By Glenn A. Hascall


A monolgue that takes a look at an institute of higher education that we all must attend - whether we want to or not. This dramatic reading invites others to identify with the need for friendship at U.H.K. (University of Hard Knocks).


READER (Male or female).


READER: I can't remember exactly when I enrolled, but it was a long time ago. In fact now that I think about it, I didn't actually enroll - someone else signed me up and I haven't been able to get out of the educational loop yet.
I guess I have learned a lot in my decades long relationship with this school, but it's frustrating not to be able to sign up for classes I would like to take. I'm put in classes that I never would have signed up for and I'm forced to learn things that I wish I didn't have to.
What's really unique about this institute of higher education is that I have one Teacher, but many instructors. In fact, just when I think I know who is providing the lesson, another instructor takes over and they never teach the same way.
Then there are the tests. I'm never told when I will need to take one. At the most peculiar times an exam is required and I'm forced to take it whether I'm ready or not.
Talk about lonely. In most of my classes it seems that I am the only student enrolled, but when I fail a test (and I've failed many) it appears that everyone knows about it. There are those who willingly share the burden of  failure, while others don't even try to hide their disdain.
I am told that graduation day could come at any time, but many of those attending UHK are well past retirement age.
Somehow it just doesn't seem fair. I know many people who have attended other colleges and they graduate in just a few years. Yet I wonder if I'll ever get beyond the freshman courses.  But then again, I have seen others here that have attended other colleges and universities. They are going through the some of the same courses I am going through.
I'm beginning to think that everyone must attend UHK at some point in their lives. I've seen my dad and mom here as well as my children. Even my wife/husband tells me about the classes she's/he's taking.
Occasionally I attend classes at my place of employment, other times in locations as diverse as a city street, while talking on the telephone, or at the scene of an accident. Sometimes my entire family attends the same class at the same time and some do better on the tests than others.
I never would have chosen to attend UHK, but I know I'm a better person because of it. In fact, I have even been allowed to be an instructor in a few cases. Surprisingly, I'm not exactly thrilled with being an instructor either. Sometimes my children must attend my classes and it breaks my heart when they fail a course, but they have passed some crucial exams and I am very proud of them.
Perhaps I'll see you around the hallowed halls of this institution for we need each other here at the University of Hard Knocks.
(Fade to black )
Copyright 2003 by Glenn A. Hascall
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