Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Course Overload #25: “I Vant to Give You a Midterm!”

They got together one Tuesday afternoon, when they knew we were sleeping or eating after their classes. (Some of us managed to fall asleep while eating, which figures into their menacing plan even better.) They met on the mysterious staircase that keeps going up after you reach the third and final floor of the MST building, the one reserved for wickedness. Then, they all crammed themselves into the elevator and had the person with the fewest knees and elbows threatening to puncture their spleen hit a magic elevator button that no one can see without at least a masters in education.
It traveled down; down below the dinosaurs, below the rocks and the heat, below the secret sinister alien stronghold I probably shouldn’t have just told you about. The elevator brought them all to their secret underground teacher’s lounge. (Well, everyone except for Mr. Barone, who lost his daily planner and thought the meeting was tomorrow.)

They filed into the small dark room, cackling with twisted delight as they went. The objective of this malicious meeting was simple: to make the students’ lives as difficult as possible. That way, students would fall asleep in class so professors could drain them of their blood and drink it to retain their own failing youth! And as long as the students were still sleeping, secondary objectives included painting their faces silly colors and putting shaving cream in their hands before tickling their noses.

“I hate sunshine!” exclaimed one professor angrily. “A good student is a pale one, because the more one reads, the less one goes outside!”

“So let’s invent a test that they take in the middle of the semester and then we’ll schedule all of the tests to occur on the same day!” screamed another, smirking evilly. “We’ll call them murder-exams!”

“I have a better idea! We’ll call them... midterms!” replied Mr. Beard,

adding, “I hate cell phones!”

*   *   *

You might think the above is a dramatization; that professors are nice people who want to impart their knowledge upon the next generation to help them flourish when it’s their turn to run the world. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. What I’m about to tell you might give you nightmares for the rest of your natural college career, so I won’t blame anyone who doesn’t read any further, though I will consider you a big pansy, you big pansy.

It’s a little known fact that all professors are secretly vampire-like creatures who survive by drinking the sweet, sweet blood of the innocent youth. Those eager new teachers fresh out of graduate school are anything but - most professors have been consuming their students’ tender plasma for thousands of years. Yes, that’s right - midterms are nothing new. They’ve actually been around since the days of the ancient Greeks, when the MSMC professors had their first underground meeting. (Interesting fact: midterms is from the Latin Midus Termi; “Mid,” meaning “middle,” and “term,” meaning “impossible test.”)

I realized all this while sitting at my desk at my job with the Wallkill Valley Times. It was election night, at about 8 million o’clock, and I couldn’t go home until CNN told me I could. What I mean is, I couldn’t go home until someone wrote an article about who had won the election and I proofread it. In my boredom, I had resorted to coloring every person in every picture on the wall next to me with my red copyediting pen.

Sometime around when Bush had 66 billion electoral votes to Kerry’s 65.9 billion (Kerry had just narrowly carried Australia), my head fell to my desk like a balloon filled with rocks. It was as if I had narcolepsy but was unfortunate enough to fall asleep in a much less humorous location than, say, in shop class while using some sort of sanding device.

When I woke up seconds later, however, my boss was hovering over me with a huge, malevolent straw. He had a crazed look in his bloodshot eyes, and an odious smile on his lips. That’s when I put everything together. How many times have you seen professors using straws? Plenty! And what can you find in the college’s café, in a big round container? That’s right, straws! The evidence is irrefutable - our professors are horrible vampire creatures who survive by drinking their students’ blood as they slumber with straws! My boss was obviously one of them, and he had come to sample my fresh, zesty plasma.

“Matt, could you hand me my soda?” he asked. “It’s sitting right next to you.”

“Leave me alone, you foul creature of the darkness!” I exclaimed, sidestepping his criminal sinfulness like the highly trained ninja I am and blasting out the door into the cold, annoyingly Republican night.

While tearing down the midnight streets of Walden and passing at least 32 biker gangs and drug dealers, I wondered if I wouldn’t have been safer in the clutches of the vampire. That’s when I fainted from exhaustion and a helpful vagabond aided me by stealing my wallet.

For a few minutes, all I could hear were sirens. “Sirens are so romantic,” I said, opening my eyes. I was inside an ambulance. Above me hung a red bag, attached to my arm with a needle. Blood! They were reintroducing to my system what my boss had managed to drink!

Now you know the horrid truth. Midterms exist to make you stay up all night studying and then fall asleep during the test the next day. You must never study again, lest you be drained of your very life force!

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