Dear Graduate Student: An Exchange

March 9, 2010

Dear Grad Student,

First, I’d like to apologize for my behavior in our last class before Spring Break.  I know you’re just doing your job when you do stuff like assign a term paper just before we all go on vacation, so standing on my chair and making the “suck it” sign was not really as funny as it was supposed to be, especially since I hadn’t noticed that you no longer had your back to me.

I realize we may have not gotten off to a great start on the first day of classes, when I careened off the lecture hall doorway and face planted in front of your desk.  There was a lot more blood and vomit then I like to shed on a first day. My frat brother Harpo told me, and I don’t recall this, mind you, but apparently I went on a six minute diatribe, churning with vulgarities and the occasional bizarre sexual reference, on my complete lack of respect for TA’s in general.

My point is, these days are behind us, and I believe you and I may be able to forge a fresh, dare I say, mutually respectful TA-student relationship.

I am sure, as a self-supporting, middle aged guy who’s still choosing to go to college, you’ve probably flown off to some exotic locale for Spring Break like me and a few of my brothers.  A couple of us had only been to Mexico three or four times, so we snagged some (well, all) of my dad’s frequent flyer miles and were inside some Tijuana call girls by sundown.  I wasn’t sure about stealing from my dad, I mean, he is a senator, but the last time I said “no” to Harpo I was still a pledge and he put my head through a Hi Def TV.

Maybe you got that email from the Dean’s office about spring breakers planning a trip to Mexico?  And the heightened activities of Mexican drug cartels?

I think the last thing I remember is trying to figure out where to put my debit card in the gas pump that seemed to have been inoperable since the Cold War, when I was chloroformed and woke up tied to a chair next to Harpo.  They explained that Harpo had negotiated our release in exchange for me smuggling a decent-sized amount of heroin in my colon across the border.  Harpo elbowed me repetitively, filling my ear with such explanations as “It was our only option,” “Don’t be a pussy,” and “Well, you shouldn’t have passed out, shit-cock.”

My cell phone’s in pieces in the corner of this small room.  I assumed the guards had destroyed it upon our capture, but Harpo has informed me that he broke it to “find something in it to pick the lock,” which seems pointless, as the door is wedged shut with a chair and an armed guard is outside doing coke off a Bible.

I had hoped that when the police came, things would turn out okay.  But for whatever reason, they seemed to think we were involved in the cartel, rather than victims of it.  That’s what I got from all the panicked shouting, anyway.

They put me and Harpo in separate rooms and two cops grilled me for about half an hour.  Well, the skinny one did; the fat one with the neck tattoo of a python devouring a unicorn just stood in the corner, smoking a cigar and staring at me like a demon was about to crawl out of his throat.

I tried to explain that because they were yelling in Spanish, it was all just a cloud of gibberish and spit to me.  All the Spanish I could remember was from that Sesame Street segment where the gang of children counts to ten.

Eventually, another officer appeared in the doorway flanked by Harpo, who, with a pretty proud smirk, I couldn’t help but notice wasn’t handcuffed to a chair like me.  The officer said something to my interrogators and they all shook Harpo’s hand, after which he left the room under his own free will while giving me the finger.

They manhandled me out of the interrogation room and threw me in a chair near a computer.  When I stopped to get a drink of water from the water fountain, everyone in the hallway froze in place and gasped collectively.

I don’t know what I’m charged with and how many parasites are becoming self-aware within my stomach right now, but I was lucky enough to reach into my pocket and discover one piece of paper:  your syllabus, with your email address front and center.

So what I’m saying is my paper is going to be late and please contact, like, Interpol, or whoever handles this kind of thing.  My father has already explained to me, in detail, his policy on negotiating with terrorists.  I can’t remember a lot of it because I was absolutely drilled on shrooms, but from what I do recall, it doesn’t end well for the people being held captive.  And also he had five nostrils.

The fraternity president has disavowed all knowledge of our actions, so I’m looking to you.  I know you’re just a TA, but try and understand that there are things in life outside of pretending to be a professor and wondering if you’ve waited too long to have kids.



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4 Responses to “ Dear Graduate Student: An Exchange ”

  1. Greek_Goddess on March 10, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Dear Undergrad,

    I completely agree with you about grad students assigning papers over spring break. Can they get a life? Or, at least, realize we have lives? So, I’m with you with on that point. However, I’m going to be honest. The rest of your post kinda irks me.

    Fine, maybe a lot of fraternities have the exact reputation you depicted here and, true, it is fair to associate Greek life with drugs and alcohol. But, I bet that most drunk, fraternity guys have logged more community service hours in the past month than you have in the past 5 years. Did you have a “Chili for Chile” fundraiser to raise money for the catastrophe? Do you travel to a low income school every Friday to read to underprivileged children?

    Maybe you do – maybe you’re being serious about having a frat brother named Harpo. In that case, I apologize, and wonder why you bashed your own community. Greek or not, all I’m trying to say is that in your attempt to criticize the archenemy of all undergrads – grad students – you insulted the Greeks. Hercules would be mad.

    Just sayin’.

    Alpha Phi Forever!! Sisterhood rocks!

  2. Tower on March 11, 2010 at 11:03 am

    I agree with you, but come on–this guy’s exploits are so over-the-top and unbelievable he’s basically a cartoon character. One of the post’s tags is ‘humor’; it makes way more sense to try and draw humor from a bender in Mexico than a few hours spent helping underprivileged children.

    On that note, I have to go fish Harpo out of the upstairs neighbor’s toilet so she’ll stop screaming. ‘Scuse me.

  3. Tower on March 11, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    I totally understand where you’re coming from–but come on, honestly, this guy’s exploits are so over-the-top and unbelievable that he’s basically a cartoon character. Anyone who can ‘relate’ to any of his actions should take a good, long look at themselves, whether they volunteer or not (I mean… standing on a desk in the middle of class, giving the ‘suck-it’ sign to a TA?)

    I think this more than qualifies as satire, and if you view this as a serious assault on the image of Greek life, I would respectfully argue that there is a reason why it is tagged under “Humor.” Whether you think it is funny or not, that doesn’t change the fact that it was obviously intended not to be taken seriously.

    Lastly, in response to “But, I bet that most drunk, fraternity guys have logged more community service hours in the past month than you have in the past 5 years”:

    I’m not sure if this is what you meant, but it kind of sounds like you’re saying, hypothetically, that because a frat guy performs community service, it is perfectly okay that he spends the rest of his time being a drunk asshole having the “exact reputation you depicted here.” Which I would have to respectfully disagree with.

    But you’re right. I’ve done close to zero myself.

  4. Tower on March 15, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Oh, excellent. BOTH of those comments went up after my computer malfunctioned. Now I look the fool even harder.

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