"I am certainly not one of those who need to be prodded…"

THE PROFESSOR – Lecture 1: Verbosity

Posted in Uncategorized by stuart sia on June 27, 2010

A short monologue containing 75 GRE words from Group 1 of Princeton Review’s “Hit Parade.” Enjoy.

This is Rhetoric 101. I am your professor, Dr. Anthropos.

Although I cannot stymie those of you who wish to abscond, I wish to disabuse the notion that my lectures are mere prattle. I am sure you will find my insights illuminating. I am, as it were, a rather lucid and eloquent speaker, albeit immodestly so.

[Waits for laughter that never comes.]

Ahem, I concede, there may be no real good reason to believe me versus the reviews on BruinWalk discordant with my aforementioned claim, and I must say I appreciate the magnanimity of those of you resisting the, in my humble opinion, virulent censures against me and the precipitate demands exhorting my termination and fulminating against my tenure. That year was admittedly tortuous, what with my extemporaneous lectures and my sporadic attendance, both of which were due in large part to the untimely synthesis of all things onerous in my life: the dissolution of my marriage to my truculent and irascible wife of 11 years, the noxious book reviews purporting my writing to be “convoluted,” “nebulous,” and worst of all, “obtuse,” once again seemingly refuting my aforementioned claim to perspicacity, and then, there is of course the tragic death of my beloved box turtle, Cecelia; your loyalty never wavered, my dear Cece, and while getting over you may have been easier for your thickheaded brother, Oscar, who took care to satiate his voracious appetite with your torqued foot not an hour after your passing, precious little has assuaged my grief and ennui

[Pauses a couple moments. Breaks from his reverie, blinking several times, momentarily stupefied by the hundreds of eyes staring at him.]

Sorry, uh, where was I? Ah, yes, the previous year… I must be clear, this…soliloquy, if you will, is neither an attempt to exculpate myself for the previous year nor is it an equivocation to elicit sympathy. That year was aberrant, an anomaly, though part of me does fear it to be a prescient harbinger of even more sordid affairs, heralding the nascent and ultimately perennial dark ages of my enervate life!

[Inhales sharply.]

Oh God!

[Coughs.]

You. Your water!

[Chugs down the entire water bottle. Takes a couple deep breaths to calm self. Grimaces.]

No, I expect no sympathy, and have become, in fact, inured to the audacious critiques due to erudite philosophers of learning like myself. Indeed, I suspect the administration of a predilection towards my termination, having responded with an unconventional amount of alacrity to the solicitous feedback of my former students, taking no qualms with extending my administrative sabbatical, and even admitting, upon exploration of all canonical recourses and exhaustion of all administrative options, that they would uphold my contract, albeit “begrudgingly.”

No matter. I desire no approbations. I need not be lauded with paeans of my intellect and genius by lesser, mundane folk like yourselves. And I may sound austere, but I do not care that for many of you in my lecture hall, taking this course is merely a perfunctory step towards completing your General Education requirements! To obviate any inclination you may feel to befriend me, know, I care little about learning the veracity of what motivates you and would much prefer ingenuous, reticent students without the effrontery to visit me during office hours! A bit of advice, the more disparate you are, the more I remember you; the more I remember you, the less I like you; and the less I like you…well, even ignoramuses like yourselves can figure out where I am going with this, so don’t try to be a peacock among peahens, and just try to figure things out on your own, okay?

Now an exigent matter I would like to draw your attention to is your upcoming midterm. According to your Filibus

[Mouth twitches involuntarily, betraying his amusement and pleasure at his own wit.]

Get it?

[Raises eyebrows. Looks around the hall.]

Oh, of course you don’t get it, its a neologism, a portmanteau really, of filibuster and syllabus, suggesting a syllabus of inordinate length! Dim-wits…in any event, as I say in the Preface found on page vii of your Filibus, examinations are an axiomatic component of my pedagogical methodology and will, therefore, be invigilated thrice monthly. The calendar can be found in the Appendix, and I would urge you begin your arduous revision soon, lest you be relegated to the lowest echelons of the class. There is precious little time to squander. The examination topics can be found on page 33, though do not take them to be static for they can be as capricious as language and rhetoric themselves are. I understand you may take this to be a prevarication, but I only mean to forewarn that more contemporary examination topics may be drawn from noteworthy news as it unfolds, such as political chicanery playing out at the Hague, the declaration of martial law by a dictatorial regime, the recanting of beliefs by a clergyman disillusioned by his church’s perfidy, or the biting and sharp-witted parody found in the Letters to the Editor section of the New York Times, written, of course, by yours truly.

I had wanted your first midterm to be yesterday, but the department head alleged, rather argumentatively, that midterms must take place in the middle of the term, i.e. not before the term had even begun. Therefore, lucky you, your first midterm is in a week. With that said, let us begin our lecture…

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