I been in schools all my life; and they’ve been more trouble to me than they’re worth, one way or another..my little pretties, –Ee-yeh-heh-heh-heh-eh! (ahem) however; if I were to pick the stupidest, stubbornest, most obstinate, obvious left-wing, knee-jerk liberal, genius-flunking, ratch-a-fratchin’ blankety-blank..communist! dog-whistle professor of them all, –in a long line of pretenders to that throne, I would have to say it’s..no! No, no,I..I’ll wait, I’ll, leave that out for last, I gotta save the juice. I am not saying his name..Nyet! no..not yet. But it raises a troubling question: How in heck did my most excellent work in (S____ ______’s) class rate a c? Huh?? I had this kind of thing happen to me, before, and more than once! over 60 or so years being in ‘the System’, but only under the most extraordinarily trying circumstances! a c!! And now, –after a lifetime spent, frittering it away in neighborhoods smacking of the Ivy Leagues, and being ‘quits’..I’m back! back to school again, at (M___ C____) city college..and I’m getting a C? Huh?? for ART???? Just cause I turn in my final project a little late???????????????! Don’t get me wrong! it’s a lovely campus..pleasant, and warm, with helpful, friendly people (mostly); but C? this’s deja vu, –ba-ad kharma..a c! What? Ded I miss something???? Did I not get that memo??????? Let’s investigate
I’ll start at the beginning (which is a very good place to start, where it began..Absolutely!). I always wanted to be a jewish comic (my favorite TV personality was Jack Benny); but there was always a thing standing in the way of that, well, two things, my parents. They’re both gentiles; and protestants. Mom wanted me to be a preacher, like Dad; so, lacking the advantage of getting the requisite grounding in rabbinical training, obviously, –yada-yada-yada! breaking in with the stand-up thing looked like a bit of a long-shot; and I never could get the timing thing down! Timing is everything, as we all know. And everything was always pulling (me) in other directions, anyways. When I was younger I started getting sent to the principle’s >sp. (I had a friend who was a very bad influence). These frequent trips were be-cause of relatively minor infractions..the little violations that got caught (not the others), and in a time before hate-crimes got invented. Things were easier. So it is entirely conceivable that, had I had the benefit of an aggressively assertive totalitarian regime – such as what we are now teetering towards, with Joe! Joe Mamma..0’Mamma&theO’Papas!! I could have distinguished myself quite early in life (and a lost opportunity), by being the youngest offender to receive a sentence of death in the electric-chair, pleasing the teacher by being executed at around 9 (or 6, if 6 was 9, –Pythagorean theories of pure mathematic’s aside); but this was in the good old days and all in fun, like I said, or sort of alluded to..whenever I said whatever it was I said; and indeed society was not nearly as frayed at the edges, and a bit more tolerant of differences (except Russia and the Cold War..bomb-shelters, gas-masks; and stick to your own bathroom God gave you, etc.), –not for my sake but because of things like the First Amendment, and legal precedents like U.S. vs. a book named ULYSSES, establishing a solid bulwark against puritanical mass hysterias pulling on a religious iron boot, and kicking in the teeth of our right to choose..what’s obscene and what’s not; and so on and so on; and Politics in the Bedroom by the Marquis de Sade, etc., and of course Amy Vanderbilt’s Rules of Etiquette, etc., etc..Egyptian Book of the Dead, and all of the rest of an essential library of reference works for the needful casting of magical spells, oy! God forbid it!! I was a fairly well-read youngster, by all accounts, and the chief librarian regarded me with sharp, beady little eyes behind cat-eye glasses, always, keeping her emotional distance as she stamped the Date Due:(______) with unnecessary force..I felt, onto the check-out cards in my armful’s of books I would routinely spirit away – the maximum allowed – in afternoon twilights exiting down concrete steps between stone lions..whistling ‘Dixie’). But i digressed..getting back to the point, after an appearance by police – de rigueur – and the formality of an efficient interrogation by detectives with my accuser (Mrs. Hill) present so I could, by my certain and enumerated rights, cross-examine her, and, with witnesses determine if there was sufficient evidence to warrant my removal from her class (her fondest hope), –or not, with a perfunctory slap I was back on the playground conducting business-as-usual; and very profitably..a well-known fact! for it’s true I was the wealthiest kid in the lower grades (there must have been a mix-up back at the hospital, “–Take my nurse..please!!”); which brings us back to the main complaint: WHY c??????????? uh?
C is closer to a F than a A! So why not give..give me a F? “..give me a U! give me a C! –Yada-yada, what’s that spell!! etc., etc.” (Quick hippie grammar-lesson for you, there..the 60’s) Yeah, –so what is it with college prof’s and their grade of c..they’re like a pocket-veto they carry, or something! to inflict wounds, it’s downright petty and slimy, –and banal, even..why not just F? That was nearly my exact words for Dave Sherm the design teacher at USC/SOFA when he gave me the B when I had, in reality, earned A (after all my hard work! I even lit my tennis-shoes on fire, for a How-to on making a painting that included performance art at some level to satisfy the guidelines of the assignment given, that sent ‘Sherm’ scurrying off for a fire-extinguisher; but when he returned the shoes had gone out. My final project had been a crowd-pleaser, –for once! yet hanging there, yawning at us, we.. the last hangers-on in the arts classroom, end-of-spring. It was up high, in the ceiling, themed for the 1984 Olympics, a quickly-thrashed-together sculptural representation of their logo (from spare parts), a current event, even! in LA!! what more could be expected? (for A) plus my dependable disruptions, I ran them like streetcars, annoying everybody that could be annoyed, over the course of a semester..in a contextual framework of art; and so on and so on, for all of it, NO EXTRA CHARGE, –And! and I had just witnessed him changing a C to a B for a churlish, lazy no-account Korean girl, — who wasn’t even that attractive!! just to get her out of his face; she utilized a crony classmate, another female artstudentweasel, though less so, than she, shoving her bodily at him, the instructor (Exhibit A): “You geev B fo’ huh, why no B fuh me? huh? HUH??” His chemicals began reacting, more than mildly, at that unexpected ejaculation out of her. He was clearly chagrined. A grade is a grade, once it’s assigned..non-negotiable (hey! we’re adults); but he caved. So when all that had been accomplished, and the room cleared, I stepped up to have my turn at him: “Hey, Sherm, –What’s with this B stuff?” He gave a limp, disinterested response, like he wasn’t really there, in the classroom; rather than making any effort to justify the cut-down from A..probably was thinking of driving him and his dog somewhere for a bite at a BURGER KING, or someplace, and a well-deserved treat. That got him a U– in my book, U for Un-satisfactory. Very! So immediately I got into my gangster act. “You give me an
A..or you give me an F!” I snapped, hot! snatching loose my dark shades and locking eyeballs with him (so he could feel the heat), and throwing them at the floor, too, so they shattered in a million pieces, for emphases (to make my point, that is..I had just got back to campus – LATE – this last spring day of instruction, very close to graduation, –or so I had thought..after paying ten bucks to register my junk screenplay with SWG over there in Holly-weird). Dave, poor guy..Vietnam vet, shocked! never belonged there; nor here (there nor here..neither), –too shockable! shook his head, and trembling, walked away fast!! on the double. B..B is for BAD(A=GOOD)F..yeahh, gimme that F. At least F would be more meaningfully veangeful (to whatever) and I could respect that..F! if not not as mortifying for the recipient..that would be me, I was the recipient, of a B..mortified! No..mortification doesn’t quite get that handled, B, –it’s like, well, “Yeah..Mm, I could give you the A..but I’m not in the mood.” Blechh! it’s more like a vexation, yes! that’s it, a vexation!! I am suffering from..a vexation, –Category C/c- vexation, –for the B..vexation (veks-a-shun), n. 1. A state of being vexed 2. a combination of mortification and chagrin, –Aw, look it up, they’re in the dictionary (imbecile). What is it with these guys? don’t they know they are playing with fire giving out a grade like that? to a guy like me? with a vocabulary?? Watch out; and don’t pout..better not! (Ahem) And don’t dog-whistle me, –don’t you be dog-whistlin’ me! Merry Christmas. (Does anybody hear a dog whistle? does your dog hear a dog-whistle?? how bout a reindeer whistle) whatever..Happy New Year’s, too!
I..so I used to go to UC Berkeley, before that..years before. Not as a student, I didn’t have the grades. But my friend did..my friend, Carlos from East LA, who was a philosophy major and straight A student, –for a career! he had walls of books piled around the apartment (downstairs from mine); and knew what was in them, each and every one! and was always rattling off quote’s by Tolstoy..Nietzche, and Dostoevski, also, were favorites, –it might’ve been some other major guy, not Tolstoy I think (Schopenhauer? maybe); not sure about it, probably was Tolstoy, but anyway he would recite the names over and over, grinding at them, like some sort of magical mantra to conjure the old philosophers’ stone from the 4th dimension (from which to spring voluminous term-papers for his UC Berkeley professors, chock full of fantastic foot-notes! and citations..gold —A+), until, by repetitions, over time, his jaw became permanently misshapen, separated..out-of-joint, accruing to linguistic anomalies, straining at the mouth’s natural shape, demanded by precise enunciation..a.k.a.,My Fair Lady’s Syndrome (it was the repetitions that done it); also, he had a minor, probably in Minority Studies (and a few minors, on the side); and he never missed an opportunity afforded by big city life, to be part of a historical event..as that event happened to happen. I will cite for you such an instance: he once paid an outrageous sum I think of ten or 12 dollars to attend an in-person poetry reading that evening by the poet Charles Bukowski, or ‘Buk’ as he was known to his friends downstairs in the basement room at City Lights Books (Ferlinghetti’s dump in old uptown Frisco, out towards the the Wharf; and I seem to recall seeing dozens of copies, bunched all in a row up front by the register..for emphasis! newly minted, only of ULYSSES; for all the Lit. majors?, I guess they must sell like hot-cakes around start of a semester); and, at a later date, he, Carlos, had grabbed him a pair of tickets, quickly getting scarce at a ridiculously exorbitant 15 or 20 bucks ea., to see the Sex Pistols with his law-student buddy at the Mabuhay Gardens, Frisco’s punk-rock joint in North Beach, back in the day..big historical night they’d had there at the club, he’d told me, with all the punks hanging out at the punk scene..trying to act tough..like punks! and also one time me and him we went and saw Angela Davis giving everybody her big pitch, clench’d-fist salute and all, at Sproul Plaza on the UC Berkeley campus, for which she received a handsome pay-check from the school slush-fund for radical’s, I imagine..that’s entertainment; and here, I think I just passed the acceptable threshold that limits the of sharing anecdotes, from going one too far, where you lose your reader, for reals! so I’ll have to cut the one I was gonna tell – for atmosphere – can’t say it now, no room! about that time I’d got him, Carlos! into the apartment in the front of our dilapidated three-story Victorian; and its hallways of doors into lives, unknown to the outside..the minute it became vacant (when Bill the sign-painter finally signed off, having had enough of getting mugged every other day in that neighborhood; and moved on, minus two eye-teeth, –because of “..all the effen enner’s!”..a thing hard to say, if you’re missing all your front teeth), –with the 8-foot tall bay window view on the 101 n. off-ramp, that dumped! freeway’s-end traffic into the neighborhood, with all the 8-foot tall drug-dealers, and prostitutes, and wino’s, etc., wrung-out around the 8-foot curb in front of the liquor store at all hours, toting their 8-foot bottles of MD 20/20 and syringes, there, on the corner cross’t-a-street (a couple blocks below the ZEN Center, –where, also, Chris Piersig got stabbed and laid on the sidewalk to die..probably, for change), –cross-traffic, cut off at intervals by the glacial, meteoric rush hour traffic flows, and taillights slicing through the city’s inner gut..deli-style; when he’d said, “I’m telling you, A, these rents here in Berkeley are killing me, it just keeps going up!” So I said, “Have I got the place for you.” (And then I helped out with that.) But anyway, all of it aside, like I said I was going to SF State (before they made everything UNIVERSITY). And it was back in the 1970’s, and lots to do; and, like, coffee! wow!! coffee, and espresso, and espresso joints! with live, cool jazz in the mornings, for donations! it was cheap, and they featured the most exquisite beans, sourced from Yemen, and the port at Harrar, and all exotic places like that, famous for the fruity notes, –and jasmine and caramel hints, and others, like wine, in a complex, and very nuanced cup; and Kenya AA, from the top drawer, also could be had by Joe-shmo in the street, eight or nine bucks for a pound, ground or whole..if he knew where to go! I got mine handled, always, out of a little bricks&mortar storefront in a slot up on Haight, above Ashbury, a couple blocks from the Golden Gate Park, store called Coffee, Tea&Spice (block or two from a small club a band called MOBY GRAPE appeared at one Friday night; and in the opposite direction, downwards, near where Skip Spence had lived – for about a year, by my reckoning – in a converted garage up from Haight on Masonic, furnished very spartan. I showed up there one night and found him surrounded by a few admirers, and Jude, his lady-friend, tapping a tune on the guitar with a drum-stick, just finishing up, the notes reverberating..then fading, somewhere, into the galaxy, —“Peggy Sue!” he’d said, disassociating his person from the Stratocaster, going over, and lighting a Camel off the stove..somewhere on his own planet. It was his birthday). Oh! the smells in that place, the coffee joint!! they’d killya. These folk lived and breathed coffee-beans, and kept the back room-area piled high with daily incoming..gunny-sacks, bulging full of fresh, green beans, ready for da roaster! There wasn’t anyplace like it..the best from everywhere in the world. Right..right.
After landing on the grid at SF State, after a semester’s hiatus – and a quick job, or two in between owing to circumstances that caused me to ditch my original plan of going to Sonoma State, little further to the north, and very rural, by contrast, (–I’ll have to leave out the story about Heifetz! and the twin who never was..no connexion between the two, well, –the twins were connected, but..) – I entered an art competition, generally open to students, that had been announced, with flyers! stapled up around ‘the Commons’ so I submitted, and right away flunked out of that! (That event is seared in memory; but I’ll forego making it an epic and give the short version, you’ll thank me later: I made a drawing about a particularly nasty high-ranking mass-murderering nazi-psychopath SS-dude (who’d got himself assassinated at the outskirts of Prague, fall, 1943), –the art-work was primitive, applied with heavy black Cray-ola, and not wide in appeal; and the art experts rejected it, F-..the END!) And also, around that time, I took an elective Intro to Video Production class with a cool Prof., I forget his name, –he was cool. We shot video-tape in black&white, pre-computer stuff before the beginning, it was cutting edge hands-on..analog, synch-sound, and the whole nine; and he gave me the ‘A‘ for it, no problem. At the first critique, in reviewing my group’s shoot-edit product – all done in-camera, on-the-fly – he’d turned his back on the screen just in time to miss the pornographic insert (in the form of that week’s official SF State newspaper, grabbed for a prop and being avidly read by our hero, seated on a bench in a hallway, where we..CUT TO: Close-up, reverse-angle on stark front-page lead story – I’d doctored it a little, swapping photos –MORE CAMPUS RAPES! ADMINISTRATOR CHASED!! that was the ongoing crime-story, as yet, unsolved..perp still at large; administrator pissed! –Feinstein was Mayor, —turned his back), and was excitedly calling the attention of the violated class – a little numb from the momentary exposure – to the trademark ‘Hitchcock’ camera move I had directed, leading to the rape scene (not explicit) occurring in the MEN’s bathroom, where, in a twist, or a reversal, –a changing of the guard, so to speak, the tables are turned; and a female stalker assaults an unsuspecting guy-victim, innocently exiting his toilet-stall..played to perfection by one ‘Roger Swingh_____’ starring in the role he was born for; and very gay..Roger that. (The chick was pretty cool, too..a good sport!)
Besides carrying all those units, –12 or so of them, the full-time student work-load wasn’t so cumbersome I couldn’t go out and see movies several nights a week (of course I had to keep up my fencing practice; sometimes, to sharpen skills outside of SFS gymnasium, where classes met MWF, 8-4, I would go up the elevator to the attic space atop California Hall; where also, I saw Moby Grape live for the first time..with ‘Skippy‘ up on-stage for a few opening numbers, –before losing interest and stopping, in the middle of a song he wrote to light a smoke, couple of puffs, and he’d ditched his guitar for the streets, –they were his living-room..Whatta show! the whole top floor in that same building – where we get off the elevator at the top – had been established for Pannonia Athletic Club’s exclusive use by the Hungarians, to train competitors, in the use of weapons for the art of fencing, –preparation for the Olympic competition..foil, sabre, epee, taught by masters in their use, –professionals, having fled their native homeland in the face of the communist crackdown of 1956, a cautionary tale, –you can’t very well fence a tank! my fencing master at State was the top of them all, –Ferenc Marki..I earned from him all A‘s in foil, ah! those Russian winters..Maestro knew them from experience, why he left in a hurry!). So I would go to UC Berkeley, from time to time, to gaze at the silver screen, part of my education, back in the day. Here’s how that worked..walk fast! you get to Market Street, go down, underground! just in time to get on the train, go under The Bay, –and instantly! you’re back on dry land; get off, go back up to the street and walk up Telegraph past all the bookstores and eateries..and head-shops to Wheeler Auditorium on the UC Berkeley campus; and there you are! where you had one of your so-called revival venues, which were everywhere, all over the San Francisco Bay area, in those days, –twenty or thirty theatres to choose from, showing a different pair of movies every night, pinning various themes, detailed on giant monthly calendars, nice lay-outs! printed on slick paper folded, stacked, and available in every lobby. And they projected all these classic films on clean, 35mm prints, so you could see all the cool archive stuff for just a nickel, almost, sitting comfortably in flickering shadows of art-deco movie palaces from a golden age of cinema long past, still up and running, and close to prime..take you back in time. I think they maybe even let you smoke! in them (at least some did; and people behaved! riots had become passe..for the moment).
The Streleski papers..Later, after I was a college drop-out..for the third or fourth time – this time, a refugee from USC in around 1984 – I had migrant-ed back to Frisco, and was on the streets again, just in time to see it, the city, throwing its traditional Halloween parade, the favorite holiday! of that now smouldering ruins of a desolate, and dark and dirty place; yes, and rolling down the Market Street, mid-afternoon with the rest of them, in all her debauched glory, past WOOLWORTH’S..on the back of a vintage, lily white convertible, sat the venerable porn actress, Miss ‘Kitten Natividad’ the parade’s Grand Marshall that year..waving to all the folks; and walking the opposite direction, on the sidewalk, crossing paths with her and all of that, was Streleski (I didn’t recognize him, didn’t know who he was, my poet-pal Gabriel did, he’d said, kind of crooning, slightly high, and a little faded, “Hey man, did you see Streleski!”), former mathematics student from UC Berkeley, and doctoral candidate who had been hindered by his professor from receiving that honor, because he wouldn’t furnish him with the common courtesy of a passing grade (probably gave him C, that doesn’t work for your doctorate..come to think, that’s what happened to Dad, too, dear old Dad! and after that he dropped his bid without a whimper..took the loss, never published the doctoral thesis). Streleski, as it turned out, was a very poor sport about it, and he murdered the old grey-beard academic in cold blood (in his office with a hammer..pretty much like how it went in Crime and Punishment). At his trial for that heinous and capital offense, he successfully vindicated himself, claiming he was justified, on account of having had his hoped-for career trashed by his former mentor, which was a bad thing, and very short-sighted; and very,very unfair..petty (setting a precedent for the social justice movement down the road, perhaps? unknown, that’s another investigation); the jury acquitted him. That’s Frisco for you, all’s well that ends..well, it ends, anyway (an ending, bonding with a sensible element of the surreal..fantom du liberte). Do they have their parades, there, still? I haven’t been to the Gay Bay in a long time..a very long, long time., I used to call it home..Meet me at the (fabulous) RAVEN! on Polk at Leavenworth, y’all..or was it Sutter? soup&sandwich, my treat..Flash-back:
(Customer, eyes fastened on menu-board: “I’ll..have the salami!”
‘Tall-drink-of-water’ Tony, the Velvet Fog of espresso-dives..pony-tail’d thespian, gay-hippie-former-English-teacher-turned-master-sandwich-maker/counter man, in a white apron..one of my earlier casual acquaintances in the town of Frisco, –he probably mostly gave out A‘s, looks down sees that, and abruptly – sleight-of-hand – slaps the slice of meat he’s holding, fluid! onto the bread, entombing a cockroach in process of migrating, across lunch-meat borders, –says, “Fine..and what kind of cheese would you like with that, sir?” And there was Patrick (the custodian of that last anecdote), another old long-hair, and loyal employee to the nervous and slightly flighty Persian restaurateur fellow, –went by ‘Jack’ who eventually lost that failing business, a mole on the face of the food service industry moguls, dotting the Bay area..due to arson, Patrick, –Patrick played Mozart daily, time permitting, on the grand piano, six-footer..seated there, in front by the window looking out on all the action in ‘the Gulch’..Frisco’s notorious Polk Gulch, playing Mozart, so-so; and he had said, after everybody was out of a job, there..at the RAVEN (awhile, yet, after I had been terminated from my auspicious position as busboy/dishwasher, getting barked at for, and always low on..SPOONS!, –though not dog-whistled; that job lasted all of a week or two, I, –Chris, the pilgrim! &Cockroach King..king of their lair, downstairs, poised at the dumb-waiter, sending stuff up, steam sprayer-wand in my deadly hand)..or was it Tony that said it, dryly, no doubt, –I do believe it was Tony..a true crooner; anyway the quote was, “I bet that espresso-machine wasn’t in there when the old place burned to the ground.” DOG-WHISTLE!!
So –so as you can clearly deduce, grades are utterly unimportant with me, —A, B, C..D–F! F- even! I could care less of them, means nothing! All that I do care for, when I’m in a school, is the quality of the in-class instruction, there! that’s it. After all, we’re all there to be educated..Right?? we want to learn! I, for one, am not all about political messaging, trying to foment dissatisfaction among the worker classes; and cause bloody revolution in the streets, No! I’m there to learn something, something useful, hopefully..like when I was at USC, for example, university of spoiled children studying art, (I wanted to enter the cinema department as a production major, but I guess they weren’t pleased by my little essay..can you imagine??) –I wasn’t trying to burn the building down, honest! it just so happened that day, well, that morning, actually, I was merely following the script I’d been handed – orally – by a fellow under-grad student of a tenderer age with less rubs from educators on him, than I..who chose to involve me in his project (for whatever reason), which was pseudo-sculptural – the site of execution being conveniently located over a combustible load by the doors into the building, chockfull of flammables for welding, and what-not – and included bonus elements that called on all my remarkable, and largely untried abilities in the area of performance art, in order to further his aims..aesthetically. My main prop he furnished me with, was a smoke-bomb and book-of-matches..for mood; besides the bomb, I was handed a yellow sheet of opaque, thick plastic, for use as a toga, and a short, cheap piece of golden rope to tie about the waist (I wore no clothing underneath); matching the sunny color of the toga, there was a half-sphere plastic cup – egg-yolk color – I was to be seated in, precipitously high up –Yeah! I had been type-casted once again..this time as the sun-god, harking back to the old Greek’s, and their cut-of-same-marble mythologies; just ahead of the masses arriving, he had leaned a ladder to get me to my spot, up in the heavenlies, the little bowl, atop a rickety, make-shift tripod, constructed – tee-pee style – of long shafts of rough, reject-wood, meeting, criss-cross, at the top..and there, I ‘slept’ according to ancient myth, pre-Valhalla, awaiting the return..of daylight! And I’m kind of invisible up there, right? It’s like a surprise, or something, as he’s explaining his idea to the class before they are aware there is a human actor involved..who sees all; and with the sketchy information I got, I’m trying to work out his idea, what he wants to express, which, thanks to me taking my cue’s and improvising effectively, somewhat, –turns out to be pure anarchy! one way or another (perhaps unintentionally, –you have all the key elements, there, to reconstruct the unfolding sequence of what happened, then, and can do that, probably better than I can explain it, –oh yeh, and there was a fire-extinguisher involved; and potential heavy liability for the University..of Southern California); and his teacher for that class just happened to be the dean of the art school, my personal nemesis for a few previous occasions (or run-in’s), I’ll think of his name..Rasmussen! (yep, that’s him) getting for the luckless, young-mannish artist, that time honoured end-result of his parents flying out to LA to pull him out of art-school, and, nip it in the bud! eliminate the possibility for any further involvements with persons such as myself, –sketchy..FBI A-lister, yep! from way back, all the way to IVC (Imperial Valley College). The boys, probably, are still hoping to get the goods on me after all these years tailing, compiling lists, sniffing foot-prints, investigating contacts, updating files, et cetera..(I guess I’m) their big entertainment at the office Holidays party; or whenever they’re in the mood for something, a little off-beat; until the whole case is finally boiling down to that big NOTHINGBURGER! that’ll be their revelation in the foreseeable end of it, after blowing all the tax-payers’ money for half-a-century’s full-service surveilling, round-the-clock –is that what they need me to be? for them? to validate their jobs?? oh, well..hey, I’m not a bomb-thrower! you know?? However; If you happen to be an employee of the very corrupt County of San Bernardino, —Then! mm..where’s the bomb? Joke! I said it FOR JOKE!! (for the record).
I must confess! I’ll say it here, now..I’ve never done well with professors imposing their value judgements on elements of my art that are clearly in the realm of the aesthetic; or lack thereof as the crow flies..in terms of choice. I just don’t do that well. At all! No. Not even a smidgeon. (I’ll likely consider it a slight, especially if relations are not cordial..whenever that happens, –encroachments on matters of my sovereign art judgement..of what’s what!) Whether for cause, –or not! I feel most sure in the creative area of my class-work, that I am correct in the choices I am making, and you cannot persuade me to join in the popular opinion that I am a hack “..Hack-hack!” When I was last in college – before now – the cars had oil-lights that flashed a red warning of an impending bad outcome (in straightforward mechanical terms, “Your motor’s seized, dude!”); and cars weren’t required to pass SMOG then..whatever that is. If you wanted to make a phone-call they had phone booths for that; and plenty of rubbers available if you were planning for recreational sex that night, having gotten prior consent from an attractive girl, to go out on a date; and you’re a guy (I guess I have to spell that out) and thought condoms=moral compass. So please forgive me if I can’t relate to what I see on the college campuses of today. In it I am a fish out of trans-phobic water..with all of that. Oh! and yeh, and you have to buy your water’s, now, too..they’re not free; in fact, they charge you for everything! FREAKS!! Back when I had entered my first Junior College experience..for the second time, there was, as a special accommodation for folks living in the Imperial Valley, an official extension campus of San Diego State (College..SDSC! before they made everything into University) and they offered a easy-A sex education class for college students working out their degrees, right there in Calexico (THIS was supposed to cover a general ed. science requirement, and was categorized as a BIOLOGY; or something like that). And at that same campus I was doing a little modeling work on the side for a life drawing class..modeling work is work! (It was an easy 20 bucks.) So apparently, this very old guy that taught the sex-class out of a neighboring classroom, asked the drawing teacher if she knew of anyone who would be interested in taking their clothes off for an in-classroom field-trip, there..there, in Calexico..Calexico, California. And so Mrs. Lowe goes, “Yeah, Chris Robertson will, here’s his phone-number.” So I get the (your adjective here) phone-call that afternoon; and show up at the classroom, early fall, late afternoon/early evening..twilight (later on in the month at the pre-arranged time); and not for a grade, –I was getting hard cash, which is even better than a grade..especially a C grade, –that really sucked, Scott! Plus twenty dollars could buy you a lot of drugs in those days. (This was before I got shepherded into oil-field work, and geo-thermal, and, over the long haul, also tasted half-a-dozen various other heavy industrial occupations, in the which I found I could develop skills enough to get by..buy a few tools, –drive them trucks! and discovered I could do much better in that racket! than the occasional contract job at $20.00-a-pop; plus collect unemployment, at the other end.) So I meet this mild-manner’d senior citizen..guy, a professor, –skinny, taller version of Spencer Tracy, minutes ahead of the students filing into the classroom. Well. So now, everybody’s showing up on time lugging their notebooks, and 3-ring binders, pens and pencils in hand, wondering why I’m there..a strange stranger, in their mists..with packages (my Naked kit). After a preliminary oral review, covering a sex-quiz from the previous meeting, which went something like, –no, this is it exactly..verbatim! “Name four kinds of sexual intercourse” –and I guess there was a few there who couldn’t clear that bar..a guy was stammering out some answers in this odd, really odd co-ed environment: “Uh, front-to-front..front-to-back..uh..” The professor, offering helpfully (to prime the pump..coaxing him, actually) : “..Doesn’t necessarily have to be penis-in-vagina.” “Uhl?!” There was no un-doing this log-jam, an overload of information from hard studies..you can’t make this stuff up. This was higher education in the lower 1970’s in sleepy farm country, catching a sleepy breath from Mexico, AM radio blowing in on accordions; tuba’s, etc; and a guy, older than Doctor Ruth! teaching a how-to class on screwing..to farmers’ wives, and their kids; in the California State College System. (Perfect for poetry! I thought.) So, –after dredging answers out of this bunch of stiffs – and rightly so – to questions that were sure to be repeated on the final exam (let’s hope for no essay questions..that might unbury a D.H. Lawrence, or two, from among the ranks) he wheels out the old Bell&Howell Film-o-Sound and we’re all treated to a sex-ed film, courtesy of McGraw-Hill, beginning with the titles and a pair of girls, spreading..a blanket on a hill under trees of summer. I guess you can figure out the rest of it. But wait! there’s more!! The accompanying soundtrack features African tribal drumming, gradually swelling, and intensifying..parallel with the action on the screen; and which, I surmised, had to be a kind of calculated mental baffle device – necessity being the mother of invention – selected out of the editing room’s sound library, and engineered over the troublingly explicit visual elements of the instructional narrative..in consideration of its intended use for presenting to a mixed group..in a classroom. Class?? Pro bono vs. no bono, (lawyer-talk) “..Hai-yah!” So,
It ends, it’s over. Now I have to follow that! well the old coot puts me out in front of the class, without comment, –nothing, other than saying I’ll explain what it’s about (Heck! not even I know that!); so I’m telling them the scheme, as I disrobe in front of them. End of story? wait. Next was a little quick Q&A (to enable the learning process. Now you’re learning..):
A guy student (not a gay student..ax me): “Are you a nudist?”
Me: “No, hardly..” (more like exhibitionist, –but that was not the question)
A woman (axes me): “Isn’t it awkward for you, doing this?”
Me (reflecting): “I’m not sure, I’ve never done it before.”
(After a pause) guy: “Do we get equal time for the girls?”
Prof (perking up a bit): “Actually, I was thinking of having you do this with a girl..how would you have felt about that?”
Me: “Yeah, I’m okay with it; but I would’ve had to charge you an extra twenty bucks.”
(Class erupts in guffaws and chuckles..Prof. looks down, sees his shoes’ laces. That wasn’t all of it, but I’ll end it there, for Mom, who’s in heaven praying for us. It’s all typed up, anyway probably, with my f.b.i. dossier in a neat little folder up there in the file-drawer, close to the old, suspended lighting..if you want the rest of it, get ahold of those guys, they probably like to share, makes ’em feel..useful, or something.)
The Calexico San Diego State extension campus was relatively cool and balmy in summer; and always very lush and green, due to a powerfully effective lobbying effort procured by the vast cadre of local Imperial Valley farmers pitching in, in common cause to secure unlimited access to water from the Colorado River; for all their special needs..farming and all. Such was business as usual, concerning the IID (Imperial Irrigation District) I give them D-..for chasing us kids away from the irrigation canals out by Holtville; and orange groves, fragrant with sweet blossoms, pungently stretching for miles; ‘the Tubes’ as they were known to all, for wide, flowing pipes channeling water under dirt roads, passing through fields..at Elysium! where, as children, we went to take a dip, and beat the summer heat! (120-125..F)
Uh..okay, to summarize: College is analogous to life in general. In a college you get to see how things operate in a controlled environment..less risky, per se, than in the harsher outside world of reality. On the other hand, in school, everything goes on your permanent record. And, whereas in colleges they charge you a set price per unit, in life, there’s hidden, or surprise costs that can be more, well..upsetting, to your financial well-ness; although if you go far enough the wrong way, even in a college! that can get expensive, too, take it from me..college can be a real pressure-cooker! Also, later on, after you’re no longer a virgin – in terms of your first go at higher education – aspects of life, actual situations and events beyond your control, —and uninvited! can penetrate your concentration areas in your brain, where your studying habits are formed..that can lower your grade. Relationships and livelihoods, un-checked, crowd out time for serious school-work. And then there’s distractions because of the strong emotional pull for entertainment, a temptation to divert oneself, ahead of responsibilities..kill boredoms. Narcotics and alcohol may factor in, as well with that, and if you’re not careful to avoid, can negatively impact your grades, too..a bottle is not your friend! (as I’m tapping this in a Macbook, it occurs, –“Mickey Spillane never wrote stuff like this, like..on a goofy laptop, this is stupid! I miss the ‘Klack! klack-klackety-klack’s!’ smacking at the old ROYAL‘s typewriter-keys, like Carlos! slurping coffee, aiming determined strikes on black/red ribbon curling by, making my bed on the alphabet, –Do I miss it? I do! I do! I do!” howsoeverbeit). Back in 1976, when I first began my career in an actual college – after city college in Imperial, California – San Francisco was a visually interesting place to be for the arts, very engaging, and there was something going on there all the time and not be missed! (Very different from life in hEl Centro, somewhat..) The San Francisco Opera House featured the likes of Horowitz, he came like clockwork, every year..I gave him A. Because he played Schumann, good! And Seiji Ozawa was the musical director at that time, and I remember one night sitting in a choice seat, I got to brood..over his brooding, and electrifying guidance/oversight of a performance of Wagner’s Die Walkure; then that other time he conducted Bartok, —the Miraculous Mandarin..’twas enchanting! (the morning, following..barreling around that very dangerous corner by my apartment in our cozy little ghetto, across Laguna Street from the ice cream parlor, he nearly plowed me, –just hitting the brakes in time to avoid that, as I stepped back up onto the curb; and recognizing the driver of the low-slung rootbeer brown LTD, I accosted him: “MISTER OZAWA!” (he looked at me, trolling slower) “Loved your Bartok!” (I made my lips be distinctly readable.) That got a smile and a nod out of him, as he pressed on – Japanese-behind-the-wheel, of greased FORD lightning! – disappearing, up,UP! into the Haight. Those were tough pieces to perform, I’ve no doubt. He gets A+ for that! And then along comes..Virgil Fox, old white guy, playing a survey of greatest organ compositions on the fabulous Rogers electronic touring organ at Grace Cathedral for a pair of evenings in fall of 1977, very spacious in there, surrounded by astonishingly effective modern architecture. I’ll try..and fail miserably! I am sure, to describe that. First, it is tall, stately, and its primary element – a cross, the structure’s center piece – reaches above the surrounding skyline..visible from the wrap-around kitchen-window view in my then apartment at the back of our three-story Victorian house, an interesting mix of us, –we tenants, in a unique, low-rent district of Frisco, known as Hayes Valley (it was the cheapest; and their was a little neighborhood bar on the corner on Hayes at Laguna, it had a loud jukebox! that went till after 2 am, most nights, punctuated, when silent, by the clicking of billiard-balls, ka-Whack! and the occasional gun-shots; before Pelosi-and-Boxer-and-Feinstein-and-all-the-rest-of-them got their meat-hooks in it..who would – this gang of thieves would – in the very near future, as kick-backs for JUMBO donations, be cutting some very lucrative deals, for the benefit of their filthy,FILTHY rich and very gay real estate cohorts, political..war-chest muscle of love! their boys, busy like ants wearing painted-on Levi’s..fitted just-so! snug, keys dangling, ‘kerchiefs, flapping softly in the crisp breeze swinging hammers, buzzing saws readying the recent mass-acquisitions of entire city blocks – whole neighborhood populations on welfare..who had been living comfortably and content, check-to-check, in the old Vic’s, since time immemorial..emptied-out in 30-Days – to be made suitable housing for higher dollar amounts immediately available to all the brethren descending on our city in droves..lisping towards lebensraum!); our pitiful block..one of the poorest, there, faced where the 101 North, supported by (?) metric miles of poured concrete forming rising monoliths dwindling to stubs, chop-suey’d in Frisco’s sump (no more! they ripped all that out for redevelopment’s$)..few blocks to the lee side of Market Street, down&up!Fell Street exitoff-ramp, freeway ending, down the chute transitioning, –WHUMP!! (cross street, Laguna) into a long, steep climb, –happily! past liquor-store festivities with a flicker of favor from the traffic-light..god of commuters, commuting in the heart of Frisco, hung over the Laguna Street trough, rendering Fell Street – by turns – a seamless, flowing four mile roller-coaster of flashy Detroit steel, flying west to Golden Gate Park..and the Pacific Ocean; a ghastly cross-roads with one rule only BE SAFE! Natives, dwellers of the street-corners respected it, superstitiously sacrificing to the same green gods as those commuters. Well..I paid 110./ month to Mrs. Bonne, our little old French landlady who owned a little real estate around that part of town, at the time, and lived in her own brownstone of ten stories a few blocks up the hill, above the fray; she was a Godly woman, and, looking across the great room in her elegant flat on the 8th floor, was a spectacular view of the Oakland Bay Bridge (and there you also certainly would have seen ‘Grace’..what I was getting, now, paying my rent late, that year, just after Christmas). This was the mid-1970’s, and you could actually afford to live there, in that area; though it’s true you had to contend, a little, with the street-action, keep on your toes! (but having for a friend, a next-door neighbor of influence, a man known as Speedy, –really! that was my key to survival, my life insurance..being seen around there with him, amid the hustle and bustle, I never had much problems at all.) Anyway, here inside the church, Grace Cathedral..a little different ball-game; you have the full interior view, figure of The Cross joined – architecturally – at the top..by day, illumined in Sun’s light, flowing down burning crimson, mingled in cascading blues, –ice! to the lowest point of the ceiling’s outer edge, and there bending a weak 90 degrees making the final descent to earth..seated, there, you saw all of a stained-glass cross, the structure’s key support, from anywhere inside at every angle, gazing heavenward, awed..a marvelous work of human hands; while from the outside, the building’s form has an appearance of pinched-together-and-smoothed-over white, brilliant white! cookie-dough, again, views outside/inside, –wide, open..form of a cross binding all! symbol of God’s ineffable holiness, and love for us, reconciling all peoples to him, rising to the summit from the base, at its wider foundation, and down again, four-square..planted on city real estate. Inside, the glass is radiant, spectral; impenetrable black, looking on it from the outside; and the rest of it, the surface surrounding, bearing the appearance of white tiles, virginal, perfectly fitted, suggesting, perhaps, the skin attached to the space shuttle (which may, or may not have existed at the time); or what the pyramids might have looked like before Napoleon had the limestone outer layers removed and carted back to Paris to reduce, liquidate; for use in building monuments..to himself. Plaster of Paris. Anyway, out comes Fox, sits down at the instrument; and we are now headed for cosmic deep space, proper, –in musical terms..Starts the first half of the program with selections of Bach, whose entire mission in composing was..give glory to our creator; and we all know how flamboyant Virgil was, describing everything about everything, before the reciting of it..which included Little Fugue in G; and the fugue that’s nick-named The Wedge (so brilliant! like an explosion of diamonds and rubies and saphires on the cerebral cortex; and down lower, later –YIKES). The Second half he begins with the soul stirring rendition of a pair, whatever it was, by Louis Vierne, delicate, wistful.. tasteful; prefaced with the typical Virgilian enthusiastic color commentary by the artist. Then he closes with Liszt’s 20 minute 20 million man extravaganza for organ..Fantasy and Fugue on Ad nos, Ad Salutarum Undam, a written down improvisation based on a slice from an opera of Meyerbeer‘s, —le Prophet..that stunned. Absolutely it petrified. I give Fox an A+++ for his performance that night! See how easy that is?? Good artists get good grades. (Simple as pi..PiXr.2) Why any artist worth his salt has to wind up with a C for the equivalent of a semester’s hard,HARD work it is beyond my imagination to configure..such a path. There is no path..for me! to C. Written responses by me (detailing nauseas suffered in direct consequence of various professors awarding me that sickening mark, i.e., C..c, being tepid..for covid, covid outbreak! >grade-wise; in one case I got it, the crummy mark, from a Ms. Swanson, a spinsterish ‘libber’ Eng. Composition teacher/jobber-hack, back there at SF State – Spirit of ’76..1976, that is – who..and I can understand her taking offense, who wouldn’t?? scratched on my paper, c–, —double minus?? dahh! re-boot, “..my responses”), possibly, might be interpreted, by some, as overtly threatening..prima facie! on account of the gothic horror encountered, reading some of the descriptive passages I wrote; but to me they’re just poems, –anyway..I answered every question posed by the federal agents responding to her complaint with a thoroughness, and a, studious dignity that – I thought, at least – had to have been unmatched by any other, perp‘s, from among their line-up’s of persons of interest at any given time; and over the years I have grown..I like to think! somewhat in stature in the estimation of all the file-clerks, and pods of other G-men, and la-dies working in that cavernous federal agency/bee-hive, –or bureau, if you prefer..all the cronies; and! thanks to everybody, leave no one out!! any other cosmic functionaries employed therein..precisely for my being forthcoming with them, and candid, in all respects, holding back nothing; and concise! whenever dilation on any aspect of their focus..concerning my getting a grade of c from a college professor is desirable; or efficacious, even! and I don’t waste their precious f.b.i.-time, I always come right to the point! in due season, –Ahem)
X. So! this has been a sample of my somewhat rangey educational career in and out of schools, over the years – one hand washes the other – and by no means complete. I’ll admit it! to the naked eye, I may pass for what appears to be lazy, slothful; and I could relate many more adventures of a similarly fantastic character, but any more simply will not fit! No, and if the thing could be done neatly, I assure you, dear reader, I would be the last person on this God’s green earth, to withhold from anyone! that essential pleasure; for example I could regale you with sea stories about The Little Buick Century That Couldn’t..when we, –bum poets on the streets, me and Gabe, were living out of the car, seeking our fortunes, and fame..minutes from being towed away (battery?? no, misdiagnosed, it was the starter..but I can’t talk about that!), so I made the phone-call on a pay-phone to a musician friend (who hat a piano)..an older guy who’d migrated to Frisco from even older Brooklyn; and came home with my sister one fateful morning, –this, right after she had begun instruction in the music department at SF State as a flute major, where John was searching, sizing up prospects for financial support, and a place to stay..not necessarily in that order (artist, you know?); and there, all of the rest of it happens, like dominoes falling on the same lovely apartment, squat brick two-seater..a duplex! under perpetual shadows of cadaverous giants..residential high-rises in the Tenderloin, smells of sewage rising, steamily from beneath city streets, near car-parking garages, tended by Italians..space rented by the month; and within a month (this gets a little involved and off the track, –I am warning you I am about to become a major,MAJOR digresser, from the main theme..about getting a c! a C!! howsoeverbeit..stop me before I DIGRESS again!), within 30 days I was answering questions posed by detectives (the story of my life, and which are never any help, and certainly are a bane to the soul), concerning two young male suspects (we were shown nice mug-shots to mull over, see if we could pick out our boys) tall and thin, complexions, nnh! nondescript; I didn’t see them in any case, at first-hand, the breakers-and-enterers..only my sister; but, of which I will say – hazarding a guess! – they were likely not medical students, these that broke in on her..all alone in the dark place – once I had left – with a notion, it seems, to rape, perhaps steal (had we been cased?), –meanwhile, I’d had a sudden change of plan, or forgot something, and was returning to our residence bearing down..like a bat out of hell, –so as not to miss the next scheduled bus, arriving in minutes, at the corner bus-stop; where my friends were waiting on me, to go to Berkeley and see movies (was God in this?) So my sudden and unexpected re-appearance had had the salutary effect of dispersing the lanky lads, career ne’er-do-wells with pocket-knives, back out the kitchen window into the sooty and uneven miry trail between brick tenements..from whence they came (locals only). Bottom line? I save my sister. (Knee-jerk reaction was call the cops, exercise in fur-tility, you know how it went.) Okay. I’m back, –(to re-cap): Call me Ishmael&I am beached..me and my poet-pal with the dead Buick, and a view of the old mission church at Columbus Square (typical architecture), –my friend John, I got hold of him and he called in a few favors from his other friend, who offered to tie a frayed rope used for his house-painting jobs to his old convertible; and he pulled us from our location, dead in the lowlands – by a parking-meter – over hill and dale, upwards and onwards! as the rope – I had a clear view of it, steering wide, to follow – deteriorated progressively, until finally, down to mere starnds, we just barely rolled it in the parking place my Brooklyn-ish friend reserved for us..by barricading (“Reserved space?? it’s public parking!” “Yeh, eff you, too..A-hole!” John’s from New York) in front of his flat on the street, one block from a tunnel..where you come out in Chinatown at the other end. (I invite any interested party’s to examine, on a map, the likely roundabout course of our hair-curling passage through a sizable chunk of that breezy city on a hill..look up Columbus Square to the Holland Tunnel it’s hairy!) I would share, but it won’t work, I can’t fit all that, I..I’ll have to save it for later..some other place I shall speak of it; but it was a beautiful sunny afternoon in the city that day, I cannot refrain myself mentioning it under puffy white clouds, the usual San Francisco alligator-clouds scudding cross’ta deep blue canvas..underwater; and the rope nearly broke going uphill around some of those corners a couple of times (I give us an A+, for living! that day)..nor will I relate the perfect Bar-B-Que we had grilling burgers one afternoon in the park following the rains that had came and went..with some drizzles, –after being made king! of the south-of-Market Street artists, and de-throned..all in the same day! wondering, aloud in the crisp, sparkling sunshine, where we would sleep that night; but I can’t share that, it could get tenuous, wreck continuity (whatever that is); or that other time, late-night, up,UP! the top floor’s iron vertical ladder, out the hatch and onto the roof of the WARFIELD (HOTEL, –de-fonk’d), shot full of speed-for-foodstamps, commanding a 390 degrees angle of city skyline, if 9 was 6, –there, at the dizzying heights, overlooking street-cars and other misfit public transit odds ‘n’ ends, on streets below..earthbound, skimming neon constellations, amid wiggly waves of weird pedestrians, wading in heavy surf, –last night in Frisco, leading to the Greyhound station, and the ride back..with strangers, to the Imperial Valley (crashing off the shot of meth); and all this made possible, because back down around LA, a few months earlier..at night (en route to an appointment..with destiny!) CHP ‘Officer Good‘ didn’t arrest us for the drunk driving, –we, us, the bad&ugly! with strong evidence to convict; but only issued a ticket for the speed..and threw us back! possibly he got a revelation? of divine origin! about the poetry that would ensue..if, on that night, we didn’t wind up bedding down in LA County‘s horrid Central Jail, car in impound, a total derailment of plans..on our hand-cuffed hands; and instead, then landed! by a sovereign act of God, on the streets of San Fra-ris-co loaded for (California‘s) bear! –and Good did earnestly not wish to forbid that?? Perhaps (but I digressed again..a little). Anyone who has tasted of the college life, –suffered the slings and arrows (and dog-whistles) of fortunes, –one sort or another, there, will tell you they are very liberal in them, about pushing their humanist agendas at you; and from the beginning, it has been so..since Marx, Engels, and, and Freud (and Darwin..of course) left their marks. And you will always get a c, in there..thEM environs, –yes! that’s a very popular room we recognize it (as a poet). Lately, it is become a mind-blower, though, with all the radicalisms flying home to roost in schools, like, it’s all just so very bourgeoise, middle class and classless! tasteless and odorless, —neutered..the freakiest life-styles, having been established with force of tradition, for folks to be choosing..and this generation’s “John” Betsy Ross‘s simply lack the skills and industry requisite to render even, a passable, hand-stitched rainbow-flag, –they’re buyin’em all offa China..Phooey! and double-phooey!! virus’s gone viral..biological, virtual, —Spiritual.
“Freedom of choice, is what you’ve got..Freedom from choice, is what you want.”
At the end of my most recent last semester, looking in on a class chat-room, place to share..and be felt; and only open to class members, a young woman had typed in that, with her art, she was expressing her feelings of loneliness, on account of being a lesbian, and Jewish; and fat. I reflected on that..awhile; then finally I said what the heck! time to do a little ministry, here, and I responded, going out on that ledge, –making an effort to have her know that while I belonged to none of those three distinct identity groups, the part about feeling grief besotted..isolated, alone; and no one to share, had been very familiar to me..until I met Jesus. And I offered to pray for her. She typed me an instant reply. She wasn’t complaining (she was bragging, I, –I guess’d); and no, she wasn’t interested, was in fact comfortably excluded from taking my offer of consolation and healing, –from God..by virtue of her assumed identities (her group, and the various sub-groups that were involved..and all of the rest of it). And I’m thinking, “Oh! ok, sorry. My mistake. Pardon the intrusion, Ms..whatever, –” Oh, by the way..I never did get her pronoun (new nameofcollegehere.edu/stuff, very important!! they make you sign off on it, it’s the last hurdle to gain admittance for instruction to a California college of any sort..these days, state-funding, policy, disclaimers and all you know.)
To Conclude: A=GOOD..B=BAD, right? ‘n’ let’s see..=Have I left anything out? Oh yeah, a name, a name, name that name, ah!! think I’m over it, –oh, well, I guess, –nn, whatever! here goes: I gotta UGLY C (from)..man with no name, “Ah-ay-ah-ay-ahhhhh!! wah-wah-wah, (because) –One-two! One-two! One, two..three-4!” (March madness..oy!)
! in all of it, college is at once a cozy, cra-zy environment..to be held in in thrall; and logically, a snare to the soul, but: Wouldn’t it be wonderful? and this I pray..that by The Spirit..teacher, comforter, –we all arrive at the same conclusion, in time..that while education can be a nice thing – and handy to have, on balance – what we truly need is Jesus; for without him there’s no point (Exhibit A: See all-of-the-above); and with him, it’s all gain..The Revelation of Saint John, The Divine, CHAPTER 22 “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Imagine heaven..forever! after all this. But that’s secret information in most colleges; and indeed, in the world at large. Hopefully, prayerfully, this kind of speech will continue to enjoy the protection of the First Amendment, going forward..according to the Constitution of the United States of America..until that time. Sharing God’s promises with others, especially his power to save, from death and hell..is a work that is most needed, in just such a time as this, –be a presenter of the Good News: God loves you! And when our part in it is finished, Jesus gives A++++++++++++ —A-men!