The Bored Young Man: On College Professors
by Christian Parreno
A little boy across the aisle was perched on the edge of his chars, eagerly reading the comic strops over an old man’s shoulder. Kids were funny. They got so enthusiastic about such trivial things – dogs and circuses and funny papers.
College profs were about the same. They became enthusiastic about Keats, Shakespeare, or the pronunciation of French. They were always talking about ‘the proper relations of things’ and ‘fundamental truths’. The bored young man had once assumed that these expressions meant something, though he had never listened to the professors long enough to discover just that. He knew now that they really meant nothing.
College professors were supposed to be intelligent, but he found them stupid. They were so easily outwitted. He had made a ‘C’ once in a course for which he had not spent an hour’s study, by copying from a crib prepared by the girl who sat next to him. He was rather proud of this; it was a record.
Arleen Wilson, ‘The Bored Young Man’ in Manuscripts, Vol. 3 (1935).