Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Reflection: The Bearded Devil

I knew from the day the course began things were going to be difficult. The teacher arrived late; he was perspiring and gasping for breath. His tardiness was inexcusable and his disheveled appearance reduced the sincerity of his apology. “What a douche”, I muttered under my breath. The semester and his reputation were tarnished in a matter of minutes.

As time progressed my initial assessment of Mr. Gasparo was confirmed. Classes were a waste of time, and I cannot recall an instance where I thought otherwise. Much, if not all, of what was done in person could have been completed at home. It is unnecessary to have a teacher read assignments aloud when they are posted on Blackboard or presented in print. Peer critiques were seldom helpful and rarely graded, so there was little incentive for other classmates to participate. It would have been more beneficial if students were to email each other their drafts and actually spend a reasonable amount of time editing them in a more comfortable setting. In retrospect the emphasis placed on attendance held little value, because missing class was never missing much.

The time I had spent in class was made more unpleasant by meaningless lessons and activities. Mr. Gasparo’s lectures were disorganized and oftentimes irrelevant to English composition. Days were spent discussing healthcare reform and watching Michael Moore movies in a haphazard attempt to introduce rhetorical appeals. While his intentions were good, his methods were ineffective. I believe introducing ethos, logos, and pathos in literary context would have made it easier for students to integrate it into their writing. His affinity for the overrated musician, Bruce Springsteen, also led to several unproductive classes. I can understand Mr. Gasparo’s reasoning for incorporating Springsteen’s work into the class; to illustrate different writing processes, however I’d suggest studying the creative processes of authors, not musicians. Overall, I found his lectures to be obstructive to improving my writing.

Assignments throughout the semester were anything but beneficial to the advancement of my writing. Recently, my class was prompted to complete a well-constructed argument essay. I found the research process to be informative, and ultimately it changed my perception of my topic. However, the accompanying presentation we are required to give to the class falls outside the boundaries of a composition course. Being judged on how well we argue and present information in a speech should be saved for a public speaking class. Forcing students to endure these insignificant and likely erroneous arguments is a waste of everybody’s time, and will not improve the way we write in future courses. The ultimate affront was the decision made by Mr. Gasparo to allow our fellow classmates to determine the grade we received for these presentations. It was because of this that I could no longer take the class seriously, and my work and motivation began to deteriorate as the semester ended.

Reflecting on this semester I would have to suggest that the greatest issues I had with Mr. Gasparo were his organization and communication skills. The constant changes to the course calendar left many students, including myself, to become oblivious of revised due dates and new assignments. It was almost weekly that I was informed of a new calendar update via email. These revisions became so commonplace I stopped checking unless Mr. Gasparo or my peers explicitly stated it in class. The communication, or lack thereof, severely inhibited the effectiveness of his teachings. Mr. Gasparo’s inability to convey exactly what he wanted in his prompts hindered the quality of my work. The argument prompt for example, was five pages long and was overflowing with obscured requirements. This paper I am writing now was another unseen requirement for a larger assignment given to the class months earlier. It is as if you are wading through a tub of shit in order to find something meaningful at the bottom. Admittedly, his shortcomings in initial explanations are made up for by his willingness to answer questions outside of class.

While it may appear that I am belittling Mr. Gasparo, I still retain some amount of respect for him. Honestly, I doubt I could do any better as a teacher. He is learning how to best do his job, and his efforts must be commended. Despite my respect for him, and all teachers for that matter, he still does not earn my recommendation for future students. Perhaps in time he will mature into an effective and admirable professor, but from my experience it won’t happen anytime soon.

Final Diagnostic Essay Draft: Taco Salads and Sodomy: My Employment at Taco Bell

Times were hard, perhaps the hardest they have been for me in all of my life. I had been terminated from my previous job at the local grocery store and was desperately searching for a new source of income. I spent many nights laying in bed feeling despondent and desperate; the time had come to do something drastic. I decided to apply to every fast food restaurant in the area, and Taco Bell was the first to call me back. I was overjoyed.

On my first day I was anxious, I had been instructed to work the graveyard shift. My hands were shaking and drenched with sweat as I greeted my trainer, Rase. He saw how uneasy I was and gently rested his hand on my shoulder and chuckled, “Relax, I was nervous my first day too.” His tender eyes and reassuring smile consoled me; I knew he was someone I could trust.
Rase was an attractive man. Sculpted arms and broad shoulders were nearly bursting through his uniform, and flowing black hair gently caressed his face and neck. In his smooth baritone voice he inquired, “Have you ever worked a cash register before?”

“N-no”, I stammered as my cheeks began to flush. I was captivated by his physique and he had obviously noticed me looking. Rase grabbed my hand and led me into the corner of the store where the register was located. I had never handled money before, and I wanted to try my best not to foul things up. I had to make a good impression, but it was hard to pay attention around such a handsome man.

The experience with my first customer was terrible. I ruined his order and he asked to see my manager. Thankfully, Rase overheard the commotion and swiftly intervened. He stood behind me and reached over my shoulders to the register. I watched as his stout fingers nimbly danced across the touch screen. The customer left satisfied, but as Rase was about to turn around I noticed his hands slowly sliding down the register towards my waist. He leaned in close and whispered, “It’s alright, you’ll do better next time.” His warm breath tickled the nape of my neck and my heartbeat quickened. I felt his hand delicately clutch the inseam of my trousers. I was aroused. I had never had any kind of homoerotic experience before, but I knew he wanted me… and I wanted him to take me.

All was quiet in Taco Bell. My other coworkers had all gone home and the once raging river of customers was dry. It was just Rase and I, staring at each other flirtatiously from across the restaurant. He walked towards me and asked, “Do you wanna see how they make the ‘Baja’ sauce?” Before I could even reply Rase had pushed me against the deep fryer and began kissing me passionately. His tongue slithered throughout my mouth, and his great beefy arms firmly embraced me. Stocky calloused hands explored my body until they found their way to my belt. With great speed and dexterity my pants were unfastened and fell to the floor. The sudden rush of frigid air to my genitals was invigorating. My testicles retracted and my penis was now pressing firmly against Rase’s uniform. Suddenly, I was spun around and Rase had dropped to one knee. His cold hands spread apart my buttocks and I felt the warmth of his saliva on my rectum. A finger slipped inside me and pressed against my prostate. I had never felt such pleasure in my life.

Rase stood up and I heard the sound of his fly coming undone. I looked over my shoulder and saw his broad vascular phallus dripping with pre-ejaculatory fluid. “This might be uncomfortable at first, but you’ll get used to it”, he confessed. The girth of his glans stretched my anus as he gradually inserted himself. Inch by inch the throbbing mass made its way deep inside my body. My sphincter was contracting uncontrollably as Rase began to thrust. His loins were slamming against my posterior and I gripped the deep fryer in ecstasy. My legs quaked and my breaths grew deeper; I thought I was going to faint. Rase let out a thunderous moan, and I felt his seed being expelled into me. As he withdrew himself, tepid viscous semen began crawling down my inner thighs. “That’s how ‘Baja’ sauce is made”, he joked.

Several months later I visited the doctor for my annual checkup. He spoke in a stern voice as he recited the findings of my blood tests. “You have HIV son”, he sympathized, “Have you had unprotected sex?” I thought back to that night with Rase months earlier. He’d been fired. I told management he raped me when asked about what they saw in the surveillance video. Rase was livid and swore he would never speak to me again, and now my life was in ruins. I was handed a death sentence and I was forced to go through it alone. Working at Taco Bell turned out to be the most terrible job I have ever had.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Diagnostic Essay- Necessisty is the Mother of Degradation

Necessity is the Mother of Degradation

I did not choose to work at Taco Bell; it was simply out of necessity. Times were hard for me, perhaps the hardest they have been in all of my life. I had been terminated from my previous position at the local grocery store and was desperately searching for a new source of income. I applied almost everywhere I could, and was not yielding any results. Alas, in a moment of weakness, I walked through the doors of a Taco Bell and submitted my application. Oblivious to the impending misery, I was overjoyed when I was hired.

His name was Rase, and he was designated to train me on my first day. I couldn’t help but gawk at his disheveled appearance, and as he stood in front of me gently swaying back and forth he slurred, “Hey man, do I smell like booze?” The question did not need to be answered; he knew he was drunk. That was our formal introduction, and is metaphorically what I consider to be my introduction into the world of fast food. Needless to say his method of instruction was rather unorthodox. He summed up working the cash register as, “you just take their order, push buttons, and take the money.” Seemed simple enough, but it was a trial by fire once Rase left me alone to work the register during the lunch rush. I quickly learned that I could not depend on my coworkers for assistance.

Saying that my colleagues were imbeciles would be an understatement. Management informed me that the reason I was hired so quickly was because they could only trust a few employees to work the register. The majority were teenagers, however there were a few middle-aged adults who were trying to supplement their welfare checks. Many would come into work under the influence of various illicit substances. Oftentimes it was cannabis, alcohol, or copious amounts of Adderall. For me, being surround by these drugs became synonymous with work. In fact it was discovered that one employee was using intravenous drugs in the women’s restroom. The few who did come to work sober either lacked basic common sense or the desire to do their job. I was oftentimes the one designated to “clean up” the mess that my fellow associates left in their wake. I perceived myself as wallowing in the shallow end of the gene pool, and it was because of this that I quickly developed a sense of responsibility and superiority towards my coworkers.

The annoyances I had with my coworkers were veiled by the callous and irritable nature of the customers I encountered. Their condescending tonality and superfluous demands made my job unbearable. To them as soon as I adorned my uniform I lost all respect and deserved no courtesy; I became subhuman. I tried my best not to take their deleterious remarks personally, but naturally I would become frustrated and upset. I remember in particular one occasion in which a customer resulted to profanity to express the amount of mild sauce given to him with his order. I could not fathom how something so negligible could cause such a dramatic reaction towards another person. I received several tongue-lashings at that job, none of which came from my superiors. I had no room to complain, I needed the money and could not afford to walk away and be unemployed again.

Months passed and every night I would come home crestfallen. The monotony of work soon tortured my mind. Not even the solace of sleep could assuage my torment; Taco Bell was a cancer that was slowly infecting every aspect of my existence. In my dreams I would find myself counting change while being berated by customers. I needed a means of escape, and I began to understand why so many of my coworkers had turned to drugs. In a last-ditch-effort I decided to return to my previous employer and beg for my job back. By what I consider to be divine intervention, I was rehired. I was elated to finally be free of the constraints of this intolerable occupation and promptly gave my resignation, much to the dismay of management.

It has almost been two years since I left Taco Bell. Although I only worked there for a few months, the experience revealed a dysfunctional underbelly of society that I had never seen before. Hopefully, I will never encounter such a horrendous profession again in my lifetime. I would be lying if I said working at Taco Bell didn’t make me a stronger person. I will, however, be as audacious to say that everyone should work in fast food at one point in his or her life so that one day we can all become more appreciative of those standing behind the register.