It’s a good thing I have my own apartment because my parents are pretty pissed at me. My younger brother is about to go to his college orientation so he asked me what to expect. I guess my folks were hoping I would tell him to “do his best” and give him other mature advice, but I think that’s what screws people up. I told him the truth, especially about the placement tests you have to take to figure out the appropriate level of classes you should take.
So, he asked about the foreign language test… I told him to fail the hell out of that. He looked confused until I told him that since he was planning to major in Visual Arts… I know, shit major. My brother is going to get a toilet paper degree. Anyways… Since he is majoring in drawing basically that he didn’t need foreign language but was required to take one class in it to graduate. I failed the hell out of mine on purpose and got placed in Spanish 101, with people who had never taken a lick of Spanish in their lives. My best friend did his best and after three years of high school Spanish we had both taken, he was placed into Spanish 162. His teacher came to class the first day speaking Puerto rican Spanish at the speed of light and he worked his ass off to get a C in that class. My teacher, who was about as Caucasian as you can be without being an albino, came in saying (slowly) “Mi llamo es Senora Jones.” So while Joey was conjugating obscure verbs and spending countless hours in the language lab, I was learning “uno, dos, tres, cuatro… rojo…azul….” And learning how to find out where the library is. I made an A. So, let’s recap. Work really, really hard and make a C, do no work at all, make an A. (shakes his head)
What about Math he said? Fail that too. Except, when I did it I failed it so bad that they tried to put me in something called remedial math which would have given me no credit. After a terse discussion with my advisor about how I had failed it intentionally he told me of an option called “Math 104 for non-majors.” Since I was hell bent on getting my toilet paper theatre degree I found that to be a fantastic option. I shit you not, in this class we actually did no math. My professor, who looked like Scooter from the muppet babies, taught us things like how to take a garbage truck down every street of a city with as few duplicates as possible or how to go through all the doors of a house without going through the same door twice. I made an A in that class too and sat next to this babe who would later go on to pose for playboy. That’s another story though.
Finally I took the writing test which I tried to fail and told him to fail as well… Except I kinda muffed this one. The writing prompt told me to describe my summer experience, so I decided to write about what a shit job I had working at Wendy’s. I mostly went on about this fat, nasty middle aged manager I had to work for named Lisa who hated her life. I used particularly colorful language describing her in gory detail and dropping all kinds of profanity in my first official college paper. Now, I’m not making this up… I actually was placed into the highest writing class a freshman could take, English 202. I was outraged but my advisor simply told me all the note on my placement card said was “gifted writer.” I guess the adjudicators had a sense of humor. Not happy about it, I signed up for 202, made an A in that too and ended up getting a creative writing minor. My brother, who does not particularly enjoy writing asked me what he should do about that, but I just told him to play it by ear.
I guess my parents never knew how I made the dean’s list my first semester but they sure know now. I still stand by my advice though and would give it to any incoming freshman.
All Shows have been fully produced at Laney High School and I would be happy to answer any questions about staging or any other aspects of these shows.
Copyright © 2021 Brent Holland