking her lucky stars for escaping you at all.

10.) Finally, repeat the above process with the next girl in line, preferably a friend of the girl who was dumb enough to not want you. And then the next girl and the next girl and then the next girl... You're awesomeness! Someday you'll find that special girl that gets you! And she'll probably be one that you can order around and stuff, too, you lucky dog.

The sad part of all this? Yeah. Firsthand, personal experience.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I'm Not a Nice Person

In all the stresses and vexations of forthcoming exams and Christmas, I completely forgot about one of the happier moments of the semester's end: class reviews. This is the time when students offer their opinions of the classes they've taken while being protected by blessed anonymity. Normally I try and be honest with these things while simultaneously doing my best to protect my teacher. At a school where there is no such thing as tenure, our professors' footholds are uncertain at best, so I try to be as complimentary as possible so as to offer them a little job security. Since most of my professors are absolutely and completely marvelous, this really hasn't been much of a problem up til now. I repeat, up til now.

Today was the day that I reviewed Effie's performance. 

I'm going to hell. It was fun, but I'm mostly definitely doomed to perdition.

Let me clarify something here before you read anything further. I am not normally a malicious person. I hate confrontation and tension of all kinds. So this is not a good example of my usual behavior. This was an exception to the rule. 

Yes, I did take fiendish delight in totally burning everything about this class that I possibly could. I've been polite and prepared and studious all semester, but seriously, folks, can you expect me to allow such ignorance to continue when I could have said something about it? I mean, how harmful is it to all those poor freshmen that come in utterly bewildered and are handed a complete load of bull to swallow? I remember what I was like as a freshman -- I had absolutely no discernment at all. Sub-par teachers should not, and must not, be tolerated when the quality of education is at stake. 

Was I ruder than necessary? Absolutely! Should I have been? Probably not, although it was unbelievably fun to act that way for a change. There is a time for kindness, and a time to hand someone their butt. This was one of those latter times.

Anyway, to continue on with the story. There are a series of questions asked on these reviews to which you are supposed to circle one of the following answers: strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, strongly agree. Normally I just dart down the page answering agree -- it was very different this time.

"Did the professor offer the material at a pace conducive to learning?" -- strongly disagree.

"Was the class atmosphere enjoyable?" -- strongly disagree.

"Did the teacher know the material?" -- strongly disagree.

"Did you feel free that you had ample opportunity to ask questions?" -- strongly disagree.

"Did the teacher respond to you in a timely manner?" -- strongly disagree.

"Did the professor present the material advertised in the catalogue?" -- agree. (I told you I tried to be honest on these things. She did present the advertised material, just not in a way previously known to mankind. She probably got her teaching methods from observing the habits of the Chacma Baboon.)

And so on and so forth. The feeling of glee in the room was contagious as all the students answered the questions in a similar fashion to my own. Finally, I reached the last portion of the review, where students could write out their opinions in response to questions. The first one was something to the effect of: "What was the most beneficial part of this class for you?" 

My answer: "The satire that I was able to perfect -- this class gave me a wealth of material to use. It was most helpful."

Question: "What did you feel was wrong with this class?"

My answer: "Uh, everything? The material was presented in PowerPoint slides that were flipped through so fast that no one could take proper notes. Some students resorted to taking pictures of the screen with their cell phones out of sheer desperation. Professor Jones expected everyone to magically remember everything she said in her lectures, giving absolutely no consideration to those of us that are visual learners. Her classroom was loud and rude, and there were open altercations between students as well as racial tensions. It would also help if she would hand her tests back instead of just showing us the grades -- that way we could study more effectively and thus improve our grades. The homework was a joke, the reading material badly chosen, and the facts incorrect. I would say more, but I'm running out of room."

Question: "What would you change about this class?"

My answer: "There are no words. No, wait, wait, I found some! First of all, I would find a teacher that actually knew the subject and could make the material come alive, rather than just dryly reading off of PowerPoint slides that are misspelled and erroneous in content. How about finding a textbook that isn't written from a snide-hate-all-Christians-indiscriminately perspective? Better yet, how about hiring a teacher that didn't find her degree hanging on a bathroom wall? This class was utterly abysmal, and while I know that I sound horrible right now, I won't apologize for it. I actually care about this institution. I do not want to see the quality of Crichton's education suffer. Therefore, I will protest about every single aspect of this class in the hope that some changes for the better will be made." 

I do hope changes for the better will be made. That's for everyone's ultimate good.

But in the meantime, I have to admit, I do feel a whole lot better!

It's a darn good thing I'm saved by grace, though, rather than works...