Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Six A-Holes You’ll Meet in EVERY College Classroom

A field guide to the jerks, pricks and puds you’re bound to encounter on U.S. campuses


By the time you’re a senior in college, you unwittingly become a sociologist of sorts. After four years of people watching, you become quite well-versed in the behavioral patterns of your cohorts, and by the time you graduate, you’re probably able to tell just about everything about a fellow student by the way he or she holds their notebooks, or waits in line for coffee, or even stands next to the water fountain. But most importantly, you learn a skill more valuable than just about anything you’ll pick up in your general ed courses: primarily, how to tell what kind of asshole the guy sitting next to you is just by looking at ‘em.

The American university is a veritable breeding ground for assholes of all sorts. Per capita, there’s probably more assholes per square inch within higher education in the States than there is anywhere else in the world, and rest assured: there are a LOT of assholes out in Croatia, I hear.

Perhaps the only thing more surprising than the sheer quantity of assholes you’ll meet in college is the regularity in which you’ll meet certain assholes. In fact, I am almost 100 percent certain that, in any college class room in America, there are six specific types of asshole you will find, no matter which region of the country you live in. It doesn’t matter if you go to Cornell or a community college in Iowa, the presence of these half-dozen jerk wads is absolutely unavoidable, and the sooner you are able to expertly identify and avoid said pricks and prickettes, the smoother your collegiate experience in general is surely to go.

Current and future college students alike, consider this your bestiary on butt holes for the foreseeable future.

#001
Conspiratorial Asshole Man

Remember: it's an international conspiracy's fault that you can't get laid.

Conspiratorial Asshole Man is usually pretty easy to spot - if you see a kid wearing one of those Depression-era newsboy hats, odds are, he’s one of them.

In high school, the Conspiratorial Asshole Man was most likely one of those kids everybody thought was going to shoot up the school at some point. Once they get into college, they probably turn even creepier, as you’ll see them muttering things to themselves while pacing back and forth around campus. Not surprisingly, Conspiratorial Asshole Man usually keeps to himself, primarily because he thinks everyone on campus not named him is a part of the Illuminati or something. In class, he rarely says anything, but if you say something that irks him, he will then proceed to stare at you for ninety minutes straight.

Periodically, you may see him reading some form of agitprop in the cafeteria, and you might even see him handing out fliers that warn other students about the “evils” of the Federal Reserve Board. Most likely, however, his communication with the rest of the student body is limited to his crude etchings posted on the bathroom walls, condemning the Bilderbergs for secretly putting poison nanobots in our water supply.

NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH: The Loudmouth Libertarian Asshole, which is effectively a more sociable mutation of the Conspiratorial Asshole Man strain, which is also known to infect female students that, perhaps coincidentally, you would never, ever want to sleep with anyway.

#002
Angry World of Warcraft Player Guy

What your average Starcraft player considers "getting some."

Angry World of Warcraft Player guys comes in two distinct forms: there’s the acne-scarred, squeaky-voiced Caucasian version (which, incidentally, almost always resembles Dustin “Screech” Diamond), and there’s the acne-scarred, squeaky-voiced African-American version (which, incidentally, almost always resembles Jaleel “Steve Urkel” White).

Generally, the Angry World of Warcraft Player Guy is clearly suffering from a number of behavioral/developmental disorders, including autism, Asperger’s disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, ADD and whatever they call that disease that makes you sweat inordinately during winter.

You will never see Angry World of Warcraft Player Guy without his laptop in front of him. It doesn’t matter if the teacher forbids it, they’ll go to the Office of Student Services, claim they need it for disability reasons, and lug it into class anyway. As the nomenclature implies, Angry World of Warcraft Player Guy is prone to periodic bouts of rage, typically due to lost Internet connections or batteries that get sapped quicker than they originally planned. Although it goes without saying, the Angry World of Warcraft Player Guy does not, and perhaps never will, mate with another living human being.

NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH: The Perpetual Tablet Device Checker, a unisex variety notable for their inability to go more than five minutes without pulling their iPad out of their backpack so they can try to outdo their all time high score on Words with Friends.

#003
The Kid That Can Barely Speak English That Clearly Does Not Give A Shit, Either

"No umlauts, no deal."

The Kid That Can Barely Speak English That Clearly Does Not Give A Shit, Either (henceforth abridged to “The Kid That Can Barely Speak English”) is a genus of student that includes an almost endless rainbow of hues, tones, inflections and intonations. The common element, however, is that despite the student’s gender, race, age, ethnicity or shoe size, he or she a.) has a noticeably limited grasp of the English language and b.) despite being in a college setting, really doesn’t give much of a shit about the fact, either.

The startling notion about The Kid That Can Barely Speak English is the general amount of success they have on the University level. Despite having vocabularies and enunciation skills substandard to that of the basic third grader, they have somehow managed to not only make it into an United States college, but get past Freshman English Composition, a feat comparable to a one-legged man somehow winning a break dancing competition.

The Kid That Can Barely Speak English rarely, if ever, speaks in class, for what should be fairly apparent reasons. In the unlikely scenario that the student is asked to speak by the professor, he or she will most likely begin sputtering out random vowel sounds, concluding with the last proper noun he or she heard followed by an arbitrary “yes” or “no” to turn the statement into something of a rhetorical rephrasing of what the teacher just said. Typically, the professor will congratulate the student on his or her response, probably out of fear that Jesse Jackson is sitting in the classroom somewhere.

NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH: The White Student That Turns EVERYTHING Into An Issue of Racism, a unisex variation preoccupied with bringing up institutional white oppression whenever the opportunity arises, despite the fact that their forerunners were most likely the very people they are chastising.

#004
Mr. I-Must-Defend-The-Free-Market-At-All-Conceivable-Junctures

The man idolized by thousands of college students that think working at Starbucks constitutes "private sector" employment.


Mr. I-Must-Defend-The-Free-Market-At-All-Conceivable-Junctures is an almost entirely Caucasian mutation, with students in the subset resembling either the bastard love-child of Bill O’Reilly and Napoleon Dynamite or a grown-up version of Bobby Hill.

Mr. I-Must-Defend-The-Free-Market-At-All-Conceivable-Junctures is easily identifiable, primarily because he never, ever shuts the hell up. Every time the professor issues a declarative statement, especially one pertinent to United States economic policies, he immediately inserts himself into the discussion, usually with the opening salvo “Well, according to Tocqueville…” or “As clearly demonstrated by the Austrian School…”

The mutation has a strong tie to neoconservatism, although he will perpetually state that he isn’t a member of the Republican Party, even though he actively campaigns for Republican candidates, incessantly quotes conservative authors, and is registered as a county Republican in the immediate area. Following graduation, Mr. I-Must-Defend-The-Free-Market-At-All-Conceivable-Junctures usually evolves into That-Guy-At-The-Office-With-The-Not-At-All-Ironic-Mustache-That’s-Always-Forwarding-Quasi-Racist-Chain-E-Mails-To-Everybody.

NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH: The Second Generation Farm Boy, a shockingly intellectual Caucasian strain often seen in cowboy boots and lawnmower store jackets, that, despite being relatively deep cognitively, is automatically discredited because his accent sounds funny.

#005
The Really, Really Old Person That Has Absolutely NO Idea Why He Or She Is There In The First Place

The happeningest fraternity on campus. Note the second guy from the left, apparently experiencing a heart attack while his picture is being taken.

“The Really, Really Old Person” is the kind of student that looks more like a college student’s grandfather than your typical co-ed. Aesthetically, they are very easy to pinpoint, and traditionally, they tend to sit in the very front row of the class. The male variation smells like shoe leather, while the female variation puts off a scent comparable to lavender and Tootsie Rolls.

Generally, “The Really, Really Old Person” does quite poorly on exams, and when asked questions in class, they tend to simply stare vacantly into space for a few moments, exclaim that they have no idea what the teacher is talking about and proceed to emit a nervous giggle that sounds creepier and more pathetic than just about anything you would see, hear or whiff at a traveling sideshow attraction.

Almost always, “The Really, Really Old Person” attempts to rationalize his or her perpetual academic failings on the grounds that they’re “trying to prove it to themselves” or “their children.” Oddly enough, had they not decided to enroll in college at 48, they probably would have an extra $9,000 on them to feed and clothe said children, but eff it - that freshman geometry class isn’t going to fail itself, you know.

NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH: The Really, Really Old  Person That’s In College Simply Because They’re Trying To Line Up Potential Organ Donors For The Not-Too-Distant Future. If they ever poke you in the liver and tell you that you “must have an excellent endocrine system,” yeah, you’re probably sitting next to one of them.

#006
The Girl That’s On The Verge Of Falling Into A Coma At The Beginning Of Every Class Period

Simone de Beauvoir's dream has finally become a reality. 

“The Girl That’s On The Verge” is pretty identifiable, usually due to her loud declarations of “Oh…my…GAWDDDD” and “This is BuLLLLshiiit” as she collapses her head on her desk as soon as she plops down in her seat.

Although “The Girl That’s On the Verge” rarely, if ever publicly identifies why she’s so tired each and every class period, her guttural moans and utterances usually clue her classmates into every single aspect of her social life. Perhaps unbeknownst to the “Girl That’s On The Verge” herself, her stretched out complaints seem to paint linear narratives which may or may not serve as mea culpas. “Jee-Suz, that’s the last time,” she may growl, followed up by “damn Dr. Pepper bombs” five minutes later.

Her in-class activities are extremely limited. She never takes notes, and only moves her head enough to meet the bare minimum of expressing consciousness. She may periodically check her cell phone, although outside of popping a birth control pill at the halfway point of lecture, she does very precious little for the entirety of the session.

NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH: The Girl That Has To Put On Chapstick Every Ten Minutes, a mutant strain biologically noteworthy due to her empirical inability to self-moisturize.

Of course, there are virtually endless strains of asshole within America’s colleges, and it’ll take a far more dedicated soul than I to make a comprehensive list of all of them. That stated, the afore-mentioned six are the most likely asshole strains you will encounter in your day to day doings, and as such, will prove the most immediate risks to you and your patience.

Be you a naïve first year student or a sage fourth-year man, never forget: it’s a real jungle (of bungholes) out there in modern academia, so prepare accordingly.

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