Friday, March 29th, 1400: I am sitting in Carpenter in a swarm of executive MBAs and my eyes are Angel Eyes’ eyes, Good, Bad, and Ugly staring at a long, dressed table of cookies and sandwich boxes. Some kind of reception. The din of these colonizers chummily eating. Fed on the stringy, spare fare of full-time MBA orange pith, I want me some of them juicy sandwich boxes. If trolls tax billy goats for crossing a bridge, then I gets some of them sandwich boxes. “Just enough to wet my beak.”
Sadly, there’s some executive MBA gargoyle-lady standing post behind me. She stays there after the execs leave, dutifully guarding the boxes. What is this nonsense? Who is this authority figure in my crib? I’ve come home to find Joe Biden reading my magazines on the john with the door locked and when I knock, he has the chutzpah to tell me to keep it down out there. Listen lady, how ’bout you take your carpetbagging table and printer out of my room and leave them dang sandwiches on your way out. My room; my sandwiches, and I sure as @!%* don’t #$%@*&^ roll on Shabbos.
Some things weren’t meant to be. Don’t worry, McCombs gods, I’ve got something for ya’. Sans sandwich, come feast on wisdom: it’s B.A. Dan’s guide to being a better student:
1. Effective name placard use is the key to reading The Source in class. If ya’ll want more of the Jigga man, you’re going to have to use that base plate, raise the name placard a half-centimeter off the table, and position your mag in the antipodal position to the professor’s roving eyes. Don’t neglect your breakfast tacos. I’d like to recommend placing one (unwrapped) taco to each side of the illicit reading stuff, but that symmetry is prone to raise suspicions. Stack two tacos on one side and a coursepack on the other and you’re good to go – a nice little grotto all prepared to nest your real study material. Obviously, none of this works if you’re in any but the back row, and even then, you’ll want to draw an imaginary line tangent to the professor’s learned head and your placard to ensure he can’t see over your ramparts. Watch out for TAs; like free radicals, they tend to pop up in unexpected places, pretending to match you for the third time to your facebook photo. If you’re caught red-handed, worry not, it’s still a game of chicken. Few academics will have the gumption to exclaim, “My god, you stooge, am I actually seeing this?! Reading about Weezy in the middle of lecture?!” The game is in the eyes; just cold stare your way to freedom.
2. Know and love the classics. If you have absolutely no idea what’s going on and you find yourself smack dab in the path of professorial inquiry, it’s time to pull those leggies back inside the turtle shell: take notes. As long you are actively in the act of frantically scribbling down the magma of genius erupting from the slides, you will rarely be called upon. The key, again, is in the eyes. Far too many of the hapless unprepared fail to understand that if you don’t know what’s going on, if you haven’t read the case, you have concomitantly forfeited your right to look around the room like a curious baby engrossed in the discovery of his own hands. That’s it; finito. Eyes sulky and down. Eyes loose and dragonflyish are just begging to be called on. So many times I’ve seen those little roaming hoplites leave the formation and get shot down…and then..it’s just sad..the stuttering attempt at sophistry…we know you didn’t read it, oh, we know.
3. Corollary to number 2, a quick way to never get called on for at least two classes is to over-inject your presence for one class. Nothing grates a professor’s nerves more than a student who simply can’t get enough of himself. Read one case inside-out and make sure you have your hand stiff in the air for every other question the prof asks. When he calls on you, go on for far too long and then bait him to pick up again by pausing, and then, just when the air of his voice charges past the epiglottis, cut in and start talking again like you have a brilliant addendum to your already stayed-past-its-welcome thought. Ahhh, the fresh-cut smell of too much contribution!
Here’s a picture of a cool hat to soften the bad news that’s the rest of your life.
4. Stop attending class so much. Rarity = value. Show up every time and you’re basically showing the professor that you have no price. You’re like the wife who just keeps staying, year after year, no matter how many lipstick-stained collars he brings home. Instead, show up once a month and show up late. Look past the words. Profs may say they want a nice guy, but what actually attracts them is a bad boy. Feet on the table, cabron.
5. Wear Sperries. I can’t emphasize this enough, bra. If you take away nothing else from this article, take heed of this: Topsiders make the man. You can cut the Polo; you can cut your adolescent Prince Harry hair. Hell, you can even cut the seersucker shorts. But nobody, I mean nobody, puts Topsiders in the corner. What’s the world coming to? It’s like people forgot how hard we all laughed to “I’m on a Boat.” Read my lips, nation: if you don’t own a pair, you are not an MBA (or my son). What’s next? Fluorescent Nike shorts?
Oops. Roundup weekend.