sous chef and a homeless man.


prerequisites for dream: emily told me how, in high school, some of her teachers were so lazy that they would sometimes stop lecturing and just put on a film or an episode of the simpsons. i told her that this would sometimes happen to me at jesuit, too, and mr. vujovich, my high school "psychology" teacher, would end class abruptly (even with 45 minutes left to go) and just eat his lunch. we would watch him eat. nobody seemed to mind, or think it was unusual. the first time he did this, though, i turned around to face joey, the class clown, and said, "what the hell? is class over?" joey seemed kind of surprised, like he just realized, oh yeah, we're still in school, and he laughed a little, but then he went back to writing on the back of my chair: caslin (the new theology teacher) eats cock. her drew a big cock and balls with his sharpie.

i told emily that it was kind of fun, not having to do anything in high school, but it sucked once i got to college and realized how i felt like a lot of students were a lot smarter than i was. sometimes, in my pre-caluculus class, since i had no idea what the hell was going on, i would just watch the clock and try to pass time by singing songs in my head. usually it was blink-182's "all the small things," a stupid but catchy tune that could easily burn away three and a half minutes. so when it was 10:47 a.m., and class ended at 10:50 a.m., i would start the opening chords in my head, tom delonge's opening riff with distortion, the g chord to f to c. and i could hear his voice in my head: "all the small things..." yeah, i really did this.

i picked up a book emily had on her coffee table called probes. i didn't really get it, but i liked a lot of quotations in there. one of them was just a question: why is america the land of the overrated child and the underrated adult. i really liked that one. it made me think of all the stupid parents at st. ignatius who put all this pressure on their kids because they felt their own lives were ordinary, empty and meaningless. and now, as a pseudo-adult, i see a lot of people my age (myself included) who are headed in this direction. so, what do we do? we procreate and hope that our kids are happier, more successful, than we could ever hope to be.

another quotation from probes was something along the lines of: "the system has done a great job of making everyone the same. competition is based on absolute uniformity." and i didn't really realize it before i read it, but it's true. i am competing for jobs right now, telling employers what they want to hear: "i have good communication skills. i am a hard-worker. i am organized and efficient." in patrick bateman's words: "i want to fit in." meagan said that the whole notion that these employers want "diversity" is utter bullshit. they simply want to fulfill their idea of diversity. they already have an idea of what a good little asian-american candidate should be like. they want the amy tan: the bookish, quiet asian who is a pushover, and who will get the job done without complaint. competition is bullshit when everyone wants the same thing: the gold medal, the 4.0 gpa, the job. what does it mean when everyone wants the same thing?

i think it means we've been duped. the third and final (non-verbatim) quotation i remembered from probes: "school is the first adveritising agency. for it is the institution where we learned and accepted that we cannot live without it."

enter remembered dream #8762: i was taking a class at seattle university with my parents and my friend dong. we signed up for some bullshit class called racism awareness or something like that. the instructor was this old, gray-haired woman who fully believed that she knew everything, or at least more than we did. for some reason, there was this little black kid also in the class, but he wasn't really part of the class, and from time to time, he would raise his hand to tell the teacher it was his birthday. he did this three times, and on the third time, i finally realized he was full of shit. the teacher, though, acquiesced each time and gave the student a present she had stashed away in a closet. at this point, dong said that he had to pick up his friend, amber, who was snowed in somewhere, but the professor did not allow it. she barked at him and told him that he had an obligation to stay in class. he conceded, though unwillingly.

at this point, i told the professor that it was unfair to not let him go, since she had interrupted class plenty of times to give away presents. she slightly acknowledged her hypocrisy, but nothing changed. we sat there, and she continued to lecture us about racism, a topic i was convinced she knew nothing about. my suspicions were only confirmed when she passed out polaroids she had taken of people who "expressed racist attitudes" toward her. one of them was a white woman, a sous chef, and the other was a homeless man who wore an army surplus jacket. at this point, i dropped the polaroids, and i announced that we were leaving. the professor followed me, as she was obviously irritated. i said, "i'd like to talk to them alone," and she backed off. i convinced everyone to drop the class and i added that this woman didn't know what the hell she was talking about.

i was a leader. i was able to stand up for someone else. i called a bullshitter out. my friend and i ran across campus with huge grins, and i didn't care that we looked like fools. it felt like graduation, but better, because there was no stupid ceremony, no stupid tassels, hats, gowns or uniforms. for once, we got to do things our way. we just ran and ran, laughing wildly, ecstatic that it was over, that we had finally gotten away from not just the idiot professor, but everyone who ever tried to convince us that we were nothing, that we couldn't possibly exist without their knowledge, their institution.

3 comments:

ms.meggie said...

Excellent entry. I give you an A+. Exactly what I was looking for. Gold star, gold star, gold star.

Jacob Dempsey said...

eh

Jacob Dempsey said...

alright fine, I actually haven't read it yet