Saturday, October 10, 2009

A College Day

Important Foreword

I complain a lot in this poem here.
I have warned you, so don’t take offence.
The life in a student’s college career
is sometimes happy but mostly intense.
The worst parts of school in this rhyme appear,
like educators lacking common sense.
Exciting poems good teachers do not make,
so I write of the bad for the reader’s sake.

Chapter one: Too Late

I didn’t go to sleep till late last night
because I was studying for a test.
When the tired bulb burned out in my light,
I decided sleep would be the best.
I ‘woke half dead, the morning sun was bright--
four hours of sleep is not enough rest.
I had no time to grab something to eat
as I ran out to my car parked by the street.

The Las Vegas sun beats down hot and cruel,
and I’m anxious about the test I’ll take.
Nervous sweat breaks out, my car is not cool
I roll down the windows so I’ll not bake.
This is a normal day going to school--
hot as hell, hungry, and barely awake.
After fifteen miles of stop lights and stress
I arrive at college in tardiness.

The parking lot’s full, no spaces remain,
and I’m going to be later than I thought.
It doesn’t take much to make one insane
driving through this school’s stupid parking lot.
I must park illegally in the lane,
it is really the only place I’ve got.
We pay too much for a parking permit
and the product we get ain’t worth a spit!

My watch says I will be five minutes late;
Doctor Boring will surely glare at me.
Interruptions he does not tolerate;
lateness disturbs his lecture’s harmony.
But, it is not my fault he doesn’t wait
or has a strict tardiness policy.
He better not mark me absent today
or I’ll have some really rude things to say!

I run fast through the university,
breathlessly flying to Doc Boring’s class.
Laying on the ground in diversity,
thousands of cigarette butts I pass.
I wonder if smokers think it’s pretty
to display their addictions on the grass.
Littering laws say that they should be fined
but it seems most people really don’t mind.

All out of breath and sweating profusely,
I open and enter the classroom door.
“You’re interrupting the whole class and me,
what do you even bother coming for?
If you insist on arriving tardy,
I think you shouldn’t come here anymore!”
“You’re angry?! I’m the one who should be mad,
it’s not my fault the parking is so bad.”

“Well you should know what it is like by now
and thus leave home earlier than you do.
Your disrespect to us I won’t allow.
I am marking you absent today too!”
“I don’t understand your hatred or how
come you enjoy me being mad at you.
I pay my tuition which pays your wage.
You should be grateful and not full of rage.”

Chapter Two: Boring Boring

I hear his lecture with one half-closed ear.
His remarks are exceedingly boring.
Much of the class is asleep from the drear,
one student in back is even snoring.
The rest of us sit tired, without cheer,
and the monotone we are ignoring.
Enthusiasm his voice and face lack
and can put to sleep an insomniac.

He hands back a quiz we took yesterday
and he looks disappointed at us all.
Though I ordinarily get an “A”,
it looks as if even my grade can fall.
“Students, you should study more and not play--
read your notes and not watch TV football!
Better yet, pay more attention in class
and you will improve your chances to pass!”

“Hey, why’d you mark this wrong?
I got it right! My answer is direct from our text book...
on page one-oh-two it’s in black and white.
I think you should go there and have a look.”
“I do not have to answer to your spite
for you should have studied the notes you took.
My lectures had the answers for the test
and your rude impertinence I detest!”

I wonder why we have to pay so much
for new books that cost anything but low.
These text books many professors don’t touch
since they’d read one once many years ago.
Their lectures are based on old facts and such
outdated and unuseful things to know.
It’s unfair that lazy professors cheat
their paying students with facts obsolete.

Someone is eating a cookie somewhere.
Like a lion on the path of it’s pray,
my stomach growls and the classmates stare.
Breakfast I’ve passed and lunch is far away--
my hunger I’ll just have to try to bear,
and hope my belly has no more to say.
It’s really hard for me to concentrate
when I feel I’m in a half-starving state.

Chapter Three: Hong Kong Wong

Now I go to the class of Doctor Wong
whose lectures give me a migraine headache.
This young professor came here from Hong Kong,
another teacher’s job to undertake.
The old prof. had done some minor thing wrong,
perhaps some small political mistake
like forgetting to lick his boss’s shoe,
so the faculty head found someone new.

Doctor Wong’s English is unbearable.
I catch only a few words here and there.
He thinks he speaks well, but it’s terrible.
His class, like a misunderstood nightmare,
could actually be repairable
perhaps if somebody made him aware
of how much better his talking could be.
But my grade’s low enough--it won’t be me.

It doesn’t matter if you have the smarts,
or that you get nothing below an “A”,
if though you strain your ears from when class starts,
you still achieve a sinking GPA
since you can’t comprehend what he imparts
‘cause English is not on his résumé.
Why is it foreign doctors are hired
while good English speakers are fired?

He laughs at a joke he has told the class.
He thinks he has broken the student’s gloom,
but really a scent, sharp, like shattered glass,
raises the students heads throughout the room
because someone secretly had passed gas
and it’s a powerful effluvium.
Doctor Wong is disappointed to find
he’s less interesting than someone’s behind.

“Class, you learn better, you stay awake, no?
You can sleep better when before class starts!
How you expect you intelligence grow
when you listen not to me but to farts?
If you sleep in class you not become pro
and will you end up working in Walmarts.”
He says that when we sleep, poor grades we’ll earn
but if we stay awake what will we learn?

Chapter Four: T D Ummm...

My next professor I tried to avoid
at the beginning of the semester.
The first day I was already annoyed
from his type of Chinese water torture
and I know I would have been overjoyed
if I could have picked another teacher.
But good teachers’ classes are quickly filled
leaving the boring, foreign, or less skilled.

This is the class where we study the laws
of our nation’s legal justice system.
His lectures are riddled with ‘ums’ and ‘aws’,
also sounds of clearing his throat of phlegm.
He uses the words ‘and’ and ‘or’,
which he draws out so long I have started to hate them.
A good trial lawyer he would not make,
choosing teaching was also a mistake.

I write in my notebook each ‘aw’ and ‘um’,
which comes to ten of each in one minute.
This hobby helps me pass the tedium,
and I pretend to listen as I sit.
He continues to talk ad infinitum
like a broken record that doesn’t quit.
Maybe the ‘aws’ and ‘ums’ spell in Morse Code
“Don’t you wish you could leave and hit the road?”

These notes are really a waste of my time.
I’ll study for the test in my next class.
For, after last night, it would be a crime
if I miss too many and do not pass.
I take out my book and with patience I’m
trying to ignore his speech, but alas,
it’s like the sounding pounding of some drums,
the professor’s lecture with ‘aws’ and ‘ums’!

He’s saying my name and looking my way,
but I hadn’t listened to what he said.
“Sorry, didn’t hear you. What did you say?”
I asked him while I lift up my head.
“Oh, you weren’t paying attention. Ok,
ahh...I was asking ummm...if you have read
annnnd could ummm...recite an aww...chattel law.”
“Oh, ummm, yes, I ummm...have and I can...aww...”

Chapter Five: Test Stress

Finally I’m in the class where I’ll take
the test I’ve been studying so hard for.
This teacher’s good. He keeps students awake.
We are motivated to study more.
And so, though his tests are no piece of cake,
most students’ grades in his class are not poor.
A professor need not dumb down his class--
if he’s interesting more will want to pass.

Our test, today, unfortunately will be
a marathon of endurance,
for I am sleepy and I am hungry
and thoughts of failure are making me tense.
I’ve been sitting for hours already
and it has worn out my intelligence.
Some answers I know, some answers I doubt
as my mind works hard, wonders, and blanks out.

Outside it’s hot, but this classroom is cold,
and I shiver in my hard plastic seat.
The teacher looks like a miser with gold
while watching students so they don’t cheat.
Students around me smell like they have rolled
in some perfume, manure, and rotten meat.
Test taking is surely the student’s curse,
‘specially when comfort couldn’t be worse.

Despite all of this I fly through the test.
Although there are answers I do not know,
I am too impatient to do my best,
for I know when I am through I can go,
and can finally eat and get some rest.
But, time seems to drag eternally slow.
Such is life, bad times too slow, good too fast.
It will be so till we breathe our last.

Chapter Six: Done...Not!

Ahhh...freedom has come, my school day is through,
I will have lunch and a ten minute snooze--
then to the eight hours of work I must do.
Studying and work, it is all old news.
Each day this boring routine I renew.
Each day this paradox I again choose:
I work to pay the way through my school days
and go to school to get a job that pays.

Damn, damn, damn, damn! A ticket on my car!
Now I will have to pay a parking fine!
My long fuse they’ve lit, they have gone too far!
It is really not my custom to whine,
but I feel the parking enforcers are
completely and totally out of line!
Schools are supposed to help student’s succeed,
not rob them of the money that they need.

The school bureaucrats sit around all day
and plan many a nonsensical thing,
like making new costs that students must pay,
taking parking space to build a new wing,
firing workers with efficient ways,
or hiring bad ones and promoting
people who are little better than fools
though they studied for years in many schools.

I like school, though it may not sound like it.
There are many good things I did not write.
This poem is one-sided, I admit,
and at times not exceedingly polite.
But sometimes school can put one in a fit
and all negative emotions excite.
Reading this you have wasted enough time,
so go study now and forget this rhyme!

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