First Day of Class: An Inner Monologue

By Joseph Regan | 9/17/16 2:59pm

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Alright, this is it: my first class at Dartmouth College. Man, I am really beginning to think I didn’t need to get here early. Oh, there’s another guy in the corner. I’ll wave.

He didn’t wave back. What’s his problem?


Ok, which desk… this one? — no, it's got carvings all over it, so this one…? No it’s got…

Ok, 13 minutes to go until class is set to begin.



I’m really good at tapping my foot in time to imaginary beats.


Wow, look at all these texts I’m pretending to get, my imaginary friends are so funny! 

Finally, 1.

Alright, here we go. So many people are here, I can’t stop tapping my foot and the professor isn’t here yet. My high school teachers were always on time. What do they even mean by “academic rigor”?

Alright, here he is. He has some papers in his hands. Syllabi?  Hmm, I wonder how many of those obnoxious, five-paragraph essays I’ll have to write. Maybe we’ll even get a book to read, too. 

Ah, here it is. 

Wait, this can’t be — how does everyone else look so calm? How are they not panicking? What is this. I don’t think I can physically read this many books in a week, and there’s a paper due every week. More readings, readings, midterm — wait, that is definitely a mistake. I’ll clear this up.

Alright, I’m judging from the sniggering behind me and the professor’s confused expression that it isn’t a mistake. This place has more than one midterm per term. Clearly, someone blew it naming these things.

Well, let’s take a look at those word counts…

... 4000 words…

... that’s, like…

... a lot of pages

What’s that on the board? He’s been talking. I’m sure it was just about the syllabus though.  No way we are literally starting class on the first day.

We are. Oh god.

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The Dude says look at that freshman over there with the huge backpack… wai,t did I really just refer to myself as dude in my own head, and in third person? Am I still high? I watched the Big Lebowski (1998) at like 3 a.m. I can’t still be high, can I? The Dude is always high.  

Yep, I’m high.

Hmm, freshman smuggling Harambe in his backpack is raising his hand. Looks like he has a question. Ah, it turns out he’s one of the most freshman freshman ever. Why did he have to spoil the mood by asking about midterms on the first day? Killjoy.

Hey, the Coen brothers never specifically stated that the Dude was a person. It was more like there is some sort of person who inhabits the world in such a way that he is the Dude — he abides. I abide, don’t I? What does that even mean, really…

Meant what I thought. Anyway, this syllabus can be abided, not too bad. Oh, lemme just get some notes down on these slides the prof’s got up. Hmm, The Dude prefers not to notetake. Well then, fine with me.

Yo, is it, like, possible that I can be the Dude? Not the Dude in the movie obviously, but like the kind of person he was, the perfect man for his place. I kind of look like Jeff Bridges anyways, or I would if I just grew my hair out.

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Literally took this class for a distrib, supposed to be easy.

Here’s the syllabus. Yep, it’s going to be easy. 

Is that guy high? He smells like weed. Oh yeah, he looked at me, he’s definitely high. Seems to be muttering something, too. Hold on, someone’s asking a question. Oh. My. God. Freaking freshman. Well, might as well just tune out for the rest of class. Syllabus proved it: this is gonna be a layup.

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How did I even get to class? Maybe I sleepwalked.

Ugh, gotta wake up, gotta wake up. *syllabus handed out* Nope, don’t have to wake up, don’t have to wake up. Napping in the back of classroom on first day time.

Joseph Regan