Dr. Paige
by: Philip Hassey



        I didn't really like his name to begin with, and upon seeing the man, I knew I didn't like him. He was a weezly fellow, and sat in on our FYI group several times. Being a professor of some kind, he felt that any words he uttered during these sessions somehow carried great weight.
        "Studies are very important."
        "Have you ever considered these matters?"
        "I know this topic is beyond our range of discussion,"
        Then he'd argue with someone about how they were wrong to say that their opinion was something or other, even though it was there opinion, they just didn't happen to be entitled to that completely wrong opinion. I guess somehow opinions are things worth holding and breaking into small pieces smashing them on the ground and grinding them into a fine pulp. Nobody liked him, except maybe the girl with the constantly runny nose. She seemed to be the sort who wanted him to autograph her Bible.

        I suppose I could have ignored him altogether. I didn't have any real class with him, and FYI was a silly joke that they thrust upon us. However, they had us write an essay on, "Your Expectations Of College". This sounded like another opiniony sort of thing that would be hard to get wrong. So I sat down and wrote my expectations of college. They went something like this,
        "I don't have any expectations about college. I came because I had very little other choice, and didn't think about it at all. Maybe later I will have expectations."
        Except I wrote it out about 250 words as was required. I received a D- and wasn't happy with it.

        "Dr. Paige?" I asked when I stuck my greasy head into his greasy office.
        "Yes, what?" he asked.
        "Why did I get a D- on my paper," I asked.
        "Because it was wrong," he said. And he carried on as if the matter was closed and closed his briefcase on it and tried to leave.
        "But," I said, "I didn't see anything wrong with it."
        "Let me see it," he said. He took it, looked at it, said this, "You didn't answer the question."
        "Yes I did," I said, "The question was 'What are your expectations for college'."
        "You didn't put any down."
        "That's because I didn't have any," I said.
        "Yes you did," he said, "Of course you did, everyone has expectations for college."
        "I didn't," I said.
        "You did too," he said. He argued much like a six year old. I suppose attaining a doctorate doesn't do that much to change into the open minded seeing all possibilities sort of fellow. I guess having a doctorate gives one the right to be right, because you have the title. Silly. The more people know the more they realize they don't know that much. Or maybe that's just me, because I'm especially stupid, so stupid that I didn't have expectations. Boy I am dumb. Realizing how dumb I was, I told him that, and left a little irritated.

        Several days after, after telling the story over and over, I turned Dr. Paige into a monster in my mind. I wrote him down in a small black corner of my thoughts, and put a little check in the box that said, "Venomous Enemy." That meant that I wasn't going to like him, just because I didn't want to. So there. I can be just as rediculous. Everyone has expectations. Everyone this, pal.
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