Meanwhile at Princeton

Meanwhile, at the library

Jenna: You ever wonder if-

Peter: Nope. We’ve got five more chapters to run through, followed by two papers and a problem set. I don’t wonder about a single damn thing.

Jenna: …Alright.

Meanwhile, in an English precept…

Prof. Anton: How was the reading?

Tom: Enlightening allegory.

Maria: Illuminating prose.

Zhen: Beauteous writing. Joyce-esque.

Jay: What they said.

Prof. Anton: My apologies. The syllabus says I assigned a movie this week.

Maria: I knew that. I meant…cinematic prose?

Tom: Fantastic shots. Packed with meaning.

Zhen: Coppola-esque.

Jay: Thank God, I thought I’d done the wrong week. The movie was okay. The acting was iffy but the premise was pretty interesting.

*Jay receives a room’s worth of blank stares*

Jay: I meant…it was Joyce-esque? Am I allowed to use that one for movies?

Maria: There was very complex interplay between the creator and viewer.

Jay: What do you mean?

Maria: I’m sure it’s self-explanatory. Can we do some close reading?

Prof. Anton: Of course! I’ll leave the room while you craft responses. I need to grade twenty papers about the length and flavor of Spenser’s manhood.

Zhen: 11 inches, and salty.

*Professor Anton leaves the room.

Jay: You didn’t really answer me.

Maria: I didn’t. That’s the difference between a nice Morgan Stanley consulting job and flipping burgers at Chase Bank. Think before you do this shit.

Jay: So this is just an hour-long talking contest?

Tom: Yes.

Maria: Yes.

Zhen: Yes.

Jay: Well, at least you’re being honest. I’m taking a nap. Split my bullshitting time amongst yourselves.

Tom: Score!

Meanwhile, at a dining hall

Loretta: I’m overworked.

Tammy: Not as overworked as I am.

Jane: I’m so overworked my work is overworked.

Anne: Can I sit here?

Tammy: That depends, how overworked are you?

Anne: I haven’t slept in four days. I have an I.V. drip full of Red Bull hooked directly to my heart.

Tammy: Pull up a chair.

Jane: We were just talking about work. Isn’t that fun?

Anne: Of course.

Tammy: I have so much that it will be passed on to my next of kin.

Loretta: Me too. Do you guys want to watch 3 hours of Gossip Girl again tonight?

Jane: Always.

Meanwhile, at a lecture hall

Professor Kraid strolls up to a podium.

Prof. Kraid: Good morning, puppets. It’s good to see that we’ve finally trained you well enough to show up on time. I’d give you a round of applause, but we’ve abandoned the carrot half of the carrot-and-stick. We’ve streamlined the process. The hilarious truth is that negative influence works, and it works alone. Our specialty is pitting you kids against each other like dogs in polo shirts, saving the few bones to be won for those that manage to cheat their way to the top row of the kennel. For the rest of you, we have scraps. We fully expect you to thank us for the privilege. After four years of losing this rat race, most of you will still look back on this experience with nostalgia. You’ll wear the school colors. You’ll sneak references to your alma-mater into conversation. You might even send money, and there’s one simple reason. Once you leave, exclusivity will finally be on your side. You put on the mask, and everyone will assume that you won the game. All you have to do is pretend that we never dragged you across the coals for a laugh. And you’ll finally be a winner. That’s the lesson for the day. Now, on to the lecture.