A Graduate Student's Plea for a More Meaningful and Better Paying Education System
By Louis Toliver Jr
All I, George, ever wanted was an education, but I never knew that it would be, metaphorically, like being a sex slave. Up until this particular day when I was teaching for my daily survival, I had been a pretty obedient boy. I just constantly allowed myself to be raped and raped and raped emotionally, sometimes physically for an “A.” My motto was: Let the good times roll. They rolled. “Hello professor, how would you like me to bend over your desk and perform the Kama Sutra before you sign this form for me? Four times it is!” I spent so much time being nice to others. I was always beating some old lady to a parking spot; and, ultimately, feeling bad and letting her have it, going to the pay lot across the street instead for twenty bucks. That’s two weeks of food at Wendy’s. And, I was fucking poor.
So here’s the point. I walked in to the classroom for some reason, this particular day. Not eager to teach freshman college kids how to write, read, think, chew with their mouths closed, put deodorant on, and wipe their asses. I was on the verge of a psycho breakdown, this day, because I had to grade 100 papers, make six proposals, sit on some committee, publish four essays, piss and shit, get a cup of coffee, and sit on some other committee by 3pm not able to piss and shit. Teach two classes, we pay you fifty bucks a month, that’s enough to live, past students have done it. I spent my fifty bucks, on booze, Tylenol PM, ex-Fanta commercial girls turned strippers, and a penis pump out of the misery of just having fifty bucks. When broke, I had to prostitute myself at truck stops, giving blowjobs to lesbian truckers from Wyoming or other lazily drawn states. They say it’s the little things that matter.
The students had an assignment due this day. They had to write a sentence, any sentence, just make a sentence. “I am a human.” "I am happy.” “I am sad.” “My mother should have aborted me.” Teach two classes, it won’t be time-consuming, and, thankfully for us, you get no health care. Sound good? Once, a student sneezed on me. I got clamydia, tonsillitis, body dismorphia, prostrate cancer, common cold, rare cold, a breast reduction and I’m guy, so, I don’t know if that was in good taste. Let me tell you what happens when a graduate student let’s the little things matter.
In the classroom, they all stare at me blankly as I asked for their assignments. I get sentences like: “El am patty melt?” “I the Mickey D’s,” “Whatcha ma call it?” “?” “Iglue.” I freak out. I lose it. I had some kid’s legs dangling from a window. Just dangling. He was holding on for dear life. The other kids were trying to help him, but I just swung my fist at them, hard, really hard. The kid was looking up at me, “Please, don’t drop me! Please don’t drop me!” I dropped him. Splat. So, here I am now. No longer a grad student. I’m in the psych ward of prison. Just another cautionary tale. And, when I write threatening letters to the faculty at my old university, I sign them: “Sincerely, George.”