Some Truly Made-Up Stories about Learning and Inquiry


“And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”  -John F. Kennedy

“I don’t want people to think I’m a hypocrite.”  -GG Allin


Yeah, sure. Probably a million times a day I hear it. I can’t do this, I can’t do that, I can’t… because of other people doing other things making it so I can’t do something. Sure, if you think it is so then it is so. Interpretation. Yes, the formula to formulate your day by, and so much more. The way you are and the way you perceive others is all very closely related to your brain and how it works, or doesn’t. Sure, it is piss poor, it is regret, it is the end, this life—and we are all going. But it’s not so bad. I helped a man in a bathroom stall last night because he had it worse than you and me… That’s my excuse. But then again regret means new life; past-tense is the most important part of life, aside from birth. And last night a woman was saved in front of me and my wife and my child, in front of my camera, and then again on YouTube where those who so accurately interpret called it some sort of “glorification of suicide” that I was broadcasting from Project Fi, but ah… then again, they pointed it out. Their interpretation. And you have to get your mind out of the gutter; to upward and onward.  Positive. Perhaps this was just projecting, as Freud wrote in letters, it was showing through again unto her yesterday, clearly. Say it like those people in church, unto her. Say it like pass the plate and donate your money and smile. We are all hungry.


Questions. Inquiry. Like, what is privilege (in respect to language, not recent social invention; the exact meaning of the word; not what you believe it means (it’s a divisive word tho!), but it’s given definition)? Here is Google’s definition: “a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.” Now, what is advantage, and what does that have to do with your interpretation of everyday things and scientific method? Probably the latter, nothing. Probably the former, something. Though, it doesn’t matter. While asking the above question in a half-full general electives class all of the students almost broke their necks to my mid-morning quizzing; it was sonic boom of vertebrae popping. Apparently the coffee was not strong enough for everyone, or the donut-holes the teacher had gifted us wasn’t enough to make up for her lack of instruction and this(!), especially at that price. Verily, my inquiry was. Yes, I asked, and then after the presentation two young women told me I was too smart to ask such a question (TOO SMART!), they told me they “knew” I was playing devil’s advocate—even though he doesn’t exist, and that is a fact–and that it wasn’t right of me to ask them that question. Sure, I told them, I read books; I knew about Douglass and hooks. Conversing, we stopped at a crosswalk, and they again stated that I couldn’t ask that question. I pointed at my face in a circular motion with my pointer finger and asked, “…because I look like this?” And then both of the women shook their heads in agreement. I shook their hands and told them it was a pleasure to have had this encounter.


Next day I was fidgety near an early lamppost asking for a pair of scissors from my bewildered classmates in order to cut someone’s bike lock because their faulty security measures had left me stranded. Shit-job. A kind which locked their property unawares to my property. I mean, if I had brought my Leatherman it wouldn’t have been an issue. Pliers got cutters down the throat of their metal beak. The fodder on the ground was a false red, the heavy flowers in full-bloom bobbed wetly horny, and my peers watched me almost weep because my bike was doubly safe and sound and I would be late for work for the second time in my life. And I care. It would be unfortunate. I thought this as others rode by in the late dawn sun on ill-pumped tires in short-sleeve shirts, careless. I was thinking of how this one TA was poorly grading my paper, written in English, and her excuse was that English wasn’t her thing, so it wasn’t her fault that she didn’t grade my paper properly; and my anchored bike situation was somehow related. So, C+. I knew the essay was a B- and told her that if we couldn’t change the grade to a B- here I would call the above numbers on the above list, all high up, and give them a hint. I slid the scrap paper across the table with my palm down and my eyes locked on her dead-giveaway face. After that little hand of poker her cultural studies cronies invited me to leave without an upgrade. Next day again, without a word came the B- I had asked for. Just a click on the internet revealed so. See what knowing things does for you? Ask questions.  Just know: 1, 2, 3. I learned all that in kindergarten.


Further.  It was a privilege (:grant a privilege or privileges to.) to understand that she had received the same email that my professor had received the day before at the same time directly, and in all honesty I had to tell her the sheer fact; it was five paragraphs long, and in less than 12 hours it would be worth precisely a B-.  Yes. Indeed.


About Terry Scott Niebeling

Hello, My name is Terry Scott, a human being with flaws. twitter: @sirterryscott Buy my ebooks:
This entry was posted in american, Art, Creative Non-Fiction, Language, literature, Midwest, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Motivation, MPLS, post modern, post structuralism, Post-Modern, Post-Structuralism, Prose, Realism, Satire, Twin Cities, Uncategorized, USA, Words, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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