Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I Love College

Last weekend, I went to Boulder to see The Hold Steady at The Fox. Boulder is home to University of Colorado and subsequently, college kids galore. Even though most of the members of The Hold Steady are my age (in fact, I took Quaaludes with their lead singer in 1991, when I, myself, was in college), their show was packed with bright-eyed youngsters between the ages of 18 and 22. I have mixed feelings about all-ages shows. On one hand, you get to see beautiful young girls with gravity defying boobs that are never at your usual haunts. On the other hand, you have to deal with post-pubescent douchebags-in-training that haven't yet learned how to handle their liquor (not that I have, but still).

At this all-ages show, those douchebags-in-training were referring to me as "Professor". I thought this was some sort college slang for "old guy". Later though, I found out that I look almost exactly like one of CU's professors. I hoped it wasn't Ward Churchill. It wasn't. It was actually one Professor Quincy Miller, a sociology professor that teaches Sociology 101 for 2000 kids each semester, which means that the majority of CU's population had gone through his class at one point or another. Apparently, he's not a very cool guy, which made it all the more interesting to these kids that he/I was at this hip rock n' roll show.

Everybody wanted to buy him/me drinks. I'm not one to turn away free liquor, so I didn't correct them on their case of mistaken identity. As the shots of Jägermeister and Rumple Minze flowed through my system, I embraced my new identity. However, I wanted to change the students' perception of this guy. I got rowdy. I funneled beers. I smoked bowls. I moshed. I crowd surfed. I showed my testicles. It was an all out party and Professor Miller was the star. He/I became the Spuds Mackenzie of CU professors. With all this attention, I suddenly realized that I might like being a professor. Shit, all I'd have to do was teach a couple of classes during the day. Then, I could party like an undergrad all night.

The next day, in a cloudy fog of a hangover, I came up with the brilliant idea to give professoring a shot. So, I called up my buddy who teaches E-Business at The University of Denver and asked him if he needed anybody to lecture. You may laugh, but I am, after all, a successful entrepreneur and Web innovator. Plus, my buddy owed me a big favor (in return for getting him out of a bind involving a couple of midgets, a deer, and a late-model Buick).

He scheduled me for for the following Tuesday, which came a lot quicker than I'd expected. Just like when I was in college, I went out the night before my class and got ripped (yes, on a Monday). Just like when I was in college, I did absolutely nothing to prepare for my class. Why should I? I bullshitted my way through four years at UF, I could bullshit my way through 2 hours at DU. Anyway, how hard could it be to teach a bunch of young punks? Y'know what they say - those who can do, those who can't teach, and those who like looking at nubile co-eds teach college.

I put on my prescription-less horn-rimmed reading glasses, I put on my corduroy blazer with the suede patches, and I grew an academic looking beard. All of a sudden, I was Donald Sutherland in Animal House and I was Russell Johnson on Gilligan's Island. I looked good. And I sounded good too, for the first fifteen minutes. After that, I ran out of things to say. So, I did what any decent professor would do, I asked if anybody had any questions.

Instantly, my class turned on me. Despite my valiant efforts to sound smart, they knew I didn't know what the hell I was talking about. They questioned my credentials, they questioned my statistics, they questioned my assertion that I created The Times New Roman font, they questioned my assertion that it was my idea to put the colon between the http and the backslash backslash. It was bedlam. The more I floundered, the harder they hit. They asked questions like, "Do you even have a computer?" and "Why is my Daddy paying $42K a year for me to listen to your foolishness?". I almost got mauled when I left the classroom and went to the student union.

As I sat in The Union wearing a beret, rolling my own cigarettes, reading Nietzsche and texting my adviser, I realized that I don't want to become a professor. It's way more work than being a CEO. As a CEO, I have to tell people what to do. As a professor, I have to tell people things that make sense. Well, at least I could still party with the collegians, right?

That night, I went to the bar that I told my students to go to for my lecture after-party. It was empty. Nobody wanted hang out with this poor excuse for an educator. On the way home, I passed another bar and, lo and behold, sitting there with my entire class was a good looking older man doing shots and acting out scenes from The Pineapple Express. It was none other than Professor Quincy Miller, my doppelgänger. It seems that his reputation from the other night had spread from CU to DU and now everybody wanted to hang with him. Fucker! I went home with my tail between legs. From now on, I'll leave the academia to the academics.

1 comment:

Steve_Campbell said...

Your stories smell very amusing. Spathel is my word verification. I loathe people in Gainesville.