A Refutation of Wickedness, or, Laggards Get Lapped

The Ultimate DAN ROCHE!

The Ultimate DAN ROCHE!

Dan Roche

Every so often someone will come sweating up to me and say, “Dan, I’ve got this great idea for a column,” wherefrom they outline said great idea, and I tells ’em, “Here’s my email address. Write about it and get back to me.” And I never hear from them again.

This time was different. A friend suggested I write about lazy, unmotivated students. I agreed they were a problem, the nattering cell phone jockeys, nappers and gum-crackers sucking the air out of every intro-level class. It was something I’d thought of writing about before. I took on the challenge.

If you are a motivated student, read no further. If you care about your education and are considerate of others who are likewise, put this paper down now. We are cool.

If you are one of those lazy, stupid slobs who talk over the professor, and assume that last night’s episode of “Lost” is more important than the discipline, I am the avenger of those who have had eyes rolled at them but carry on, of every student who has to drown out background noise to get the night’s assignment, you cell-phone chatterers and gum crackers, you natterers and nappers, sarcastic simpletons and blatherskites, infected with cerebral trypanosomiasis. I despise your parents! You who take the majors with the fewest credits because they are just that, who pollute the noosphere and are not here to learn, but for the diploma only, I wish pestilence upon your Quincy subdivisions. Banal oafs! I am come for you. Choose your weapon. Scabbard or halberd, let it be no sharper than thee!

We who work jobs to attend school, only to sit through class after class of gossipers! Conniving blockheads! Vapid young vixens and their subnormal suitors, conspiring to steal time. You ruminants who Irish whisper “Uhhhhh, this class sucks, ” you injure America with your apathy. If you are our future, we are doomed! You are ignorants! Slovenly, no matter how you shower!

Those from Harvard, from Princeton, from Yale, the learned! From Barbados and Britain, China and Chile, they travel here, to be trod upon by local parochial oxen such as you can find sleeping on any job at City Hall, or polluting any 7-Eleven parking lot in this poor, set-upon assembly of States with chatter of sports betting or sofa beds or whatever the vain hunchbacks and eyesores in eyeliner guh-huh-huh-huh about. Terrible is lamentation when these toad-stompers triumph, when not one has done the ten-page reading, when oafs with aerated crania are legion, and the room is full of the vapid.

But fearful, forlorn are flunkers in the finals week! When no dull thrust goes un-parried. You awake, alert, earnest; you braves, stouts, will you continue to be the yoke of your lessers? You who study with me, you are my brothers. Let us fight in valor at least, if die we must, and let us forever steer the classroom conversation back home. Home, to what the professor was talking about.

Then, let it be known that Finals week is our time, and forever more when men remember the Finals, they will remember us.

OK, that’s it for bombast. Let’s get to other stuff. Our friendly neighborhood webmaster John Mazzarella sez, “I was thinking (uh oh) about the library smokers porch. Now that it’s open again, people are back out there smoking, but at the same time, there’s signs up all over it saying ‘No smoking.’ It’s just funny that it’s been open for only a few days, and the floor out there (which was clean on Friday) is now covered in butts just like usual, and maybe the school should rethink the smoking policy for that area and put in a cigarette butt trash thing for the people afraid to throw lit cigarettes in a regular trash can.”

James the custodian was overheard talking about the issue, saying (I think, I didn’t quite get everything) that either an ash can should be put out and the sign taken down, or the school should get down to enforcing the no smoking policy. I might have misheard him, but it’s a legitimate point. An ash can is the obvious choice unless you’re going to have a police officer detail, which is a waste of time and money for people to, say, smoke at the foot of the steps instead. Where they would, one assumes, leave their butts. Unless you’re going to pay to have someone hang out under there, too.

This week’s letter to the editor, by Chan and Forbes, highlights a matter of interest. In a school of 13,000 souls, is there one cafeteria? The people who man the conveyors at the entrée kiosk with the $2.85 Wednesday specials have to be among the hardest working people on staff…Oops, I forgot, they’re not on staff, they’re Sodexho. Well then, work them to the bone, eh? Sodexho is a mixed bag. Yes, yes, I understand. Big multinational company. But the food isn’t total crap. Some of their labor policies might be bad; some of their business practices might be bad-I understand that, too. Are they so reprehensible, though, that their function as a provider of reasonably priced, reasonably high-quality food is to be disregarded? The assumptions are that their food is passable (which I feel it is), and that other providers would pose similar problems (which I feel they would). This does not mean that I think Sodexho is the best of all possible providers, but what are better alternatives? Discuss