Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: A Decent Candidate

There is an audio edition of this monologue. To listen either click the triangle at the left to stream it or click this text to download the MP3.

I am informed you are only hiring intellectuals for the position. I wish you to reconsider. An intellectual is a poor model as an educator because he is required to deceive. He is charged with only presenting to you how he is competent, and further charged with convincing you that this is all he is. He is constantly sure, even though any idiot can tell you no man is competent in all trades. I will have you know that the candidate from Yale, however confident he appeared in your interview, spent ten minutes looking for his car keys after exiting this room. Now I have twenty-two years experience with Latin American Literature, and we can have very long conversations about the ramifications of politics on Miguel Angel Asturias, or vice versa. Other candidates can host similar conversations. Yet I will admit to you these things: that if I sleep less than six hours a night I forget the year; that I have an inexorable fear of headache medicine, believing some former administration patented the chemicals for brainspying; and that I pathologically misspell “restaurant.” I admit my insecurities as well as my ignorances; in the upcoming field questions, I will likely know nine of ten things you ask, but in the classroom would tell the student to look up the tenth. I am not an intellectual and have no desire to become one. I am too honest. The foolish man acts like he knows everything, the wise man pretends he knows nothing, and the decent man would like to share the few things he’s been fortunate enough to learn.


  1. "... believing some former administration patented the chemicals for brainspying;"

    hee hee ....oh man. I whooped at that line. I love listening to the monologues. We'll have to find some interactive way of you hearing the audience response.

    [mine was a loud whoop, followed by very Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha Stevens style giggling]

  2. Glad I made you laugh, Karen. You're welcome to record yourself listening to my recordings. I think I'd be obligated to listen to them.

  3. John, you have a great voice.

    My favourite part, apart from the last line, is the pathological misspelling of restaurant.


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