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My pain is freaking hilarious

Does it count as schadenfreude if it's aimed at yourself?

Too perfect, to post this here.

I’m in China again!
Obvious, right?


I'm in America.
Well at least that wasn't anticlimactic.

Goth Principal
This is repetitive and silly, at one point comes dangerously close to ripping off Christopher Durang, and should include a content note for incompetent leadership (redundant?). Nevertheless, my treatment for "Goth Principal" made me laugh out loud.

Student: Principal Hoffman—
Goth Principal: Gothman.
S: ....OK. Thank you for my college letter of recommendation, but why did you have to describe me as "a poet burdened by the ennui of the eternal sea?”
GP: Silence, young scholar! My eloquence will assure you passage into any liberal arts college your heart fancies!
S: But. But. I’m applying to Big Ten schools, and looking for a football scholarship. I need to emphasize my normalcy.
GP: Heathen! Begone from my office basement dungeon!...Don’t look at me like that! Yes, I realize we’re on the second floor. I’ve complained to the bureaucrats but true to form they won’t relocate me. I’ve added black paint to the windows to block out the sun, but it’s just not the same.
S: For what it’s worth I feel very uncomfortable.
GP: Good lad! I’m sorry I threw acid at you.
S: I—I know you meant metaphorically but please, I’d rather you just dismiss me again, rather than continuing this line of thought.
GP: Consider it done. I’ll have one of my blander underlings write you a proper letter of mediocrity to complement your complacent dreams.
S: Oh God thank you!!!

Teacher: Jonny—
GP: Black Sparrow, to you, O Insolent One!
T: I recognize your authority but I’m not calling you that. Anyway, it’s fine that you like to drop in and observe my classes. That’s your right as my boss. But the live music you play is distracting to me, and a bit intimidating to my math students. Could you tone it down a bit? Also, I didn’t even know electric harps were a thing.
GP: If you’d prefer, I could switch to my lute.
T: Well that would be...a little less disturbing, I guess?
GP: Excellent; it is settled and so it shall be! Communication between teachers and administration is important! This has been a good meeting, Diane!
T: ...sure.

Superintendent: Dr. Hoffman—
GP: Dr. Gothman, if you please.
S: Uh, no. Absolutely not. You received your Ed.D under the name Jonathan Hoffman. Therefore I will address you as either Dr. Hoffman or Mr. Gothman. Take your pick.
GP: ...Master Gothman?
S: Fine, fine. Master Gothman, it is unacceptable for you to add "Except cloves. Cloves are cool" to your school’s anti-smoking campaign.
GP: Your concerns are well-laid, Superintendent. I’ll rectify the wound and vow to improve, my soul for to forfeit in lack of success. Now then. May I offer you the sweet kiss of absinthe?
S: That’s highly inappropriate, especially at 10 am. On the other hand I’m not gonna turn down free absinthe.

Guidance Counselor: I think that we may need to intervene on Jennifer Amber’s behalf. She is very likely being neglected.
GP: All of our students are being being spiritually neglected; this is suburbia.
GC: That’s incredibly insensitive and dismissive to the situation at hand. How are you in a position of authority?
GP: Sorry, you’re correct, that was unprofessional. We’ll do what’s necessary by the laws of man and morality to protect the soul of this child.
GC: Again. Not worried about her soul. That’s beyond my purview as a guidance counselor and yours as a principal. We need to make sure that she’s physically safe. Let her worry about her soul once she comes of age. Right now it’s her bodily needs that concern me, and should concern you.
GP: You’re saying we should encourage her to major in poetry in college. I hear you.
GC: You are incompetent and terrible. I cannot believe you are anyone’s boss, let alone mine.
GP: Fair criticism, but what can you do in this futile, broken world?
GC: I can file an official complaint against you and try to get your tenure revoked.
GP: Will you, though? Attempt to take on such a Sisyphean task?
GC:...I most likely will not. Working for you has deadened my spirit too much. Please stop smiling.

Coach: Principal Gothman, you and I have always fundamentally gotten along. I respect your methods even when we don’t see eye to eye. But I really must speak up about this. Your requirement that the student athletes maintain a high GPA is admirable—I don’t want my kids to be ignorant jocks either! But requiring them to play eight hours of Dungeons & Dragons per week in order to qualify for a sport is just...forgive me...Draconian!
GP: Hmm. You’re right. I don’t want your brawny thugs infecting the atmosphere cultivated by my precious players either. Consider all sportsmen officially banned from the noble game of kings and elves!
C: For the sake of my teams, I won’t challenge that, even though it’s terribly unfair. Most of them won’t object. Except maybe Danny W. He’s into nerdy things, I think.
GP: Splendid! Let us play a game of chess for his allegiance.
C: That’s so wrong I don’t even know where to begin.
GP: I hear your. Shall we arm wrestle instead?
C: How about Danny gets to play both football and D&D, and you and I act like reasonable, responsible adults?
GP: That's unlikely. Still, I’m willing to compromise. What if every sports team has to change its colors to black, and I otherwise stay out of your territory?
C: I...I’m honestly shocked you haven’t insisted on that already.
GP: Yeah well I was disheartened after the committee wouldn’t let me change the mascot to a raven. So what if our competing school already has one? Where is it written that two ravens cannot go to war against each other, claws clutching lacrosse sticks? Why should we settle for a non-raven tiger? But then I remembered that lovely Blake poem and decided that tigers were sufficiently literary.
C: ...Right. So, my kids are neither forced into nor banned from any role playing or strategic games.
GP: Indeed. With any luck the siren’s call of Magick: The Gathering will eventually lure your young Odysseans from their swamp-like field, to the blessedly dark corner of the main cafeteria.
C: You know, I wasn’t an English major, but I’m not an unlearned sportsman myself. I know Oddyseus’ men died when they followed the siren. So I don’t really think that’s a good image. I mean, are you saying that joining the Strategic Games Club is social death? Whose point are you making?
GP: Social Death is necessary for Social Ascension.
C: Wow. Yeah. NOW this conversation is too weird for me.
GP: I’m impressed with how long you’ve maintained eye contact. (Pause) What? I’m nothing if not self-aware. Like a tragically sentient robot. Or is that redundant?
C: OK. So. Black uniforms. No other restrictions or enforcements.
GP: Thus shall it be.
C: Just the color. No black lace or heavy jewelry. I have to draw the line somewhere.
GP: I suppose that’s only practical.
C: Also the cheerleaders are asking if they can please be allowed to wear less makeup.
GP: Fine, as long as they maintain their lack of blonds.
C: That is...so flagrantly illegal.
GP: Whatever, I cover the cost of their hair dye out of my own pocket.
C: No one doubts your commitment to the cause, Sir.

Teacher: Can I please direct a play that isn’t Dracula? Or Frankenstein? Or steampunk-themed Shakespeare?
GP: How about Zombie Grease? It’s a play that celebrates conformity anyway.
T: It’s a musical, technically.
GP: Not our version!
T: ...OK so steampunk Henry V it is.

Parent: My son has always been a well-liked, well-rounded young man. He’s never been bullied before.
GP: So what’s the problem?
P: You’ve allocated half the extracurricular budget to the Renaissance Society, which he’s head of.
GP: Uh-huh. You’re welcome.
P: Well it's just that the other clubs are...justifiably upset. And becoming vocally bitter.
GP: I’ll reconfigure the numbers. But I’m still making it clear to the yearbook committee that the Renaissance Society should receive three times as many photos as any other student organization.
P: So your plan is to make my son the least popular "popular" kid in history?
GP: Aye, Madam. I too am both hated and loved, and live in that exquisite paradox.
P: ...Of course you do.

Secretary: Black Sparrow, your wife called.
GP: Ah, she, the light that casts its golden glow upon my bleakest mountain peak. What does my beloved require?
S: Your son’s Little League practice has been canceled so she’ll need you to pick him up at 3.
GP: ...I, it, um. Wrong number? Rather, I mean, rather, it was a prank call. Pay no heed.
S: Uh-huh. So I’m just gonna go ahead and remind you to leave at 2:45, then.
GP: Thank you, Sharon. That will be all.

FIN (Part 2 to come later, in which the theme of the prom is literally always "the prom is canceled" but it's never actually canceled)

I'm in China.
My husband's coming next month.

Not at all relatedly, an essay I wrote was published in an online philosophical magazine.


AH Final Paper

Your eloquent essay does real justice to the works by Plato and Dewey we addressed this semester. Rather than just theorize, you show, in your writing, the power of their respective visions for the educator-artist in the world today. You do so by enacting your learning, how you have engaged their thought in the renewal, reconstruction, and re-imagining of your own. Like your first paper in the course, here you write clearly throughout, and with a sustained trajectory; the writing is graced with fine insights and nicely rendered formulations. Congratulations on a truly satisfying piece of philosophical writing.

[Grade: A]

I'll take it, and live off this high for awhile. My next ego boost will have to come from like winning a video game or something.

I'm nervously anticipating the anticlimax.
But first, the climax!

All my Columbia classes are complete. I just need to submit my final thesis. My advisor has reviewed the first draft and suggested minimal rewrites.

And then...

I'm done.

As a student.

Well, that's not quite true. But as a matriculated, formally enrolled student. Yeah. That's it.

I've been a student/pupil much longer than I've been a teacher/tutor. That's a huge part of my identity. Being graded feels natural to me.

I'm almost hoping the final grade I receive won't be an A (I'm not humble-bragging; the Ivy League notoriously has grade inflation). It'll leave me with a sense of something to prove, something left incomplete. I'd rather say "dammit!" than ask "...is this all there is? Now what?"

No, just kidding, I bled for that John Dewey paper. I demand the fruits of said blood be recognized in letter form! See, I just mixed a fruit and blood metaphor, as if to create some unholy sangria! Give this woman a scarlet A!

Wait. Scarlet's too close to crimson.

Question: Guess who survived parent-teacher conference night?
Answer: The children!

I mean, think of the children!

Seriously, the children are our future!

Children! Children! All hail the children!

Yeah, it's all about the fucking children.

Ha ha I'm kidding. I love you, children.

...You smug assholes.

I have parent-teacher conferences in an hour, until 8pm
Please god, let them go easy on me.

Please god, let this night fly by.

But at least I won't have to tell them not to hit each other and throw things.

...Please god, let that be true.

I never thought I'd get tired of talking about metaphysics in class.
And as of yet, I haven't.

#First full day of my last semester
#First Monday of my first semester