Paul is seeking the professor’s permission to enroll in his honors
What all does it say in there? That doesn’t have stuff like other professor’s opinions of ya, does it? Just outa curiosity. Just asking. (a beat) Bernstein maybe. ‘Cuz we kinda had some problems and I don’t think I should be judged on that. On the fact that I guess I kinda gave her a hard time. I mean she’s real liberal, y’know? Which is fine. I’m liberal too. But we spent the whole semester, y’know… (slipping into his Bernstein imitation) “…like, uh, trying to define the kind of ways we feel we might wanna approach the sort of questions we maybe should ask about what the course is gonna be about.” She’s the teacher, let her tell me what the course is about. I pay money for this education. (a beat) Second to last class, we get in there, she says, “Like uh, how do we wanna, y’know, approach the different ways we might discuss how we oughta be graded in the class?” Like do we want her to just give her grades, or do we wanna grade ourselves or what. So this guy Bindler – you know Bindler? I shouldn’t mention any names. Bindler’s a nice guy – I like him. But he’s pre-med, y’know? So he gives this whole big speech about how the grading system is this terrible, competitive, therefore capitalist thing…and all the terrible things it’s done to him personally on account of he’s pre-med and he’s gotta get all A’s…and how the honors program, of which that tragedy seminar was a part, is an elitist thing…and how we should all seize the opportunity to throw a wrench into the whole system and therefore we should all get A’s. (A gesture to indicate he sees some logic to the point.) So I said I agreed with him. That the grading system is a bunch of crap… And I had seen all the things it had done to him… And the honors program is elitist and we should throw a wrench in the works. ’Cept it seemed to me we should show our solidarity with the average student and therefore we should all take C’s. Which didn’t set real well with the others. So we all sat there for a minute looking like a real concerned group. And by the end of the class, somehow, one by one they had each one rationalized why he or she should really get an A. And right at the end, Bernstein says to me what grade do you want? And I said I didn’t give a hoot. And that’s how we left it. (a beat) She gave me an A. Probably thought I woulda complained. Screwed her up when she went for tenure. (quickly adjusting, reassuring:) I wouldna done that.