Wednesday, March 14, 2007

S Takes Tax, Hilarity Does Not Ensue

Last year, in a dual attempt to prepare myself for the bar and maximize my deductions, I took an income tax class. The class has been taught by one Professor Jegen for the past 20 or 75 years and is officially titled, "Income Taxation of Individuals, Fiduciaries, Beneficiaries, And Business Associations (DN648)." The man is a legend.

For some reason, and certainly not so that he can make the Socratic Method work better for all of us, Jegen seats students alphabetically. He doesn’t seem to realize that each seat is actually numbered, and that if he simply sent out an email with a list of students and seat numbers, we could all find our seats without much ado. Instead, he spends approximately 30 minutes of the first class each semester getting students into their seats by shouting their names. This time, though, he decided to use a proxy.

Professor Jegen: (squinting out into the crowd) “You, come up here.”

A cluster of 15-20 students see him, from the front of the room, looking in their direction. They each look around, pointing at themselves, trying to figure out if he’s talking to them. “Me?” “Me?”

Professor Jegen: (still peering around the room, eyes narrowed) “YOU, come up here!”

Since Jegen has provided no identifying information about the person to whom he is talking (i.e. you in the red shirt, you with the Care Bear lunch pail, etc) and hasn’t bothered to even point, the students are still confused. By process of elimination, a girl in the front row believes he’s talking to her.

Girl: “Me?”

Professor Jegen: “Can you WALK? Come up here!”

Girl: “I’m sorry, I didn’t know you were talking to me.” (walks to the podium)

Professor Jegen: (handing her the class roster) “Now the next question is, can you read ENGLISH?”

Later, someone makes the mistake of saying “I think” before answering a question. “You think?” Jegen shouts. “I don’t care what you think; I care what the answer is. What is the answer to my question?”

As intense as he was about beating income tax rules into our heads, Jegen was always willing to take class time to discuss his theories on how "We're All Actually Black, You Know."

It was a long semester.

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