Portrait of This Year’s Student Body

David Galef offers a poetic take on the current crop of students in his classes.

September 20, 2019

Several genders, two tattoos

(abstraction and political views),

mostly eighteen-through-twenty-fives,

though some as old as rare archives,

polymorphous, many-eyed,

hair cut short and sometimes dyed,

highly conscious of their weight,

often looking for a date,

semi-addicted to caffeine,

completely glued to any screen,

posture crooked, prone to slouch,

love to lie on any couch,

susceptible to colds, depression,

and emotional regression,

overworked and underpaid

in internships with little aid,

idealistic in beliefs,

though they’ve got their share of griefs,

pulse rates steady, though apt to spike

during a tuition hike,

emotional but also brainy,

inclined toward concepts cool and zany,

performance art plus economics,

or Shakespeare’s plays in serial comics,

young at heart (how could they not be?),

low self-esteem but can be snotty,

may get giddy in a bunch

but snore in class if after lunch,

extremely easy to offend

but just as simple to befriend,

impatient for the times to change,

eager to increase their range,

poised to take the world by storm

as soon as they fill out the graduate form,

but unsure if they really merit

this awkward era they’ll inherit.


David Galef directs the creative writing program at Montclair State University. His latest book is Brevity: A Flash Fiction Handbook, from Columbia University Press.


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