Come gather ’round, students,
We have reached that time
To tell a tale of imprudence:
A chem student and his crime.
Gary Green sat in 209,
Midway though his senior year.
He was scared of the breadline,
Unemployment he did fear.
Green had been a chem master,
The best in his class.
He finished the problems faster,
Many accolades he amassed.
Gary Matter, a chem enterprise,
Was destined to make him rich.
But personal problems did arise,
And Gary boldly decided to ditch.
His former partners completed the mission
And nailed down some sweet jobs,
While Gary made the sad transition
To tutoring high school slobs.
So Gary sat slumped in the library,
Regretting his rash decision.
He whimpered, “All this regret I carry!”
And poverty he envisioned.
But then he overheard a classmate:
“Geez, this Adderall is weak,
I can barely even concentrate,
And my essay’s looking bleak!”
Gary was defeated no longer,
As he devised a devious plan.
If he could make this study drug stronger,
He’d be a wealthy man.
But first he would need a colleague
Who could run the business side.
He knew someone who’d be intrigued:
A deadbeat freshman who supplied.
He swung by the kid’s Carman dorm,
Avoiding the freshmen drinking.
The room was a grimy trash storm,
So he said, “I’ll call you Messy Stinkman!”
Gary explained his proposition:
He needed a seller for his Addy.
Messy asked, “Will I get commission?”
Gary answered, “Of course you will, laddie!”
To John Jay’s kitchen they sneaked
To cook up a potent batch.
Gary said, “Shhh, kid, don’t speak,
Or security will be dispatched!”
Gary’s formula had new ingredients
That packed a concentration wallop.
He told Messy to be obedient
And assist in mixing it all up.
Into the cauldron went CU oddities:
A Heights marg, Ferris coffee, lamb over rice
And then some Butler commodities:
Pencils, printer ink, textbooks (overpriced).
The final touch was some special dye.
Confused, Messy asked, “What’ll that do?”
Gary said, “We need a signature, that’s why,
Look! it’s Columbia blue!”
Messy stopped by Butler the following night,
And passed out dozens of free samples.
“More studying you’ll do, better papers you’ll write!
Come get yours—our resources are ample!”
The trial students were pleasantly surprised
As they zoomed through homework and readings.
Calc problems and Lit Hum books flew by their eyes.
They chanted, “It’s the boost we’ve been needing!”
Rumor of the potent drug propagated,
And soon it was in high demand.
The requests for more flooded in unabated
As students pined for Gary’s brand.
More batches were cooked, the orders were filled,
And the two raked in the returns.
They seized the market at 10 bucks a pill,
Gone were Gary’s financial concerns.
For months the duo sold their creation
And stuffed cash into their pockets.
Meanwhile, using newfound concentration,
The student body’s grades started to rocket.
Come May, Gary tried on his graduation gown,
And boasted, “With this fortune and my degree,
I’ll soon be the subject of chemistry renown
Wait ’til those Gary Matter chumps see!”
The day arrived, and Gary walked up to the stage,
Asking for his diploma with a wide grin.
But PrezBo frowned as he looked at the page,
“You’re not here...” he said, scratching his chin.
“Impossible!” yelled Gary as he checked SSOL.
He’d completed all of his tests.
But a shocking story the site would tell:
Instead of As, all he saw were straight Fs!
“How can this be?” he asked as his high spirits fell.
Then he realized he’d failed to observe
That his powerful Adderall had worked too well:
Everyone had done perfectly, wrecking the curve.
Back to Butler Gary slowly trudged,
And there he lay on a table.
His product’s power he’d misjudged,
And enhanced performances he’d enabled.
Gary still lies there, unwilling to move.
Ask him for Addy and he’ll decline,
Saying, “If you have something you’d like to prove,
Then do it with your natural mind.”
Walker Harrison is a Columbia College senior majoring in applied mathematics and creative writing. Morningside Sleights runs alternate Thursdays.
To respond to this column, or to submit an op-ed, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.