So, we meet again.
How long has it been? 8, 9, 10 years? Except for that brief fling we had at University of Cincinnati, I was sure that I had seen the last of you when I dropped out in the 9th grade. Didn't I make it clear to you that we were through; that whatever we may have once had is gone? Being locked away I was convinced that I was out of your reach. But you've found me, following me like a plague even here, haunting my life like some twisted, paper-cutting demon. Look at you, staring at me from my desk, looking so smug with your uncreased pages and crisp, unbroken binding. With all of your sophisticated words divided into "chapters" and "lessons." You really think you're hot shit, don't you? You think you can just come strutting in here after all these years and begin dictating how I'm going to spend my days! You're crazy if you do. You're nothing more than a glorified S.T.D. pamphlet to me and I'd just as soon use you as toilet paper than pay attention to what you have to say for even a second. Fuck you and that UPS truck you rode in on. I told you to kiss my ass in high school and I'm telling you to kiss my ass now. Only idiots read textbooks.
I'm back in school now. Figuratively speaking. Figuratively writing. Through Ohio University's Distance Learning Program I've just enrolled in two courses, Writing and Reading 152 and Critical Approaches to Poetry 202, as a degree candidate. Yes, folks, this is highly advanced material I'm going to be studying, but Mensa will not consider my application until these are completed.
In all seriousness, a) we all gotta start somewhere, and b) 95% of the offered courses require a proctor to supervise the exams, so my course selections are currently limited to the remaining 5%, since providing proctors is not exactly something the guards in the hole consider a priority. No big deal, these two classes are prerequisites for the upper-level English and humanities courses anyhow. Hey, I'm just thrilled to be back in college at all. This is long overdue.
For a while it appeared that the probability of me being able to take courses at all was looking very small. The head of education here is a short and miserable-tempered woman with one of the most ridiculous wigs I've ever seen. The first time we spoke she gave initial verbal approval to my request to enroll in the program. Which was why it was especially frustrating when, after getting all my ducks in a row and submitting the paperwork necessary for official approval, she developed a sudden selective amnesia by denying that we had ever spoken or that she ever told me such a program could be done in the hole or that we had ever met at all. During our next encounter I attempted to convince this creature of her error in an impassioned yet controlled manner. But perhaps I used too little control and too much passion, because after 15 seconds of my speech she turned and walked away as I was in mid-sentence.
After soothing my rage by verbally abusing Shit Bag Ron, my roommate at the time, I regrouped and came up with a new plan to gain approval for these classes. To make a long and insipidly boring story short, after a good deal of paperwork, request forms, whining and just generally making a nuisance of myself, I was eventually given the documented approval I sought.
Never before have I encountered or even heard of a greater resistance being mounted against a man trying to educate himself. Clearly the administration theorized that once I learned the intricacies of poetry I would immediately utilize my skills by mesmerizing the guard in a gun tower with recitations of Baudelaire, eventually convincing him to look the other way as I scaled a fence. Damn, how was my plot uncovered? Those prison officials are certainly more clever than they appear. Which isn't saying much.