Chronicles of Higher Education

“The Blue Item”
by Andrew Hogan

Officers responded to a report from the central campus administration of a woman with “a blue item on her head” monopolizing the admissions desk personnel by speaking incoherently. She claimed to have several names, to be on medicine to combat hyperactivity, to be a prophet, a medicine woman, a shaman and a nurse of 30 years, to be able to divine the future and to be the victim of six failed marriages. She said her grandmother, who supposedly had left her $7 million, sent the campus police to check up on her. The officers found she had no warrants, so they told her to leave the admission desk staff alone unless she was going to register for classes. She left the campus.

Reader Commentary

AlwaysReadyForDinner said:  Admissions Desk Personnel Are Idiots! Have you ever tried to talk with the people at the admissions desk? Sure, if all you want is to register for a class in person instead of going online, and maybe you were looking for a little human interaction in an otherwise cold and uncaring world (big mistake), they’ll get you registered just fine, with a contemptuous comment about how you could do this more easily online “and not bother me so I can keep sitting here picking my nose. If you have any kind of problem out of the ordinary or want to explain why you’re taking Food Prep 106 because you hope the girls in the course will be more mature and interested in an older, more mature guy who really appreciates food, well just forget it. They’ll claim they need to move on to the next person in line, who just happens to be a hot chick, and they’re all smiles and small talk, and while the hot chick gets lots of attention, the geek behind her can just keep text-messaging his mom, who’s sitting in her car out in the turnaround waiting to take him home for supper. I just hope the lady with the blue diamond on her head is a shaman and that she got to put a curse on their sorry admissions asses before the storm troopers ran her off public property.
March 18, 2007 at 1:51 pm MDT

June P. Weaver, Associate Director of Admissions, Central Campus said:  Admissions personnel are properly trained. We receive very few complaints about admissions desk personnel, and most of the complaints are baseless, usually resulting from the failure of the student to bring proper documentation. The Central Campus is especially difficult for admissions desk personnel because of the large number of homeless or vagrants living in the vicinity who enter the admissions area looking for empty aluminum cans or shelter from the weather. All Central Campus admissions personnel have gone through sensitivity training to handle cases of non-students approaching the admissions desk with inappropriate requests. Mace canisters are used only in extreme situations, in fact, they have never been discharged on the Central Campus, except once when a clerk accidentally dropped the canister he was showing to his girlfriend. Admissions desk personnel can request assistance from campus security by pressing a panic buzzer under the admissions desk, which is what was done in the case of the woman with the blue item on her head.
March 19, 2007 at 3:21 pm MDT

MopedMakeOutMachine said: Central Campus is a Zoo. You wouldn’t even believe the weirdoes who slink onto Central Campus! You’re trying to eat your lunch fast, right, because you got up late for class and you had to type your report at the last minute, and you’re trying to read your textbook while you’re eating before class in case you get called on by your rat-bastard teacher who thinks you’re never prepared, and along comes some homeless guy trying to convince you that God wants you to give him money or the rest of the burrito you’re trying to choke down, and the stench of the homeless guy is so bad you’re losing your appetite, but it’ a two and a half hour class and you know you’re going to get so hungry that you hold your nose so you can stuff the burrito down and you can’t tell the guy to fuck off (Can I say that online?), so you give him the finger but you start to choke and have to hock up most of the burrito, and then being a good Christian you ask the homeless guy if maybe he would still like it, and the ungrateful bastard gives you the finger. I mean, why do the cops let these guys on campus to bother serious students like us who are trying to study? I’d like to move over to the Southwest Campus next to the rez, where the Indian cops just chase off these homeless guys, because, you know, all the shit the Indians had to put up with from the cavalry and rustlers and all, so they don’t take no shit (Can I say that online?) from homeless guys, but I can’t get my classes in moped maintenance and repair except on the Central Campus, so I’m stuck here with these crazy assholes.
March 19, 2007 at 4:57 pm MDT

Roslinda LeeAnne said: Ridiculing the mentally ill is wrong. My sister is schizo, and I think it’s wrong to make fun of people like her who can’t help themselves. She’s had delusions about being somebody else, somebody other people wouldn’t just blow off. But then it turns out people don’t like her OR the other person she imagines herself to be. She understands, kind of, what’s happening, that people are making fun of her and the other person she thinks she is. So now her feelings are really hurt because she couldn’t even dream up a person that other people would like. In case you’re wondering, she’s not the lady with the blue item on her head. My sister hates blue and would never wear a blue item. AND she hates Central Campus because of all the freaks down there. She stalks around the Foothills Campus, where they’re all Republicans, walking around talking on their cell phones as soon as they get out of class. My sister has my old cell phone now; it’s broken but she can talk to the other person she imagines herself to be about how slutty the other girls dress for the classes that the other person whom my sister imagines herself to be is taking.
March 21, 2007 at 1:51 pm MDT

Homer Brauhaus, Director for Advocacy said: Please be compassionate. The TCC Central Campus is situated in the principal roosting area for Tucson’s homeless and mentally ill vagrant population, roughly a third of whom are veterans with untreated service connected mental illnesses resulting from the current and previous disastrous misadventures in the Middle East based on fabricated reports of weapons of mass destruction. Services to this population are woefully inadequate, causing a vagrant life style that occasionally impacts on other public services, such as public transportation, recreation areas and higher education, even while fat cats keep piling on one tax deduction after another to finance their home construction projects that are destroying the desert around us. Rather than whining on this web page about the behavior of these unfortunate mentally ill individuals, some of whom have risked their lives defending our way of life from allegedly Islamofascist terrorists and dictators with imaginary weapons of mass destruction, readers should redirect their complaints to the Tucson City Council and the state legislature who have failed to appropriate adequate funds for programs to help the mentally ill homeless. Please check our web page for the e-mail addresses and phone numbers of these city and state officials.
March 21, 2007 at 10:33 pm MDT

Captain Santake, the Imperial Guard of Zardok said: REPENT HUMAN SCUM! The despicable treatment of the shamanic representative of the Zardok Imperium by the temple palatines shall be avenged on all temple functionaries who do not repent before the commencement of the next Jay Leno broadcast.
March 22, 2007 at 9:44 am MDT

FredU said: Islamofascists disguised as extraterrestrials! It’s bad enough that we’ve got bleeding hearts running around the desert picking up illegal aliens who are crossing the border through our national parks and monuments that would be better off in private hands who could defend them relying on their constitutional right to bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment, and taking them to Starbucks for a latte before letting them infiltrate the workplace of American citizens who lose their jobs and have to resort to selling drugs to make ends meet, BUT NOW they are posing as extraterrestrials to scare law-abiding citizens away from speaking out against them for fear of being sucked up into a flying saucer and subjected to bizarre experiments that will leave them incontinent and impotent, and believe me, I know this from personal experience.
March 22, 2007 at 1:56 pm MDT

June P. Weaver, Associate Director of Admissions, Central Campus said: Further investigation of the incident involving the woman with the blue item on her head has called into question the version reported in the March 18, 2007 Olmec Press “Police Beat.” Coworkers and onlookers have failed to corroborate the account given by Giles Neiderberg, the admissions desk clerk at the time of the aforementioned incident. Further questioning of Mr. Neiderberg resulted in an admission that he had returned on evening prior to the incident from a weekend of drunken debauchery in Puerto Penasco, most of which experience he was unable to recall, including the citation for public nudity found in his trash receptacle. Mr. Neiderberg agreed to immediately enter an alcohol abuse rehabilitation program, subsequent to which he met Brittany Spears, the pop diva, and decided to terminate a promising career in higher education administration to become a roadie for Ms. Spears future concert tours.
In addition to the vacancy created by Mr. Neiderberg’s resignation, the Central Campus admissions staff suffered the loss of half of its personnel because they refused to apologize for Mr. Neiderberg’s mistreatment of the shamanic representative of the Zardok Imperium; Mr. Neiderberg was himself unavailable for annihilation due to his institutionalization in the Slippery Palms Chemical Dependency Rehabilitation Center in Santa Monica, which lies outside of the sphere of influence of the Zardok Imperium.
March 29, 2007 at 3:21 pm MDT

Felicity J.W. Farnsworth-Symthe, Director, TCC Institute for Creative Writing Grammar and Punctuation said: Whilst the false shadow falls astray, the seed is germinated nonetheless. The woman, her head emblazoned in a blue aura of light, whose mental state has been characterized as infirm in the Olmec Press post because of her seemingly fantastic tales to the admissions clerk whilst she sought to register in the Fantasy Fiction Writing Workshop, WRT 2065, for which I am the humble and happy pedagogue, and in which the blue-auraed woman has participated as a student for nigh on four years, with great success in her academic achievements, but her way was blocked by the aforesaid admissions clerk, who believed her unfit for such intellectual rigor due to the red flag caused by the new writing competency examination requirement, so designed to prevent fledging students from partaking of advanced writing courses for which they lack the adequate preparation, so recently imposed that the blue-auraed student was not forced to engage said requirement whereupon she first registered in the workshop those many years ago. So warmly did the blue-auraed student attempt to bring about understanding in the mind of the aforesaid admissions desk clerk regarding her current enrollment and successful performance in the fantasy fiction writing workshop that the admissions clerk, mesmerized by her blue aura, was struck dumb and dumber and was thereupon made unwilling to override the red flag preventing the enrollment of the blue-auraed student, who then attempted to convince the admissions clerk of her suitability for the course by spinning again the tales she had composed in previous semesters, including stories about a woman who was a nurse, another who was a shaman, a medicine woman, a divinator of the future, a malapert who had had six failed marriages, and a beneficiary of a grandmother’s gift of seven million dollars, etc., and the blue-auraed woman being a compelling story teller, the weak-minded admission clerk became confused and misperceived her animated discourse to profess she had herself enacted all of these roles. And so it came to pass, the confused admissions clerk thought it more prudent to refuse to override the red flag, thereby preventing the blue-auraed student’s enrollment, on the grounds that he “didn’t want her getting in over her head in a course she wasn’t prepared for,” although he did magnanimously offer to discuss it with her further over drinks at the Rancho Pustulario Bar on Second Street after his shift ended. The blue-auraed student, now in great distress over the shambles of her academic career laid waste by the weak-minded clerk, did unfurl multitudinous insults upon him, casting aspersions on his intelligence and ancestry, implying excessive progenitary inbreeding, whereupon the admissions clerk, though weak-minded but still a sensitive heart beating in his breast, took great offense at these calumnious characterizations of his ancestry and forthwith summoned the campus constabulary, who, accustomed to dealing with the deranged and mentally infirm in the thereabouts of the Central Campus admissions desk, escorted the blue-auraed student from the building. Gentle readers, I beseech you to take note that the blue-auraed woman does pay out-of-state tuition and that no state law or college regulation exists to prohibit the enrollment of extraterrestrial species in TCC classes. The blue-auraed woman has over the course of seven semesters brought to my fantasy fiction writing workshop a special perspective and contributed unique information to the benefit of many of the younger students whose experiences in matters extraterrestrial and aetheral is often limited to the chemically induced.
March 30, 2007 at 4:35 pm MDT

Giles_Servant_to_the_Diva said: Dudes, dweebs, airheads, behold the tripendicular dawn! Learn, learn, LEARN from my mistake. Never, never, NEVER dis an alien with a hangover. I mean, when you’ve got the hangover, don’t dis an alien, thinking there won’t be payback. Yeah, I had a bitchin’ time at Puerto Penasco, at least so I’m told by my homeys, but I totally misdug the chick with the blue diamond on her head. The blue light made feel me like I was still wasted. I totally tried to get the chick into the freakin’ class, just so she’d shut up and go away, but the freakin’ computer kept beeping at me and flashing a big red X that fried my eyeballs. Finally, no choice, I pushed the panic button, and the Barneys came and drug off the chick after I laid on them all the crap she’d babbled about herself. Was I wasted? Duh! Did I know my coworkers would be nuked by some alien death ray for what I did? Clueless! Jainey, Butch, Xavier, Molly, they could’ve sucked it up to the Zardok Imperium and repented for me. Instead they act like I’m groty to the max. And Miss Weaver makes out like they were nuked for standing on principle.  Earth People Don’t Kiss Alien Butt. Where’s that written down!
Yeah, so maybe I was lucky to be hanging with Brittany in rehab when the death ray sizzled my Admissions Desk compadres. I’m mellow now, baked out in the sun and cooled by ocean breezes. Two lounge chairs down from the Diva, and I can smell her tanning oil. She looks at me, and there’s no frown, no little siren going off in the back of her head warning her to move onto to somebody more reliable who smells better and doesn’t burp so much. Okay, we’re not exactly like tight or anything. I’m not going to be her main squeeze, we’ll probably never hook up, but when I carry her bags to the bus or get her a slurpee from the Fat-&-Sugar-Quick-Mart, she’s got a kind look in her eyes. I’ve found my mission on the road; every night, me and the Diva in a new town – anything to get away from the constant stream of freaks at the admissions desk. Boise, Pierre, Ashtabula here we come!
April 1, 2007 at 12:03 am MDT



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