Studying with the Schizos
Like Dancing with the Stars - but for college students.
It was the night before my first final, and I had started to study. This would be a productive beginning if we were going by Webster's meaning of the word, who defines studying as "the pursuit of knowledge, as by reading, observation, or research." Well that's adorable, Webby. We're all very proud of you. I, however, study like this:
"I have to brew some coffee first."
"Let me just take a shower real quick."
"I haven't checked Facebook in a good five minutes..."
"Snapchat study time!
"My foot is asleep. I need to take a break to wiggle my toes."
"Who knew how satisfying it could be to stare at a wall?"
"I should stare at the ceiling, too!"
"Wall, ceiling. Wall, ceiling. Wiggle toes. Wall ceiling."
"#wall #toes #studytime!"
Just kidding. I don't actually have snapchat.
What I had ahead of me was a speech to memorize from any play of William Shakespeare, and a paper to write on how I memorized that speech and what I learned from the process. After much mulling, I finally decided on a sequence of lines spoken by Macbeth's Witches as they are in the midst of casting a spell. In case you're not familiar with the play, these witches have beards.
I mention this because my initial reasoning behind choosing to memorize a passage spoken by The Three Witches was simply because I had planned to wear a beard as I recited it to my class. After twenty-three years of attempting to grow my own, my constant failure to do so has left a void in both my heart and on my face. One might assume this inability to reproduce an abundance of clustered chin hairs has something to do with me being a woman, but I beg to differ. The lone, black hair that sporadically sprouts on the lower right side of my face poses no threat to the multitudes of bearded women frequenting Wal-Mart. Some may see such an individual as just another woman seated in an electric buggy, but I see her as a reincarnation of one of Shakespeare's most intriguing characters. Were William alive today, I believe he would see great potential in these aisle-blockers.
After it struck me that I do not own any clip-on beards, I decided to study the same passage, anyway. I had been studying the whole time, though. Not searching my apartment for clip-on beards. Not texting anyone to see if they had a clip-on beard they could lend me. Not googling nearby wig shops to see if they sold wigs for the chin. I was studying. Just studying.
But then this troll got in the way.
And then my camera fell into my hands, and my finger collapsed onto the button, and this picture was taken.
But I was studying. I was not posing children's 80s toys with tobacco products and firearms. I was studying.
I started writing down the lines I had to memorize to refrain from arming more dolls with things that cause cancer. It has always been my tactic in committing words to memory to write them on top of one another, creating overlapping lines of sentences to embed it into my brain without cheating and being able to read it. It looks like this:
You could either call this "modern art" or "early signs of schizophrenia."
After writing it over and over until my hand turned into a shriveled nub (which I nicknamed "Prune Pinkies"), I tried repeating it out loud. I immediately ran into problems I wasn't expecting. Perhaps it was the fatigue, but for some reason I kept saying the wrong words.
The Three Witches: Cool it with a baboon's blood!
Me: Cool it with a baboon's butt!
The Three Witches: Those will make the younker madder!
Me: Those will make the younker's bladder!
The Three Witches: Liard, Robin, you must bob in.
Me: Robin, Robin, you must robin.
The Three Witches: Titty, Tiffin, keep it stiff in!
Me: Titty keep whaaaaaaa?
...this went on for hours. Until, of course, I had no hours left to spare, and it was time for me to get to class and recite these Witches' lines in the creepy-British-old-lady accent that I had been practicing all night. When I began, my classmates laughed at the accent as I hoped they would, but honestly - they laughed more when I said, "Titty."