Tuesday, August 21, 2007
The Old Man and the C.
Flipping through an old folder of papers from college, which I do on occasion when I feel nostalgic, I came across a term paper I wrote for this class I took, Great American Literature. The assignment was to write a response to your favorite work we had read during the semester, which in my case was Ernest Hemingways “The Sun Also Rises”. My essay was entitled “The Old Man and the C”.
The ten page essay is essentially a blog about this mid-40’s ibanker coke addict I was “dating” at the time, except since it was a scholarly endeavor, I used ALL of my big words. My justification was that Hemingway was basically an early Bret East-Ellis, and this novel withstood the test of time because it was about the ennui of the jaded upper classes. Really, it was just a way to turn a valid writing assignment into an opportunity to discus my sordid sex life.
Horrifically, I got an A. Theres a note at the end of the paper that says “Grade: A. Please see me.” I remember the meeting with that professor well... she told me I was a talented writer, albeit an insane one, and that she was required by law to ask me if intervention by student services was necessary. Bear in mind that this was the year that 3 or 4 undergrads at NYU had committed suicide before midterms. I assured her I was fine.
She told me my paper was fine as a rhetorical argument, but wanted to make sure it was largely fictional. I assured her it was.
She asked if there was any link between the essay and the week before, when I showed up to class half an hour late wearing stripper heals, a leather mini skirt and a tee-shirt from The Four Seasons, sat down for five minutes, got a nosebleed and left. I assured her the two were entirely unrelated.
Of all the As I’ve “earned” I think that one was my second favorite. My first favorite was the A I got for the “Interaction with Mythology” project I did for my projects class, for which I got a Phoenix tattoo on the back of neck. In all fairness, the professor was feeling a bit generous with the grades that semester, since he had been MIA for half of it while he recovered from his messy divorce, turning the class of 15 undergrad women over to his friend who took us to a field, got us drunk, and asked for advice on his love life.
To be fair, doing “real” work while at NYU was a bit of a challenge in and of itself. The one year I was foolish enough o take advantage of student housing, I was shoved in a tiny cell with a 400 hundred pound pre med students who did nothing with her days but eat Costco sized containers of Oreos, and fuck men she met online. I KNEW filling out the “interests” section of the housing forms was a bad idea.
It’s little wonder I was reduced to glorified blogs living with this girl... she had it in for me for no apparent reason and would constantly play mind games with me. Shes do things like steal stuff I could never prove shed stolen because I’d sound crazy for accusing her. Like shed steal my clothing... I mean, my clothing doesnt even fit ME, how could I accuse her? One of my skirts would have been a necklace on her.
Ultimately, I ended up seeking refuge at my then-boyfriends apartment in Williamsburg. While it was better than staying in the dorm, it wasn’t much better since his two room mates also hated me, and were just as passive-agressive about showing it. With them it was all subtle glares and general avoidance. Not one for passive aggression myself, I responded maturely by waiting for them to leave the apartment before going into their bedrooms and using their clothing as toilet paper.
In the end, the entire thing became fodder for my third favorite A paper “The Unbearable Lightness of Brooklyn”. Ahh NYU... why did I ever have to graduate?
Posted by Carmela Machiato at 11:25 AM