A blacked-out limousine pulled up outside of Wheeler Hall today, prompting a flurry of pill-capped attendants to roll out the champagne carpet (a red carpet would be too “Stanford”), and hold open the door for President of the Academy of Motion Pictures, Janet Yang.
As Yang strolled into Wheeler, footsteps cushioned by the velvet underneath, and the hexagonal tile underneath that, she paused and collected herself outside of Wheeler 120 – my discussion section. Clutching the California-gold of the Academy Award in her hand, Yang burst into the room (immediately preceded by a tidal wave of more champagne carpet), as inexplicable orchestral swells began to blare from the overhead speakers.
“It is my sublime personal pleasure,” Yang articulated, “to present this award for Best Actor to the student who gave the most convincing performance in their role as, ‘Person Who Read the Assigned Pages for Class Today.’ The award goes to… Tohar Zamir!”
As a stunned countenance befell the faces of my classmates, my GSI broke the terse silence (or rather, the terse Academy theme music).
“Tohar, you didn’t do the reading? Wait, did multiple of you not read? What the hell have you all been discussi–”
I quickly scrambled to the front of the class and, after being handed the statuette, spoke into the hastily assembled microphone, cutting off my GSI’s protests.
“Um… Hi… Wow, I did not expect to win this award. I just wanted to thank my classmates, who summarized the reading in our discord, and… ummm… yeah, how could I forget? I want to thank the Academy of Motion Pictures for recognizing my grift over the College of Letters and Sciences. It took years to craft my skill as a bullshitter, starting from the adolescent ‘pass’ in 8th grade socratic seminar, culminating in the abundance of buzzwords I can throw out today to obfuscate the fact that I do not read for my classes. I’d like to thank the following buzzwords: decolonial, dichotomy, tension, space, inequality, anthropocene, rhetorical, and last but certainly not least: discourse.”
As the same diegetic theme played me off, I took a bow and returned to my seat, receiving a round of applause from my indifferent classmates, who were reading Wikipedia on their laptop for the entire speech.