December 9th, 2011 / 3:07 pm

ToBS R1: ‘lyric essays’ vs. Daily facebook updates on what you’re doing with your students

 [Matchup #32 in Tournament of Bookshit]

‘Lyric Essays’

Before he got married, my friend Michael couldn’t really be bothered to spend a lot of time cooking for himself. Or, well, he wasn’t really motivated to invest a lot of his precious time in the act of preparing food in a kitchen for his consumption. (I’m sure Michael would appreciate me telling you that once he began his long-term, now state/church sanctioned relationship, this changed.) Also, Michael didn’t really have a lot of money. So, not having the finances to go out to eat every night, and not having the inclination to spend a lot of time cooking—because he was instead inclined to read and learn banjo—Michael ate a lot of Banquet Turkey Pot Pies.

Michael and I were talking once, and he said, “Hey, so I used to eat a lot of Banquet Turkey Pot Pies, and one day while I was eating one, I kind of idly started skimming the box, and when I got to the ingredients, I sort of idly started reading it, and I found out that one of the main ingredients in the Banquet Turkey Pot Pie is chicken. Did you know that? That when you go out and buy a Banquet Turkey Pot Pie instead of a Banquet Chicken Pot Pie because you like turkey more than chicken, you are actually eating a lot of chicken instead of a lot of turkey?”

Sometimes I like to read ‘lyric essays,’ and I go find some ‘lyric essays’ to enjoy, but right in the middle of one of them, I realize that the ‘lyric essay’ I’m reading is actually just filled with chicken.

PROS: Chicken
CONS: Not enough turkey, Chicken


Daily Facebook updates on what you’re doing with your students

I was unpacking recently. I had to pack first. And then move a packed box. And then I was unpacking.

One of the things I unpacked was my MFA. It’s in a blue thing. Just sitting in there. I sometimes hope that it will start talking to me. It’s in a blue diploma cover, and I feel like it would be nice if the cover started to open and close like a mouth. I want my MFA to talk to me the way sandwiches talk to people in advertisements for mayonnaise. I think that would be fun—you know, just having a little chat with my MFA.

I worry, though, that my MFA would berate me for not having a teaching position of some sort. And that it would know that a lot of my other writer friends have teaching positions because they always update their Facebook statuses with cute stories about the conversations they have with their students. Or, like, mentioning the typos their students make. (Which are, you know, hilarious or whatever.)

(No, actually: They are hilarious. They really are. Kids type the darndest things.)


I guess I’m annoyed that a) I don’t have a teaching position, b) my MFA doesn’t talk to me but if it did, I assume it would berate me for not having a teaching position, and c) I can’t figure out why I would, if my MFA could talk, give it its own Facebook page. Also, why have all my writer friends become friends with my talking MFA?

PROS: Olives on toothpicks sort of look like eyes
CONS: My MFA doesn’t have any teeth and probably couldn’t make a sibilant

Matthew Simmons

– – –

WINNER: ‘lyric essays’ for reasons of jealousy

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  1. Daniel Bailey

      you forgot to mention how most teaching updates involve a high degree of complaining about how much they have to grade coupled with a low degree of self-awareness for how easy their life is (getting paid to go to school and having to grade a few papers? it’s almost like they have a job or something!).

  2. Matthew Simmons

      Seriously, though, Daniel: why did you send a friend request to my talking MFA in my imaginary scenario wherein my MFA talks and has a Facebook account that I set up for it because it has a mouth but not arms or fingers or any other way of setting up a Facebook account?

  3. Daniel Bailey

      i just wanted to see your mfa’s photo albums… garsh

  4. deadgod

      banjo metal vs. MFA in Independent Study

      winner:  anthropogenic extinction spasm

  5. Matthew Simmons
  6. ladyblogblah

      I would say this might be my favorite HTMLG post ever

  7. Matt Rowan

      Don’t knock it till you have to deal with a room full of entitled high school students / suffer through the indignity of being told you’re the problem with the education system while simultaneously being the only group actively playing a part in said education system (at least with any consistency). Although I do realize we’re speaking more in terms of college level educators. Still, though, kids up there ain’t no picnic neither. Easier to ignore, though. 

  8. Jonathan Safran Foer

      Joyce Carol was my independent study advisor and then she agreed to be my thesis reader at Princeton. Major help. Don’t knock it friend.

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