2013 Senior Roast

Article Index

Tutor Steven Cortright Roasts the Class of 2013

Old Tutor’s Book of Integral Brats

(based on T. S. Eliot, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats [1939])

Select parts 1, 2, or 3 from the list on the right. If you desire a closer scrutiny of the script, you may select the CC (closed captions) option on the video player or just scroll through the text window below.

Part 1

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Introduction

The Wastrels

(Cf. T. S. Eliot, The Wasteland [1922] . . . only, don't cf. too hard!)

April is the cruelest month, screwing
Essays out of sere minds, mixing
Scriven'ry with despair, racking
Dull wits with Spring pain.
Jan Term did us harm, covering
Dearth in forgetful vice, needing
But little talk with snide tutors.
Fall Term ensnared us: coming over the Berkeley Hills
On a golden eve, rapt; we tripp'd down the colonnade,
And stepp'd out in twilight, in the Fratres' Garden,
And wolfed dolmas, and talked by the hour.
Mach' gar kein Gedicht; bin Aristotelisch; gut Scheiß!
And when we were Freshmen, straying through our ΤΟΥΣ ΒΟΥΣ,
That Riley, he set me down with a chart,
And I was frightened. He said, Alex?
Alex? which Alex are you? And so it went.
In seminar, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, then go sleep in Doval's class.

Who are the psychai that fledge, what are the spirits that thrive
Upon such toney rubbish? Son of Hamm,
You cannot say, for you—as they—know only
A heap of stale mathémata, where Language waits,
And electives give no respite, Seminar no relief,
And the new Math no hint of Euclid. Only . . .May . . . May . . .

MAYFEST!

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN—TUTORS (AND THE REST OF YOU), I BRING YOU—STRAIGHT FROM THE CELESTIAL LONDON, SUBURB OF THE INFERNAL ST. LOUIS (MISSOURI)—BY THE HAND OF THE BARD OF BARBS, THOMAS STEARNS ELIOT, THE FIRST—AND LAST—TERRESTRIAL READING OF . . .

Old Tutor's Book of

Integral Brats

(Cf. T. S. Eliot, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats [1939])

 

The Blaming of Brats

(Old Possum's Book, "The Naming of Cats)

The Blaming of Brats is an intricate matter,
It's more than just one of your Mayfesty games;
A Freshman throws mud for the sake of the splatter
But a Tutor inculpates—with THREE DIFFERENT BLAMES.
First of all, there's the blame of a failure in breeding,
Such as "Slate-ness," "Brad-pshaw," or "A-lexia," names—
That last means, of course, "chronic failure of reading"—
But all unremarkable, work-a-day Blames.
There's a nastier Blame that goes straight for the jugular,
Apt to embarrass 'em, rich in ill-fame:
Such as "Mendoza-tricious" or "Gotti-morphologous,"
Still—unremarkable, work-a-day Blame.
But I tell you, each Brat needs a Blame indefeasible,
Blame irrepeatable—more rarified,
Else how shall the Tutor remain unappeasable,
Vanquish detractors, or wax all-way snide?
Of Blames of this kind Tutors all know the typoi:
Cozzettosmirk, Kriscross, or DiffidentLee;
Again, Rey-no way!-nosis, or Ianalogoi,
Blames that suit just one Brat down to the 't.'
But above and beyond there's still one Blame left over,
And that is the Blame that you never will guess;
The Blame that no Tutor's research can uncover—
But the BRAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a Brat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
Her mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the fault, of the fault, of the fault of her Blame:
Her ineffable, eff-ing
Eff-ing ineffable
Deep and immutable, Integral Blame.

 

The Spry Gumbie-Brat

(Old Possum's Book, "The Old Gumbie Cat") 

I have a Gumbie-Brat in mind, her name is Sarah-bakes-a-lot;
Her carriage is upright in kind; her record is without a blot.
All class she smiles upon her chair or at the door or at the bench;
She smiles and smiles and smiles and smiles—and that's what
makes a Gumbie-wench! 

But when the lab's hustle and bustle is done,
Then the Gumbie Brat's work is but hardly begun.
And when all her classmates are off to get lunch,
She gathers the fruitflies in one buzzing bunch.
For she's dissatisfied with their bloomin' confusion,
And wants to inculcate some ordered collusion:
So when she has got them in martial formation,
She makes them count off, one-by-one, in rotation.

I have a Gumbie-Brat in mind, her name is Sarah-bakes-a-lot;
Her equal would be hard to find, she'll giggle at nice bon mot.
All class she smiles upon her chair or at the door or at the bench;
She smiles and smiles and smiles and smiles—and that's what
makes a Gumbie-wench!

And before the lab's hustle and bustle's begun,
Then the Gumbie's Brat's work is, at whiles, barely done.
As she finds that her classmates loathe order and quiet,
She's sure it's a function of un-sugary diet,
And believing that God's an ex nihilo baker,
She brings to the lab some sweet tarts or a cake 'er
Fat bearclaws (with raisins) or tiramisu—
For by Gumbie-Brat standards mere doughnuts won't do.

I have a Gumbie-Brat in mind, her name is Sarah-bakes-a-lot;
The demo-bench she likes to shine, and cleanse it from graffiti-spots.
All class she smiles upon her chair or at the door or at the bench;
She smiles and smiles and smiles and smiles—and that's what
makes a Gumbie-wench!

So for spry Gumbie Brats let us now give three cheers—
On whom well-ordered Programs depend, it appears.

A. Gotti's Last Stand

(Old Possum's Book, "Growltiger's Last Stand")

A. Gotti was a Bravo Brat, who liked his livin' large:
In fact, his baser appetites were normally in charge.
And up and down the Program, he magnified his feats,
Rejoicing in his title of "The King of 'Incompletes'."

His manner and appearance were wrought by Fate to please:
His gaze direct and steady, his countenance at ease;
No grace to him seem'd missing, no shadow cross'd his light,
Except, as Tutors muttered, "Goddam Gotti just won't WRITE!"

The Freshmen of the Cobeen race knew something of his fame,
And Soph'mores sweating Riley used to mouth—in class!—his
name.
While bent over their Newton, the Juniors passed a look:
"If Gotti gets away with this, we'll all be off the hook!"

Now in the limpid Spring Term, bright, all nature seemed at play,
But duteous Seniors wrote all night, to keep Jim Smith at bay;
And while his wretched classmates squeez'd out their tortur'd
prose,
The Tutors swore this solemn oath: A. Gotti must compose!

Thus from the Tutors' High Command, mandatum stern went out:
Addressed to "Jim, Our trusty Smith: 'Re-forge this laggard
lout!'
'Inform him that no effort else can win him our release,
'Except an exposition, full, of Tolstoy's War and Peace!'"

Thick darkness closed 'round Gotti: How shalt dire Fate forfend?
Until, reviving strangely: "I'll write it this weekend!"
He gripped his grandpa's pencil (unused before that hour),
And willed that from his fertile brain some thought should come
to flow'r.

And lo! his fingers twitching, the pencil moved apace,
Across the page scratch-scritching—alight was Gotti's face!
And there, emblazoned on the page, A. Gotti's Essay stood,
Proclaiming "War is bad" and then thereafter "Peace is good."

When news of Gotti's triumph fell upon the Juniors' ears,
Their groans of disappointment mingled with the Tutors'
cheers,
While Gotti modestly observed to those whose hands he shook,
"I might have done much better if I'd only read the book!"


Part 2

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La Erendida

or The Whimsical Brat

(Old Possum's Book, "The Rum Tum Tugger")

La Erendida is a troublesome plant:
If you offer her Darwin, she would rather have Kant.
When you serve up Kant, her taste turns to Hegel,
But when you proffer Hegel, she's enamored of Woolf.
If you set her up with James, she'll gravitate to Blake;
If you gravitate to Blake, she'll prefer Mark Twain!
Yes, La Erendida is a troublesome plant—
But there isn't any call for me to shout it:
For she will think
As she do think
And there's no doing anything about it!

La Erendida is a terrible tease:
For when she answers, "Yes," it's a qualified "No";
And she bats about a question with a cat's-paw ease,
And a Chesire-cat grin, and a lilting tremulo;
Yet there's nothing to be got by "Your opinion, please?"
Her mind is like a poem—with a stanza left to go!
Yes, La Erendida is a terrible tease—
And there isn't any use for you to doubt it:
For she will do
What she do do
And there's no doing anything about it!

 

Song to the Jellicle Brats:

A.J., J.S., A.H.

(Old Possum's Book, "The Song of the Jellicles")

Jellicle Brats are quite petite
(All right, that means they're rather small)
Jellicle Brats have dancer's feet
(They move with grace at the waltzing ball).
Jellicle Brats: one plays the trumpet
Jellicle Brats: and trills the flute
Jellicle Brats will eat a crumpet
(If Sarah bakes it—so that one's moot!)

Jellicle Brats reflect precisely;
Jellicles like their questions BIG.
(Nevertheless, some write concisely
Their words do no waltzing; they stamp out a jig!)
Jellicle Brats take up Woolf's outlook
Jellicle Brats recite Sun Tzu
Jellicle Brats can play Iago
(Jellicles play Othello, too!)

And until the Jellicle Moon appears
They watch their manners and bide their time.
Jellicles don't alert their peers,
Jellicles never give a sign!
They're harmless, it seems, as the sunlit bowers,
They soothe like a drowsy afternoon,
Reserving their Clytaemnestrian pow'rs
To pounce by the light of the Jellicle Moon!

(I'm tellin' ya, boys, be careful . . .)

Jellicle Brats aren't fond of fruitflies
Jellicle Brats are fond of song
Jellicle Brats aren't things to misprize
See that you do no Jellicle wrong!
For then, by the light of the Jellicle Moon
They'll raise themselves up in a Jellicle pack
And Jellicly teach you the meaning of doom
The sly, un-defendable, ego-unmendable,
Heart-stopping Jellicle counter-attack!

At Last Taylor Bradshaw Explains Herself

(by Means of Her Inner Victorian)

(This one's ALL my fault . . . with a little help from Robert Herrick [1591 – 1674])

'Tis not ev'ry day that I
Fitted am to speechify.
No, but when another fills
My loquacious panicles
Full of IRE, then I will,
Prophoretically, spill.
Thus, enflamed, my thoughts are sped,
Like the Sibyl's, from my head.

Hearken, then, O Ian O Lee!
I could take ye down in three!
If, instead, composed I be,
Myself, 'tis owing—not to thee!

Gabriel Ladd:

Deuteronomy

(I suppose there's some connection to Old Possum's Book, "Old Deuteronomy")

Gabriel Ladd has not lived a long time;
He's the dangling end of the temp'ral succession.
So why celebrate him in this seedy rhyme,
What nugget of fame is his proper possession?
Well, Gabriel Ladd has lived through nine lives
Or more—I am tempted to count ninety-nine
Of the books by which Integral prospers and thrives,
Which account for the life of the lives in his mind.
And here, as I pass, I'll reveal my metonomy
"Young" Gabriel Ladd is quite old—
old as Old Deuteronomy!

And Old Deuteronomy sits in the street,
He sits in the High Street on market day
Observing the welter of deeds and of speech,
And weighing, as ever, the just thing to say.
And when sheer disputation o'erpasses the kerb
The villagers put up a notice: road closed;
So that nothing untoward may chance to disturb,
Deuteronomy's rest, his contemplative pose,
When engaged in arranging his inner economy.
And so, once again, I'll reveal my metonomy,
We're transfigur'd as memories in Old Deuteronomy!

Of the Dire Confrontation

of the Ians and Cozzetticos,

and of the

Intervention of the Great

Reynoso Brat

(Old Possum's Book, "Of the Aweful Battle of the Pekes and the Pollicles . . .")

Young Ian and Cozetto, as everyone knows,
Are proud and implacable passionate foes;
So when Ian breathes "Yea," Cozzetto sniffs, "No."
And the Ladds and the Lees, although most Tutors say
That they're solid as Slate, yet any old day—
If they're Gottied enough—will join in the fray
Then they
Yack yack yack yack
Yack yack YACK YACK
'Til the Tutor shows signs of a heart attack.

Now on the occasion I'm bound to report
Parelius had parried Cozzetto's retort
By quoting Augustine (his usual forte),
To which she replied with an audible snort—
Which the cowering Tutor played off as a joke,
(While he wished for a chance to slip out for a smoke)—
As all over the room glances started to meet,
Then belligerent glares that proclaimed "No Retreat!"
(But for Taylor and Erin, who stared at their feet)
While Cozzetto and Ian both rose from their seats
And started to
Yack yack yack yack
Yack yack YACK YACK
'Til the Tutor felt sure of a heart attack.

Now our Ian, though people may say what they please,
Is but half-Integral—he speaks theolog-ese.
So the class theists—both of them—rose up as one,
Invoking the Spirit, and Father and Son,
Intending to finish what Ian had begun.
And their eyes they rolled and they waived their fists,
And they called down curses on materialists.
Now Cozzetto shrinks not from the bare-fist meme:
And differs from "Stiletto" by a mere phoneme!
So she led off at once, putting on a sly smirk,
With her mildest jibe, to wit: "Ian, you jerk!"
So it was
Yack yack yack yack
Yack yack YACK YACK
And the Tutor prayed for a heart attack.

Now the Tutor was poised on the verge of tears,
As the fruit-fly mamas stopp'd their larvae's ears,
But in Great Reynoso, alone in her seat,
There swell'd righteous ire, and a gathering heat.
So she rose up in anger and ended the fight,
With Kant in her left hand, Rousseau in her right:
"Wake up the pure savage that dwells in your heart;
"Compassion his norm, imitation his art,
"Forget calculation, seek Goodness as Law
"Let go fake religion, make duty your all!
"For they are not civil who love piety.
"But vanquishing drivel, just will themselves free."
And such was her sentiment, such was her plea:
Go seek self-salvation like good bourgeoise!

And when Taylor and Erin looked up from their feet
Every last Brat was plumped back in his—or her—seat!

 


Part 3

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Mr. MistoffeLee

The Cognizing Brat

(Old Possum's Book, "Mr. Mistoffelees")

You ought to know Mr. MistoffeLee!
The Integral Cognizing Brat—
(Ev'ry Tutor agrees about that!).
Please listen to me and don't scoff: all his
Interventions come out of his hat.
He's the Brat who edifies anywho,
With his dialectical derring-do,
By producing pellucid conclusions,
From his classmates' exotic confusions.
At philosophization
By a sheer coup d' main
He'll defy controversion
And persuade you again.
The greatest logicians have something to learn
From Mister MistoffeLee's Cognizing Turn.
Presto!
Away we go!
And we all say: Oh!
Well I never!
Was there ever
A Brat so clever
As Logical Mister MistoffeLee!

His manner? Restrained and aloof,
You would think there was nobody shyer—
But I have it on evident proof,
He can sell anything to a buyer.
So with contracts and concepts his meat,
Who can doubt this magician must flower,
On the strength of each fabulous feat,
Of his vast intellectual power!
Come, let us bedizen his all-worthy brow
With laurel wreath, fashion'd from bay leaves
And let us invite him to take a deep bow,
Our Integral Answer to Thales!
Who, not long ago, with a quizzical smile,
Drew plus quam Drosophilae out of a vial!
And we all said: Oh!
Well I never!
Was there ever
A Brat so clever
As Magical Mister MistoffeLee!

Mendoza, D.:

The Mystery Brat

(Old Possum's Book, "Macavity: The Mystery Cat")

Mendoza, D.'s a Mystery Brat: he's called the Tutor's Bane—
For he's the Disappearing Act that reaches a new plane.
He's the bafflement of everyone, the Registrar's despair:
For any time the roll is called—Mendoza, D.'s not there!

Mendoza, D.! Mendoza, D.! His place in class? A cavity!
There's nothing holds him in his seat, he breaks the law of gravity!
His prestidigitations would make a fakir stare,
For though sometimes his work appears, Mendoza, D.'s not there!
You might see him at a social, you might see him anywhere,
But any time it matters, then Mendoza, D.'s not there!

Mendoza, D.'s a comely Brat: he's not so thin, but tall,
No one would overlook him in the street or lecture hall:
His brow is deeply lined with thought; he has the student look:
He dusts his coat with blackboard chalk and carries round a book.
He props his chin upon his fist, like something from Rodin,
And for plausible excuses, well: Mendoza, D.'s your man!

Mendoza, D! Mendoza, D! There's no one like Mendoza, D.!
He's Aristótle's Aporia, Actual Vacuity.
You may read his Senior Essay or address his empty chair:
For to all intents and purposes, Mendoza, D.'s not there!

He's outwardly respectable (he never soils his hands),
But he's never left a footprint on the Program's level sands:
Is it mental elevation or a spirit über-free,
Or succumbing to temptation or fore-fashion'd Destiny;
Is it pre-procrastination or a second life somewhere?
By some won'drous un-monstration, Mendoza, D.'s not there!

Kristopher "Nimbleshanks," Macias:

The "Railroad" Brat

(Old Possum's Book, "Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat")

There's a whisper round the lab at 8.31
When the bench-work's ready to begin,
Saying "Nimble where is Nimble, is he fooling with some bimbo?
We must find him or we're screw'd again."
All the Brats and the Tutor and the Orellanas' daughter,
They are pacing to and fro,
Saying "Nimble where is Nimble—let us hope he's really nimble—
Or this Senior Lab is toast!"
By 8.45 the experiment is 'stew'
And the lot of 'em are pissed to a man;
That's when "Nimble" tip-toes in, with a sickly sheepish grin,
sayin'
"Oops! Lost the keys to m'van!"
Well, the fists'r clenched at ev'ry bench
At another class done in,
And the thought wells up, like a toxic stench
Railroaded by Macias again!

You may say that by and large it is Macias in charge
Of the Senior Lab's distress
From the Tutor to the Brats to the enterprise at large,
He will sabotage them all, more or less.
Down the corridor of fate, ten to twenty minutes late,
He advances, ever cheerful, to his Hour,
Ah! It's useless to resist, he's a walking nemesis,
The Brats-paw of malignant higher pow'r!
Are your fruit-fly counts all shrinking, is your culture dry and stinking?
Is that FlyNap that is fouling your food?
Well pass the word in quiet, we don't wanna start a riot:
"Shit happens!" means "K.M. is on the move!"
Ev'rything just tanks with Nimbleshanks
He's the Brat that cannot be ignored,
'Cause ev'rything goes bad in the Senior Lab,
When Macias is aboard.