America's Most Critical Journal (since 1999)
The Tour of Paradise University
By Walter Bowne
At Paradise University, we spare no expense to make sure that your four, or five, or six years here are the most rewarding and aesthetically pleasing time of your entire life. Nothing, ever again, will come close to Paradise.
Listen, when I was just seventeen, not sure of my direction, or my major, or even my sexuality, when I passed through the Fritz Hue Gate at Paradise University, I knew I found my home. I’m sure you’d love to call Paradise home too.
Please follow me on our tour of Paradise.
Go ahead and cast your eyes up toward Layeffete Hall. Take a penetrating look at that grass. Some grass, huh? That’s not just any type of grass. It’s a special grass-blend that we have developed after long years of intense research; our botanists have traveled to Ireland, to the Tierra del Fuego, and to Ukraine to produce a startling green grass we call Paradise Grass.
As you walk along the Colonnade, notice the brickwork. The marble has been directly imported from Carrara, Italy. It’s the same marble that Michelangelo used. The stones under your feet are indeed etched with Mayan gold – with each alumni giver’s name that donated more than $100,000.
This is one of our most cherished and oldest buildings. Legend has it that Alexander Hamilton once performed a ménage à trois in Room 210. Some say, on a full moon, you can still hear Hamilton confirm, “E pluribus unum!”
Notice the archway and portico. Our own stonemason named Giuseppe and his team of Croatian artisans crafted it. In fact, he personally crafted all of the stone work you now see around campus: the busts of our founder, our distinguished alumni, our Board of Trustees, our illustrious President, all decked out in Roman and Greek regalia, along with the phalanx of gargoyles and sea serpents and Greek gods, like the one over there of Dionysus, sprouting from our fountains. It’s freshman tradition that all coeds dance naked in the fountain on the spring equinox.
Can you imagine what Paradise University would have looked like before the influx of cash and Federal Stafford Loans?
Down this hallway, you’ll meet The Dean of Internal Affairs, and his team of hardworking associates. Over there is the Dean of Student Affairs, and the Dean of Special Needs, and the Associate Dean of Giving, and The Dean of Lucrative Spending, and the Dean of Housing, The Dean of Building More Gorgeous Buildings, The Dean of Lawns and Gardens, The Dean of Pathways, The Dean of Spontaneous Development, The Dean of Who Gives a Crap, right?
Ok. I’ve bored you with all these deans.
Let’s slip through the backdoor here, and be careful here; this pathway has been designated the Pathway of 2012. It’s being updated with stones imported from Israel. Please stay on the straw. Up here is our brand new science building built by no other than Frank Gehry, who sadly was not an alumnus. He went to Harvard. Ha. So clichéd, right?
If Professor MacTingle was not on her yearlong sabbatical in the jungles of Borneo, investigating the mating habits of the Bare-headed Laughingthrush, you would have a chance to meet her, but that’s no matter. Teams of brilliant TA’s are available 24/7 for all of your science questions. In fact, say “hello” to my personal TA and love-slave, Lindsay, who had been happily throwing rose petals underneath our feet as we proceed through Paradise.
This lecture hall holds about 10,000 students. Each desk has its own video screen, so everyone can view the teaching assistant as if they were right up front. Each desk also has a question button and an audio feed that’s wired directly into the TA’s cranium. Paradise takes your education seriously. The technology here is state-of-the-art.
That building over there was the dismantled Google complex and reassembled here.
Let’s not forget about the education! Sure we have the big money pit where you entertain yourselves by dressing in a plastic suit without pockets and frolic in a vast pit of money; sure we have underground rail service on those cold winter days when no one feels like walking on gold pathways; and sure, we have personal limo service from your hometown to Paradise, if you’re within three hundred miles.
But the education here is exemplary! All professors teach two classes. They spend most of their days creating the BEST lessons possible. They have an open door policy, and often-meet students informally in our area new Gucci Student Center, gymnasiums, park benches, Democratic Clubs, ultimate Frisbee pitches, restaurants and bars and bodegas and, sshhh, opium dens.
At Paradise, learning just doesn’t happen in the classroom; the whole world is our classroom. In fact, we’ve attracted the literary talents of British bad boy Martin Amis who is the writer in residence, but since he likes to write, and has only one female graduate student at the time living with him per semester, you can only sense his vibe through looking in at the upstairs bedroom window.
If you take a long look beyond the Tiffany-Diamond-Studded Cupola, you’ll see about two thousand acres that the university just “purchased” to make way for our new Ultimate Sports Complex that’s been redesigned to model the Roman Forum. Thank you Eminent Domain! Can you imagine? Our own Forum Romano! What could be next? Chariot races?
In the bioengineering department, each Board of Trustee has an identical clone that has been frozen to harvest vital organs. Also, the teaching assistants are more than indentured servants; professors harvest ideas from graduate students. This type of “academic sharing” is done electronically through electrodes that course through their bodies; these were digitally inserted when they enrolled in graduate courses. One literary scholar on campus quipped it was our own Faustian Motif. Touché!
What is also remarkable is the electronic transfer option: Paradise conveniently secures your bank routing number and social security number, and will privately and securely, without fail, withdraw vital funds for the duration of your existence, regardless of your economic position. Isn’t that a small price to pay for being at Paradise?
The “Ivory Tower” at Paradise is a misnomer. It’s actually built with pure gold. The underground vaults are filled with solid gold bars, ensuring its endowment for now until Doomsday.
And most remarkably, Paradise, in moment of cataclysmic danger or Doomsday, will soon have the power to seal itself into a concealed and hermetically-sealed dome as thousands of rocket boosters shoot the campus into space where it can orbit in self-contained fashion around the earth for thousands of years until situations on the ground normalize; and then Paradise can take over the cultural, political and religious institutions of the globe.
We hope you have enjoyed your tour of Paradise. Maybe you’ll be like me – an alumnus who can never really ever leave. Hopefully we’ll see you and your federally subsidized money in the fall.