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Ryan Hume:Student: A week in the life

It has been quite a week around here.

Portland teachers offered to work for free for 10 days out of this diminishing school year. They most likely realized that their paychecks were actually just insults in an envelope and opted to go on fighting the good fight pro-bono, but their offer was actually rejected by the school board illuminati, who probably thought those teachers were trying to pull a fast one on them and turn this state into a socialist republic. I mean, work for free? Who has ever heard of that in the good ol’ U.S. of A? Commie teachers, that’s who.

In response to the ongoing financial fiasco of the Portland school district, an anonymous fourth-grade student said he plans to spend his long summer vacation playing video games, sharing his first kiss, learning how to shave, getting his driver’s permit, getting a job, moving out of his parents’ house, marrying that girl he met over summer vacation, taking out his first mortgage for a home, helping give birth to his first son, buying a big screen TV, getting a dog, taking out his second mortgage to send the kids to college, retiring at the age of 72, selling the house and moving to Florida, where he plans to eventually die before ever beginning the fifth grade.

Summer loving: It happened so fast.

A little closer to home at Portland State, where the school years don’t get any shorter, just more crowded and expensive, the Office of Student Affairs, has reserved the stage area for the rest of the school year, more or less banning Daniel Lee, known to most as that “Preacher” Dan fellow, from the campus. In a time of budget crisis, the theater arts are always the first to go.

As the winter quarter comes to close, many are wondering what the state of Portland State might look like next year. With our budget slipping out of the red and into the magenta, there are sure to be a few changes around here. First, all faculty members will be replaced by Portland School District teachers, who will be on strike from their normal K-12 duties and who don’t mind working for free anyway. Those positions that cannot be filled by Portland School District teachers will be filled by graduate students, while subsequently, positions that cannot be filled by graduate students will be filled by highly intelligent, genetically-engineered spider monkeys, because they are mostly self-sufficient and require no living stipend.

Cramer Hall will have become an inhabitable marsh due to an accident involving a history of philosophy class, 20 gallons of chum and old, leaky pipes. The average class size will be 319; the problem of space will be solved by suspending desks from the ceilings of classrooms. All students will be required to wear Velcro to accommodate the new seating structure. The job of producing and maintaining electricity will solely be the responsibility of the engineering department, which will refuse to share the wealth it has coveted from a makeshift lightning rod atop of Science Building Two with anyone else. The lesser maintained South Park Blocks will become the jungle-like habitat of the North American lion, which first appeared in Portland, coincidentally, around the time the zoo closed due to budget cutbacks.

It sounds a little bleak, but not everything will be bad next year. We will have new parking meters right here on campus! Brand new, shiny, solar-powered parking meters that crap out enough sticker waste to fill up a small landfill every week, while wasting all that good glue that could help us accomplish Donald Rumsfeld’s new foreign policy mission: to epoxy the entire country of France to the moon! Yes, these amazing parking meters cost as little as $6,000 dollars apiece and can do all of the above, except, accept a dollar bill!

Whoo-wee, I’m glad I got all of that off of my chest, although I really have no reason to complain about things. You see, last month I invested in a company that manufactures duct tape, and the cash is just rolling in. Thanks, Tom Ridge! I’m thinking about selling my stock before it bottoms out with the rest of the economy. I am considering, however, re-investing. There has got to be some other product out there that can stop a terrorist in his tracks. If I can find that, I will be set for life. What about Drano, Mr. Ridge? I’m sure there is someone at SC Johnson, the makers of Drano, that lofted a hefty campaign contribution toward the Republican Party last election.

Isn’t it about time to scratch their backs? Something like: “Terrorists hate people with clogged drains.” Eh?