Thursday, November 06, 2008

Play For An Unnamed School

*** HUMOUR WARNING ***
Please finish your food and drink before reading!
*** HUMOUR WARNING ***

I was waiting to post this for a time when we all need a good laugh. Here you go!
--Dr. Thursday

PS: Yes, I wrote it many years ago, while I was actually attending an "unnamed school". Hee hee. No resemblance to any known person is intended - it cannot be helped. It may not count as fiction, but it sure counts as humour.


Play for an unnamed school
by an unnamed student.

Scene one. A quasi-Greek architectural ruin. In the background we see several buildings, no two of which are designed the same. All are obviously college academic buildings. Gathered in front of the ruins are a large crowd of young men and women. They are singing.

Student Chorus: Back to the bursar, back to the bursar,
take a test, take a test,
fill out the health clearance form,
Register for classes, file another form,
Back to the bursar, back to the bursar...

(Enter the procession of the faculty, in full academic regalia.)

Faculty Chorus: We are the faculty, faculty, faculty.
We are the faculty, faculty, faculty.
We are the faculty, faculty, faculty,
because you don't know as much as we.

Provost: Yes, yes, let's have a big hand for me!
I've got more than one honorary degree.
My standards high all must uphold,
With learned works, and lectures cold.
My publications bookshelves fill,
And hence we'll raise the students' bill.

Faculty Chorus: We are the faculty, etc.

Students Chorus: Back to the bursar, back to the bursar,
take a test, take a test,
fill out the health clearance form,
Register for classes, file another form,
Back to the bursar, back to the bursar...
Office hours canceled, office hours canceled,
Can't get a terminal, can't get a terminal,
Books were backordered, books were backordered.
Homework is due, homework is due.
Library closed early, library closed early,
Back to the bursar, back to the bursar.

Dean of Students: Who are all those people down there?

Assistant Dean of Students #1: Those are the students,
Assistant Dean of Students #2: Those are the students,
Assistant Dean of Students #3: Those are the students,
Assistant Dean of Students #4: Those are the students,
All Assistant Deans: of our u-nee-ver-si-tee!

Dean of Students: I don't understand. What is a student?
Assistant Dean of Students #1: Those are the future,
Assistant Dean of Students #2: Those are the bankrolls,
Assistant Dean of Students #3: Those are the troublemakers,
Assistant Dean of Students #4: Those are the faculty's problem.
All Assistant Deans: at our u-nee-ver-si-tee!

Dean of Students: Why are they here? What do they want?
Assistant Dean of Students #1: They're here for knowledge,
Assistant Dean of Students #2: They're here to learn a lot,
Assistant Dean of Students #3: They're here to find themselves,
Assistant Dean of Students #4: They're here to have a good time,
All Assistant Deans: Or, that's what we tell them.

Dean of Students: What do you mean knowledge? Why do they care?
Assistant Dean of Students #1: Because it is here,
Assistant Dean of Students #2: Because they will learn a lot,
Assistant Dean of Students #3: Because they want to be employed,
Assistant Dean of Students #4: But they don't really care,
All Assistant Deans: Or, that's what they tell us.

Dean of Students: How can you stand it? Why should we put up with them?
(pauses, music stops.)
(frankly, speaks) Tell me. What do they do for us?

(music begins again subito)

Assistant Dean of Students #1: They must pay tuition,
Assistant Dean of Students #2: They must pay tuition,
Assistant Dean of Students #3: They must pay tuition,
Assistant Dean of Students #4: They must pay tuition,
All Assistant Deans: (shouted) Or else no degree!
(music stops abruptly.)

(All faculty gasp. The President is coming! As he enters, those not tenured bow. The tenured faculty merely nod, maintaining their superior academic pose. Evil Empire theme, under.)

Dean: (says something formal, preferably in Latin, most likely bad in grammar and pronuncuiation.) Hic est Magister Max Minus!

President: (to "Pop goes the weasel") (sings)

I love to pat myself on the back
I do it every day.
We had another grant come in
So this is what I say:

Tuition's going to go up again,
Get money where I find it.
I need to buy a brand new car,
And someone to drive it.

Our labs have found a novel device,
Makes circuits out of clay.
A research breakthrough is announced.
More companies will pay!

Tuition's going to go up again,
My lecture in Tahiti
Will make our school more widely known,
How is that greedy?

Provost: (clears throat, embarrassed at having to interrupt) Excuse me sir, but we have a problem.

President: (speaks) Ah, hrmmm. Problem? Why should there be a problem? (glances from side to side) I'm the president after all. (Pauses.) Maybe you should see the Bursar. (smiles, very satisfied.)

Provost: No sir. (bows) You see, ah, well, (very obsequiously) ah, we've found that, ah, one of our professors, well, ah, how can I put this to you gently?

President: Yes, a professor? Oh, that's right. They don't have to pay tuition, do they? (Frowns.) Not yet anyhow. Maybe we can consider this for next year's budget. Hm...

Provost: Sorry sir, but it is not a pecuniary issue.

President: Why are you bothering me with something trivial, then? Handle it yourself. Or have one of the deans take care of it. We have enough deans, don't we?

Provost: Yes, but they're of limited utility in this instance. You'll have to deal with it yourself. You see, we found that one of the professors was actually teaching.

(Entire tenured faculty gasps.)

President: (bewildered) Ah, well, I always thought that's what they did. I mean, after all, I'm not going in those labs full of acids. And capacitors. Who knows what I'd catch? And then there's always the off chance that I might bump into a student. Ewwww! With a tee-shirt. Or jeans with holes in them.

Provost: But sir, I don't think you realize how research works. We can't be bothered with, ah, academic issues here. (The tenured faculty nod in agreement. Some of the younger professors look around uneasily, but say nothing.)

President: I'm confused. (He doesn't look it, however.) If we're not teaching, why do we keep all those students around? Hmm?

Provost: Sir, remember? (Pleadingly) The bursar? The fat checks at the beginning of the semester? In a word, TUITION?

President: (turns, shocked) Since the professor has been caught teaching students, we should let it appear that the students decide his fate. Send him to the Plenary Student/Faculty Judicial Adjuratory Council.

(to be continued...)

1 Comments:

At 06 November, 2008 19:03, Blogger The Unknown Poet said...

It's almost as good as Horsefeathers" with the Marx brothers!

 

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