Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dr. Schadenfrau Takes Her Snowflakes Out in the Sun And Whilst in a Dream Discovers the Error in "Because."

Today in class someone thought it would be a good idea if we sat outside for our seminar. FYI, I’m not like a character from the HBO vampire series, “True Blood” — that means I won’t fry after sunrise like ravioli in a chain restaurant kitchen. But outside? Never mind the bugs and threats of death posed by every tool-wielding university groundskeeper, the sunlight is so…so…unnatural for academics. It’s quite hard to keep the sullen, overworked pallor going if there’s a sun-kissed glimmer on one’s nose. However, Dr. Schadenfrau’s open to all kinds of craziness in the summer so, WTF…let’s take our fatty arses to the outdoor concourse, get a frosty beverage and talk all post modern.

More compelling than iced tea and an “en plein air” teaching environment is the opportunity to wear sunglasses. Why? Well, I can close my eyes and let them roll back in my head while Adelaide blithers on about Derrida (not realizing he's DEAD). With quadruple chins to support my noggin, it never looks like I’ve fallen into an unconscious stupor. Rather, I think I appear as a pasty yet benevolent “Jabba the Hut, Ph.D.” via a few spastic and somnolent head bobs. Inadvertent sleep-drooling can be a give-away but the trick here is to keep the beverage straw in your mouth at all times. Makes a great spit conduit and emergency head prop should a chin or two give way.

Amidst the student and leaf-blower droning, my thoughts rambled over to posts by “Entourage” and “Grade Bump.” I’ve felt all that pain—and numbed it with bourbon and cat acquisition—many times over. Today, however, I think I’ve split the freakin’ atom and solved the problem for all of us. It’s a bit like Derrida’s erasure…except we’re gonna blow the word ‘BECAUSE’ right outta' the student excuse vocabulary.

Imagine course policies that said: “Students excuses—verbal or written—must end before the word ‘because’.” Think about the spare time we’d have. Hell, I’d have tenure twice over by now and probably a humanitarian award. Me and Angie Jolie, sitting together at the UN....yeah, Brad would be lookin' my way....yeah.

Anyway, for example:

My girlfriend, Buffy, can’t take the exam today because her mother’s cat’s worm medicine that ended up in Buffy’s Nyquil for her cold due to Jennifer doing something dumb has made her pass kidney stones through her eye-sockets and her mother thinks this is really bad for the cat and has increased Buffy’s intolerance for dietary calcium so she thinks the cat shouldn’t come into Buffy’s room and influence her decision to go to school today and talk to Jennifer.

Jam a period right before ‘because’ and damn, it’s the money shot — hot and satisfying. All I need to know is the Buffster can’t make the exam today. I don’t care why.Never did. It works nicely for the grade bump scenario, too! That pesky question, when ended before ‘because’, just begs for a resounding Dr. Jabba the Hut, “NO!” It's fast, it's efficient....why didn't I think of it before?