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Excerpts From Professor Parkins’ Introduction To Magical Arts 1403 Lecture

Gerald Parkins, Ph.D. (but really, please, call him Ged) is probably the best Gen. Chem professor out there, only because of his in-class magic tricks. What better way to ensure that your students are sufficiently mind-fucked than by confusing what little sanity they had left with some *spicy* magic demos? Card tricks, sawing TAs in half…what if Parkins had been able to fulfill his dreams of being a professional magician instead of having to be just a tenured chemistry professor? Here’s fanfiction written in the style of your weird 7th-grade creative writing phase that you’ve forcibly repressed.

Professor Parkins carefully held up the dove in his left hand. The class, a 320-person lecture filled with a mix of overeager CC pre-meds, jaded SEAS first-years, and exactly 7 GS students sitting in the front row, watched with bated breath. Students drifted off the edge of their anti-ergonomic wooden seats, nonchalantly waiting to see what trick Professor Parkins would try to introduce next. 

“Now class, there are few things to note when working with live animals during a show. Most importantly…” pointing to the white excrement that had already been splattered across the tabletop, “Only feed them after the show”. The class, still groggy, chortled with half-hearted laughter. 

Ged sighed, lamenting how unimpressed this zoomer generation of students had become. Several of them were still on their phones, completely tuned out. “You know, when I was your age, I didn’t have any textbooks to learn from. I had to come up with my own tricks. From scratch. Houdini was still a baby! David Copperfield was my protégé!” 

Professor Parkins collected himself and tried to get back into the lesson. The next demonstration would be a simple disappearance exercise. Trapdoors, magic smoke, falling curtains – the possibilities were truly endless. The success of the trick, as always, lay in the execution. 

“First, I’m going to need a volunteer.” The class, still wary from the last mishap with disappearance demonstrations, remained silent. Students looked around, daring someone to raise their hands. As if on cue, a trembling student knocked over her Hydroflask™ onto the hardwood floor. With a painfully slow rhythm, it rolled down one step after another, each time sounding a cringe-inducing clang that echoed throughout the lecture hall. 

Finally, it rolled to a stop at none other than Professor Parkins’ feet. “Ah, how serendipitous! Would the owner of this bottle please step down to the front of the room? Yes, right on that red ‘X’ in the center, please. Just wait there.” Sheepishly, the student scurried down to the front of the room and stood in front of the class. 

Ged stepped up to the blackboard and began writing: The Art of Misdirection – Successful Disappearing Acts and Common Mistakes to Avoid.

Students began murmuring. “Is he seriously writing in Comic Sans?” one of them whispered. “No seriously, it’s like an exact, perfect imitation of Comic Sans font. How the fuck are we supposed to read what he’s writing?” Confused, they studied his words intently, attempting to decipher this foreign script. 

Ged put down the chalk and turned back to the class. “Young apprentices, rest assured that my use of Comic Sans was absolutely intended to confuse you. But alas, your attention has successfully been diverted!” Professor Parkins pointed to the center of the room. The student volunteer had disappeared without anyone realizing. Stunned, the students looked around all corners of the poorly-designed auditorium, unable to find a trace of the volunteer except for a single laptop with S4E1 of Riverdale still playing in a minimized window. 

“Do I have your full attention now? Good, because here’s where it’s going to get interesting. Projected on the screen are four common methods of bringing the volunteer back. Only one of the answers is correct. Choose wisely – if you don’t pick the right answer, she won’t reappear.” 

“Ready? Let’s click”, Ged said with a mischievous smirk. 

art via bwog staff

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