Friday, January 27, 2006

Rites of Passage

"America is my country, but Paris is my hometown." Jefferson said that. Or something similar. Or was it Franklin? (Herebe should know. He knows more about American history than I do, upstart little colonial tosser that he is.) Anyway, the point is that Jefferson (Franklin?) found a place that became more home to him than the place where he was born, and so it is with me. As a cat enthusiast eventually caves in to the grating, pitiful yowls and big, fuzzy eyes and eventually takes the in the stray, England has finally taken me in. I've been adopted; i'm here to stay. I bought my first pair of Wellies.

I spent the morning collecting essays from 2nd and 3rd-year undergrads. It was bedlam. If they don't get there, essays in hand, by noon, we close the door and they are officially screwed. Today was my third day at the task of collecting, and I can tell I've seen every possible attempt at fudging the deadline. Or I thought I had, until today. This was priceless, it really was. May I tell you about it? (I promised the kid he was getting a mention in my blog today, so I'd better pony up, just in case he actually reads this shit.) Here's the scene: My cohort and I are in a room crammed to overflowing with books, shelves spilling over, filling every bit of wall space and then some. The room itself is pandemonium, never mind the goings-on. It is 12:01 pm. We have closed the door. The table in front of us is piled to overflowing with essays, each one with a color-coded cover sheet, thown in messy stacks. They cover almost ever inch of the table. Around the table on all sides, squished up against the chaos of books are our beloved undergrads. They are everywhere. We had to get them in the room so we could close the door and the deadline. Separate the sheep from the goats, as it were. Cohort and I are attempting to process the essays as fast as possible: sort, staple, stamp, sign, tear, stack. I hear a baleful student cry, "Oh my God!!!!" I ignore him. "I need to run to the library," quoth he. "I'll be right back."

"You'll be marked late," he was told.
"No! I'm here! But I have to leave, something' wrong."
"If you leave, you'll be marked late." We can't budge.

Apparently what was wrong was he had somehow lost the first page of one of his essays. Fortunately, they are required to turn in 2 copies of each. So he grabbed a pen and started copying out the first page from the duplicate copy of the essay. He was informed that if he got it done before the last person had gone through the queue (read: mob), he would be on-time. So this poor kid is sitting at a desk (which is piled 3 feet deep with books over every inch), madly copying an entire page of his essay. It was hilarious. He got it done, bless him. He'll remember that moment for the rest of his life, and probably tell his kids the story. And when he handed me that paper, he was officially half-way done with his degree. Congrats, kid.


ZB said...

I'm not a colonial tosser. I'm the colonizer, those who I colonize are colonials. And beneath my contempt. Naturally.

Chaucer's Bitch said...

forgive me. i meant colonialist tosser. my error.

Anonymous said...

We poor undergrads... the things we frantically do, the hoops we jump though, just to have the hope of someday being ass who holes the ring-- Good job! You made it! --Heather M.

Liz said...

My husband prevented an undergrad leaving the room once during a lecture he was giving, despite the undergrad's wincing shouts of: 'But it's important! I have to go now!'

He learned his lesson when the undergrad proceeded to projectile vomit all over the row of kids in front of him. I believe this is a mistake you only make once in your career.

ZB said...

Everybody has hoops to jump through.