Good morning, everyone, and welcome to Freshman Composition. Before we get started, I have but one favor to ask you: Please, call me Elliott. Dr. Morgenstern is my father.
And my mother!
Or, as I call them, my ex-roommates. Sure, they’re tenured English professors, but they don’t look down on me because I’m a lowly lecturer. They look down on me for so much more. But the joke’s on them, ‘cause as an adjunct, I don’t simply teach—I inspire. In this class, I hope to introduce you to the unique, one-of-a-kind, life-affirming power of literature, just like I do in my eleven other sections. Don’t worry, fam. I’m the Cool Adjunct Professor.
First things first: take out those textbooks and rip out the first page. We don’t need Page One to tell us where to go into the cold, cold night. And yes, I’m well aware that page one is blank—so tear out page two as well. Life has no Table of Contents! If it did, I’d have made better decisions. Hell, rip out all the pages. Where we’re going we don’t need roads “less traveled by.” Now just pass those papers forward. I need kindling for tonight’s trashcan fire.
Gang, did you know the poem is actually titled “The Road Not Taken”? So illuminating.
Speaking of illuminating, I happen write my own poetry by candlelight, just like Wordsworth did. Because, like Wordsworth, I don’t have electricity. See, poetry helps us endure the darkest nights of our souls. Nights when we lose our ex-girlfriend’s scarf, or when our own mother can’t score us a teaching contract in the department she runs, or when the rain douses our fire spit, ruining our roasted pigeon.
But listen up, yo, I’m not the first to use my rhymes to work through tough times. Tupac. Biggie. Edna St. Vincent Millay. Alexander Hamilton. Even the OG rapper himself: MC Billy Shakes.
In fact, they’re going to inspire our “alternative” approach to Composition. Forget about writing five-paragraph snooze-fests. We write about seriously heady real-world stuff, I’m talking about ending poverty, ending sickness, and what the hell, now that I think of it, ending world hunger. For instance, one assignment has us write about the food we eat. You guys would bring in canned goods and non-perishables and then analyze what your item says about us. As a society, you know? Of course, to grade the essays appropriately, I must collect the food, so bring a variety! One can only “grade” so much cream of mushroom soup without throwing up in his sleeping bag.
Sure, my job isn’t secure, and I live in an old refrigerator box, but life is all about the hustle!
At least that’s what I explained to the arresting officer. I’ve been working hard to raise my station, even starting a side hustle selling my plasma and clean urine. I happen to have a few jars in my shoulder-bag if anyone has cash on hand…
Only kidding! My iPhone has a credit card reader.
Yes, I have an iPhone. So what? Like Walt Whitman, I too am large. I contain multitudes! Of bacteria. Because you know what I don’t have? Health insurance.
Uh oh, I mentioned Whitman. Now you probably think I want you to say, “Oh Captain, My Captain” and get on top of your desks. You’re right! On desktop, you have the perfect view to check my swollen molars for gum-rot. I just can’t seem to get a good angle in the glass-shard I use for a mirror at box.
Whoa, actually might have to save that for tomorrow. Looks like we’re almost out of time and I still have to snag some coffee creamers from the faculty lounge before my court hearing.
Class dismissed! Hopefully along with my vagrancy charge.