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  • “Along with my lord and savior, Jesus Christ, my children really give my life meaning and focus,” said the lady whose paper I was helping to correct. She was reading a line that I had pointed out from the paper in question, a paper that was supposed to be an analysis of a novel and a paper that was to have no first person narrative in it. I was trying to point out why this line of reasoning and its tense and focus was a deviation from the instructions given by her instructor. Even though I was very cool, collected and dispassionate in my explanation of why this shouldn’t be in her paper, idiot that she is, she took this as an insult toward her entire belief systems, “Why shouldn’t I put the lord Jesus Christ in this paper? Don’t you believe in God?” I pointed out to her that my belief systems, or hers for that matter, have nothing to do with this paper. She asked a few more questions regarding my religious beliefs (or complete lack thereof), and I was left biting my tongue while trying to point out the fallacies in her paper.

    This is one of the joys of my job. I get to deal with a fair amount of “returning students,” which is a nice way of saying older students who fucked off school for a decade plus usually due to drugs, kids or both, and now, with the burning fire of Christ in their hearts, they’re back to get their lives on track and get that magical piece of framed wall paper that they think will guarantee them better job prospects. They unfortunately are too dense to realize that I have several pieces of that magical paper, and I’m sitting there trying to un-dumb their papers for $13.00 an hour with no benefits or hope for my future. They also don’t realize that I’m holding back a towering avalanche of vitriol that I’d like to dump on them but don’t because I am a professional and need this job (one of several that I do) because I like having a warm bed to sleep in, a clean toilet to shit in and the money to buy enough good whiskey to get those two confused from time to time. That’s why I’m very polite when I try to explain why her love for her risen savior, and what I’m sure are the most precious children on the planet, don’t count for shit when her instructor wants her to explain the significance of certain plot movements and character developments in a fictional novel.

    “Don’t you have any children?” she asks in the middle of my explanation of the difference between a first person narrative paper and a third person objective paper. When I answer in the negative, she says (rather conceitedly), “That’s why you don’t understand my feelings toward this in the paper.” I swear if it was legal for me to grab her by the hair on the back of her head and smash her face into the paper on the table, I would while exclaiming, “Look fuckhead! My having or not having kids doesn’t change the fact that you’re way off scope with your focus on this paper. This paper is not about you, the mongoloids you crapped out of your snatch and the resurrected Christian Savior of mankind. If you want to bring JC into this thing, you can, but it has to be in the context of the story. You and the miraculous physical consequences of letting a collection of different criminals drunkenly jizz into your drugged up funhole a few years ago have fuckall to do with this paper.”

    But, of course I didn’t say what was on my mind. Even though it does feel good to let go like that on people that deserve it, I’ve lost far too many jobs in the past from doing just that kind of psychic cleansing. Taking the sort of high road, I merely explained to her that my lack of kids and JC have nothing to do with her paper, and she can take my advice and profit from it, or she can turn in that semi-retarded, off-base preachy narrative as is and get a big “F” written in Satanic red at the top of the page like it was carved into her paper by a pitchfork dipped in ritually murdered children’s blood. Okay, I left out most of the devil imagery. I should just be thankful that stupidity is not a contagious disease.
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