Congratulations on making it this far in the semester. You do not deserve anything. Nothing at all, but university policy requires that all students get let out-like a dog-so enjoy. Be free, you earned it for managing three months straight without setting your hair on fire. But just because you do not have to see me, does not mean you can quickly slide back into your mongoloid modes of life. No. You will have a homework assignment.

If you have made plans to leave campus, you will need to contact those you expect on meeting and/or the airliner and notify them that you have homework and are unable to smoke drugs with them until the assignment is completed in full. Failing to complete this assignment in full will be yet another reason you will not pass this course. Since we meet three times a week, you're homework will also be broken into three full days of work.

Day 1. Listen to all the speeches (pay special attention to mine) given at the National Conference of Mad About You Studies (1994). The conference lasted two days, so you will need to start early. The speeches are available on laser disc in the library on hold. You may check out the disc for up to one hour at a time. You must provide your own laser disc player.

The next phase of this project requires you to be in groups. It will take four of you to comprehend my ideas, so this will help your brains from being overtaxed. Despite my busy schedule, I have taken the time to split you all into fours, and the sheet is taped to my office door. You will need to find a way to contact each other, but I have pretty much done all the real work.

Once together, I expect you to reinterpret the course readings in the style of any season two episode of Mad About You. The new version must then be acted out and recorded. While I expect you to analyze the themes and motivations of the original critical essays, you must also maintain the character aims of Paul and Jamie. Though content is the most important aspect of the film, I will also pay attention to certain aspects of production value: What do the sets look like, how is the lighting, who is the best boy grip?, etc.

Day 2. I want you to wake up as the light begins to crack over your apartment complex, and go outside. Once there, I want you to stare at the sun. Watch it rise above everything. Stare at it until the back of your eyes hurt from the brightness and tears stream down your face, and then I want you to keep looking. This is what you wanted. Your spring break. A chance for you to worship the sun's power, as if, some how, a week with it will grant you some untapped ability. It will not. Though you act like a weed in the academics-forcing your way unwittingly through class after class, ruining the true promise of the institution-you must learn that the sun is not going to help you.

As the sun reaches the zenith, I want you to think about me. Think about my speech at the National Conference of Mad About You Studies. Think about how smart I sound in lectures. Think about how regal I look in tweed. Think about how much better I am than you, your father, anyone in your lineage. Think about that. Think about what I did and you will not do. As sun crushes down on your retinas from its peak, I want you to think about us, how mad about me you are. Then you can go inside.

Day 3. As soon as you can comfortably take the ice packs from your eyes, begin writing. In fifteen pages I want you to write a proposal on how you will improve your life. Think about me, think about the amazing literary importance of Mad About You. These great resources can help you conjure a semblance of ambition. If you still feel lost, read Phil Donahue's book Donahue: My Own Story for guidance on how to organize your narrative ideas. The paper should be organized like all other assignments for my class: .25 margins, 10.5 font, single spaced. If your vision is slightly impaired, it should be noted that you never really used them for anything worthwhile.

The recorded play and your paper need to be on a zip disc and slid under my office door by Thursday. The grade will be broken down 20% play, 20% 15 page paper, 60% unknown quantifier.

– Ian "Salmon Season" Golding (@iggolding)

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