Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Bit of Dialogue

This is something I whipped up as application to a writing position. I'm not surprised I didn't hear back - the writing sucks. But, still, it's something I wrote, and therefore feel a compulsion to save somewhere before deleting it from my computer. And it's not all bad. It's not executed great, but the scene is there, and might inspire someone with greater writing talent than I possess. So read on - at your peril. ;)

Setting: A college classroom, with a chalkboard on one wall. In front of the chalkboard is a long table, behind which are two chairs. There are various student desks facing opposite the long table. About twelve students are seated.

Graduate Student Instructor (GSI): (walks into the room and sits at a chair behind the long table): Hello, everybody. (Removes a copy of the Aeneid and a legal pad covered with notes.) Now that we’ve finished Vergil’s work, we should be able to hold an interesting discussion.

Meg: Who’s Vergil?

Tiffany: (disdainful) The author of the Aeneid.

Meg: Oh, right.

GSI: Anyway, what are everyone’s thoughts on the end of the poem?

Meg: Poem?

Tiffany: I hope you don’t pass this class after making it so obvious you don’t do the reading.

Meg: (pouting) Well, that’s not very nice.

GSI: Now that we’ve covered the fact that the Aeneid is an epic poem written by a guy named Vergil, why don’t we begin analysis of the piece?

Tiffany: I thought the end of the poem was perfect. I mean, there’s a reason this poem has withstood the test of time – Vergil was a great writer.

Andrea: Well, Vergil was a fairly good writer, but I didn’t really like the ending. It was so abrupt.

GSI: It does seem abrupt, but that may not have been the way Vergil planned on ending it.

Tiffany: (haughty) That’s right. Vergil died before he considered the poem finished; he actually asked them to burn the manuscript entirely. Thank God they didn’t.

Andrea: You know, as much fun as it is to hear you sucking up to the GSI, I have SparkNotes, too. Why don’t you shut up and allow those of us who actually did the reading have the discussion?

(Conspicuous silence)

GSI: (wearily) Did anyone literally hold their copy of the Aeneid open and read the words contained therein?

(Andrea raises her hand)

Meg: (sighs) I wish you wouldn’t use such big words; we already know you’re smart.

GSI: (raises her eyebrows for a second, then lowers them) Well, it seems pointless to hold a conversation about something only a couple of people have read. If anyone actually does the reading, and wants to talk about it, come to my office hours. Next week, we’re having a quiz on the reading – one you can’t pass by glancing at SparkNotes. (picks up her bag and storms out of the room)

(Students glare at Andrea, who giggles nervously.)

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