Like a computer popup with emoticons,
The gray square of space
Around his desk is filled
With a million attention grabbing
This student’s round face with those
Bright blinking eyes and wildly waving arms
As soon as the class logs in
To serious discussion.
Circling their peer’s massive head
With laser beam glares,
Students try to warn
The excited instructor
Of the virus lurking beneath
His sparkling student’s
But the class files and lecture notes
Have already been hacked
With overriding irrelevance
From an animated,
A mockery of thrift,
Money wads are spit
Through the golden straw
Of the university,
Blown with hot air
That drifts freely,
Especially in highly intellectual
Cash and paychecks,
Lots of renovating,
For housing, tuition, books,
From the poor
Who can only sit staring
At the giant slobbery cash-wad
Stuck on each classroom’s ceiling.
Like the ghosts of the
Forgotten family members
From the most obscure branches of my family tree
Play a festive trivia game with me each Christmas season,
Haunting my mind at our family reunion
With unflattering childhood quips and quotes,
Demanding detailed descriptions
About my current college status,
And throwing fact after detailed fact into my
“Why studying to be an English teacher
Is the worst decision of my life” wastebasket.
Waking up the next morning,
Like the famous Ebenezer Scrooge,
I sling open the blinds and breathe a sigh,
Thankful for the gift of family
And a whole year to prepare for their next present.
First Christmas at college and there’s so much to see,
Wreaths, flurried snows and Christmas trees.
Posted exam schedules bring out the Grinch in me,
“Cumulative” is a curse word.
At least in a few days I can leave.
Gift exchange number one with a group of friends,
Eating too much sugar,
Watching cheesy movies,
Wish the night didn’t ever have to end.
Midnight breakfast on Thursday was the first study break,
Sleep-deprived giggle shakes,
Muffins, grits, and pancakes,
Keep my brain awake,
Marshbanks’ food never tasted so great.
The first Friday of December begins exam week,
Classmates complain their brains hurt,
Some nervously flirt,
My professor wore a t-shirt,
As he passed out religion exam sheets.
On day six in December my professor gave to me
Algebra word problems,
Evil Scantron columns,
“Do your best, class,”
Hopefully I’ll pass
Her test about mathematical theories.
Last-minute laundry on the seventh of the month,
Long flights of stairs,
Awkward heavy basket,
Dirty socks go flying,
Towards scattered dryer sheets,
Don’t drop the clean clothes
In detergent puddles,
Won’t miss this chore any more than algebra.
Western Civ exam at lunch time on Wednesday number two,
Middle Ages’ drama,
Church has a schism,
Monks publish wisdom,
Popes and kings colliding,
Vikings enjoy fighting,
All crammed in a three hour test.
Say farewell to the dorm room, I’m trekking back home,
Twenty trips to the car,
And still not all that far
In my packing progress,
Maybe it’s post-exam stress,
Punching in my address
In the GPS,
Two hours from destination,
Find a good radio station,
Homeward bound, blasting music, I sing along.
Pulling into the driveway, I breathe a happy sigh.
Off the crowded highway,
Forgotten exam day,
One month at-home stay,
Break from long class meetings,
Dogs barking greetings,
Unload clothes and shoes,
Catch up on the news,
Eat home-cooked food,
In a relaxed mood,
Feel the Christmas spirit sinking in.
On the first weekend at home, church party to attend,
Sunday school class Christmas,
“College and Career” friends,
Don’t show up gift-less,
Five dollar limit,
No gags or gimmicks,
Major dessert display,
Sprinkles on every tray,
Feeling a stomach ache,
Keep piling on cake,
Going to gain some weight,
Put on the freshman fifteen over Christmas break.
Last minute Christmas shopping, is Black Friday here to stay?
Just need a few things
Hope that Santa brings
Cash in his sack
To pay me back
For gifts I’m buying
For friends, I’m trying
To get a discount,
Save my bank account,
Many crowds I braved,
Think how much I saved,
Didn’t bother to wave
As I left the stores I now owe Christmas fees.
Illusions and illustrations he showers liberally,
Examples are endless and questions encouraged.
New ways of thinking,
Explored creatively in lectures and worksheets.
His explanations flawless,
His audience…less than captivated.
Texting misspelled words beneath the table,
Typing grammar suicides on Facebook walls,
They skip the unchecked homework,
Do a research paper,
And maybe take another class
With Professor Socrates
To get one more decent grade
From a man who thinks too much
Of those who think too little.
Three college girls
Talking about Christmas.
Remembering three grandmas,
All at home,
Thinking about Christmas,
The first time without him.
Still feels like he’s there.
Will presents be piled in the chair
He sat in?