one hundred word story #7

You’re not officially a grad student until you use the word operationalize, a teacher told me once. You’ve got to operationalize the vibrato of staccato piano, and then juxtapose its imperialistic theory of absolute insanity, and you must do it in twenty pages. Just when you think you’re done, you must stand before a jury of people whose job it is to judge you. Because masochism is a requirement for this degree, along with an innate desire to reinvent the aesthetic we will perpetually quiz you on. Good luck, pawn, he said. And then he patted me on the back.