I slammed my head down on the desk.
“Are you fucking serious?” I thought.
I was four minutes early.
My hands were sweating – I wiped them on my pants. My jeans needed to be washed. Why the hell were my hands sweating? I scratched my foot through my shoe. My socks weren’t matching. Fuck, get a grip, Jeff.
My head was spinning on an axis I had never discovered before, thinking of the blueberry blunt Evan had been expertly rolling when I left a few minutes ago. Even though I figured the majority of the class had labeled me a stoner a while back, I still strived for a hint of incognito – an impossible task, or so I figured. I arrived every day as the bells of Storke Tower clanged away, a thick cloud of smoke always following me past Girvetz’s pearly gates and into my uncomfortably numb chair.
But back to the problem – I fucked up.
I had left too soon. Erring for the punctual side had cost me my mindset. Hindsight was snickering at me. Five minutes ago, a few grams of Train Wreck were being assembled into a cylindrical masterpiece, and I thought my participation in the ethereal effort was relegated to spiritual support. Little did I know that the little I did toke could have been expounded upon exponentially, but it was only when I witnessed the lucky bastard walk into class that I realized I wasn’t the biggest stoner in section.
His eyes were no redder than mine, maybe a strawberry hue, but the second I caught on to his signature smile, I couldn’t help but bust up laughing. Maybe he puffed down a quick one that day before class. Maybe I was just too high to notice before, or to even go to class for that matter. Nothing changed the fact that my section was about to be led by a graduate level pothead.
I wanted to thank him – to walk up in the middle of class and shake his hand while everyone would figure me for a lunatic tweeker on his last vengeful binge. He’d understand. Fuck them if they didn’t.
I knew why this man was high. I could understand every impulse in his brain, every stroke of chalk on the blackboard and every word he lectured. He wanted a release. Whether philosophical, spiritual or simply casual, my T.A. was using marijuana as a means of expounding his creativity. And I couldn’t get enough of it.
If I was the only one that noticed, then so be it. If I wasn’t, I guess he didn’t care. And why should he? Is smoking weed to benefit your ability to teach such a bad thing? What teachers and professors lack most these days is creativity. So, why inhibit it?
The best teachers, those who can actually provoke their students’ passion, are those who truly understand their students on a personal level. So, if you want to reach your students more deeply and not just blow equivocal bullshit down their lungs, then wake up to the fact that many of your students don’t have the balls to tell you to liven up your act.
Don’t tell us what you read in your graduate school handbook. Don’t preach to us what the professor or the department chair wants you to cover. Don’t give us lists of terms and materials. Give us motivation to listen to you, aside from our plummeting grades – if those really mattered we’d all have to burst from the binge inside our tiny Isla Vista bubble. Just give us something new, something no one has slapped a patent on yet.
I sit through the same snoozefests every morning on the winding path towards my diploma. All I’m asking for is a curveball once in a while. You know, get me off balance so I can swing and flat out miss in front of everyone for a change. There would at least be substance in that, something for me to discover.
To those that inspire their students, I’ll burn one down for you. Whatever method you chose, it doesn’t matter. If you can do it sober, all the better. Just understand your students and avoid the ignorance that has blinded so many teachers from inspiring their students. Maybe then I’ll be able to enjoy class when I’m not stoned out of my mind.
The only note taking Daily Nexus Opinion Editor Jeff Gibson managed to accomplish in his last lecture was a pencil sketch of Freebirds’ nachos.