Student Voice


May 26, 2024



Columnist parodies Lent by giving up textbooks

March 5, 2010

Two years ago I was but the clutching seed of the tall, proud sprout I’ve become. Today I look back on my errant past, seeing both encouraging growth and the wayward blunders of youth. Danish savant Soren Kierkegaard (that grizzled thinker with feathered, existential hairbobs and a postmodern chin) once said “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” My understanding of the drifts and tides in my life’s river is sharpened whenever I pull out my old creative productions for post-game analysis. Glenn Beck often assists with his chalk board, he’s such a nice guy.

Recently I glanced at a Voice article I had published two years ago, on the subject of Lent. The season of Lent is upon us once again but regrettably I remembered it late this year because of the Olympics and totally missed Ash Wednesday. Two years ago, I didn’t take Lent seriously. But now at the advanced age of twenty-five, I can’t afford to procrastinate any longer on securing my ticket to Heaven. I’m very sensitive to heat.

I look down upon you under-twentyfivelings and almost feel a sort of pity. You have so much to learn. In these weeks before Easter, why don’t you join me in fasting for awhile? It is after all a time of penance and everyone must do their part in easing the burden of mankind’s sins. Every fraction of that sinful weight that you can help alleviate will make the angels smile. I heard it’s very healthy for the soul, you can lose weight, and you get your God card hole-punched one more notch for not eating. I believe you get free french fries at five punches, but oh, you can’t eat them until the next feast day.

Penance for your corrupt evildoings doesn’t always have to come in the form of fasting. For instance, instead of giving up food you could practice some other system of self-denial to atone for your wickedness. Personally, I rely on food for daily sustenance and nutrition. I feel more alive when I eat food than when I don’t. So I’m inventing a form of abstinence that is more convenient to my lifestyle. I’m giving up all books except for the Bible until Easter Sunday. Yes, I’m sorry professors, but that includes textbooks.

After all, who needs textbooks? Those academic types with their liberal agendas cling to textbooks as a child clutches its pacifier. You’d think those dreary, dusty tomes would help eschew obfuscation. But the truth lies only in the Bible, remember? Duh: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:15-17). Who needs to learn a craft when everything anyone would want to know is all packed into one conveniently abridged book?

Though ranking the Bible above such scum as “Soil Fertility and Fertilizers: An Introduction to Nutrient Management, Seventh Edition” may postpone my academic progress and induction into Barack Obama’s forthcoming socialist New World Order, I believe it’ll be worth those free french fries, sent unto me as manna from Heaven.

Joe Hager is a student at UW-River Falls.


Online Editor on 09 Mar 2010: Joe, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article! Perfect mix of intelligent sarcasm mixed with teenage cynicism. I look forward to reading more of your articles!