Friday, February 24, 2006

Hyun's Rant Revisited

Okay, so we had to do this writing exercise for screenwriting, where we create one character and basically have them give this long monologue. I decided to go back to that little talent show piece I wrote for Hyun last year and expand upon it. And here is the new version 2.0 below. Now, let me remind you that, especially this new version, is only loosely based off our beloved Hyun J. Chun, and while it may remind you of her a lot, this is a fictional character I created. So not everything in here will relate to our Hyun. She was just a starting point. And no one can use this without my permission except the Hyun herself. Or else I'll sue the pants off you for plagiarism. Because I could use the money.

Sorry if the formatting comes out a little funky. I did what I could. Oh, and there's strong language. Ashley.

Hyun's Rant: Version 2.0


The fluorescent lit basement room, filled with crooked tables, chairs, and ratty couches is completely empty, except for one desk in the corner. HYUN J. CHUN (20) sits at the tiny desk, which is stacked high with piles of science textbooks, notebooks, a printer, a computer, and an assortment of pens.

Hyun keeps banging her head on the open book in front of her, finally stopping and letting out a long SIGH.

Will it really, honestly matter in my life, if I can recite the Krebs cycle from memory? I want to be a doctor, not a fucking herbologist. Forty thousand dollars a year and all I’ll be able to remember five years from now is xylem and phloem. Shit, I can’t even remember what they are now. But that’s what you have to do when you’re pre-med. Take every goddamn science course known to man. At least that’s what I thought. Now, after my schedule is set, my advisor keeps telling me med schools are looking for more “well-rounded” applicants. Like, History or English majors, instead of Bio and Chem. Yeah, an English major would make a great doctor. Doctor! This man’s temp is up, his BP down, and he’s bleeding from his spleen. Can you save him? No, but I can recite him Shakespeare!

She leans back and closes the book in front of her.

I’m just getting so sick of it all, and there’s no one I can bitch to. My friends have heard it all before, and if I keep burdening them with my depressing-ness, I’m not gonna have friends. I wonder if I could get a BA in Bitching. Probably in Gallatin. My thesis would be so fucking easy.

She turns to the imaginary panel in front of her.

Hello, my name is Hyun J. Chun and I’m here to bitch. Bitch about my 8 am classes, bitch about my 10 hour labs, and most of all bitch about being pre-med in general.
She gets up out of her chair and starts pacing about the room.

The life of a pre-med. You might think you have it bad, but you know nothing. Nothing, unless you also happen to be a pre-med. Oh, it’s not so bad, they say. I’ll get to be a doctor one day and make three times as much as those tormentors they call professors. Yeah, that’s only if I live that long. Long enough to pass my goddamn fucking mid-terms, to get into some med school that isn’t the equivalent of a New Jersey Area Community College. Which at this point isn’t a likely possibility.

She rushes back to her desk and flips through the stacks of books and papers, until she finds the sheet she’s looking for.

I got an “Early Intervention” letter from CAS. The one they send you if you get a D on your mid-terms. Mid-terms! Grades that shouldn’t even fucking matter.

She crumples up the paper and throws it at the wall.

Like NYU really cares about what grades I have. They only care about you if you don’t send’em their check. My professors told me that since I got a “D” I need to study harder. Take time aside and go down to the study room once in awhile.

Hyun pauses, lets out a long SIGH.

I live in the fucking study room. I don’t even know what floor I’m supposed to live on. I don’t remember my roommate’s name or what she looks like, and I lived with her last year. I don’t even know if I live in this goddamn building. I could live in Water Street for all I know. My neighbor passed me in the hall the other day. She looked surprised and told me she thought I had left school.
But I do have a good little set-up here. I have this little desk in the corner. My nice stack of books, paper, computer, printer. And I have gotten used to sleeping without a bed. My Calc III book is so thick, it makes a great pillow for me, and the best part is when I fall asleep, my drool marks the spot where I stopped studying. So when I wake up 4 hours later with no clue where the hell I am, I can look up, shake away my glazed-over-deer-in-headlights look, and go right back to studying. And it’s not like sleeping helps, either. All I can see when I close my eyes are giant mitochondria with the head of Prof. Schiccitano chasing me through the Silver Center Chem labs, screaming, “Take the derivative! Take the derivative!” Then I go to work. The only reason I have a job is that it looks good on my med school applications. It’s not like I have time to spend any money. And where do I work? Some place where I can escape my scientific torment?

Hyun lets out a little bit of crazed LAUGHTER and plops herself down on one of the couches.

I work in a bio lab where I spend all day growing microscopic worms in bacteria petri dishes, feed them to large macroscopic worms, that I have to cut up and grow fungus on in other petri dishes. All for the great Work Study sum of six dollars an hour. Then when I’m not studying or working, I get to volunteer at Bellevue. Another piece of advice from my advisor. I get to give smelly, homeless crack addicts a fake flu shot while trying to keep them from jamming their tongues down my throat because it’s been so long since they’ve seen a “real woman.”

She lays down on the couch.

I think drugs would help. Yeah, maybe get a good deal on Ritalin from some pimped out Sternies. That would work except that I don’t even have time buy any fucking drugs.

She rolls off the couch and sits on the floor.

I do have one part of my life that’s not science related. One little class called Con West. Oh Con West. Everyone loves Con West. Now, it wouldn’t be that bad except I’ve taken so many science and math courses, I don’t remember how to write. Last week I handed in a paper written in binary. For some reason my prof handed it back and gave me an extension. But I think it was because when I gave it to her I wasn’t blinking and had a small chain of drool dribbling down my chin.

She stands up and starts to walk back over to her desk. She hears someone WALK down the hallway, and excitedly freezes. When the footsteps pass, she slumps her head and goes back to the desk.

Every Saturday night I break down and cry. What the fuck am I doing with my life? Can all of this really be fucking worth it? And if it’s not, what else can I do? Fuck, I’m Asian! All I can do is science or play the piano. And I refuse to become a Tischie. There’s no way in hell you will get me to wear leg warmers.

She sits down at the desk and TAPS her fingers on the book.

My parents have no idea what I’m going through. They just want me to be happy I’m in a country where corporal punishment in schools is mostly illegal. In Korea, we used to get hit with this stick for every answer we’d get wrong on a test. Ha. Could you imagine if they did that here? You wouldn’t have to ask anyone how they did on a test. Hey, did you see Paul? Yeah, he looks fine, lucky bastard. Ooo. Elaine didn’t do so hot. Check out that scar. Where’s Hyun? In a coma.

She looks at her cell phone.

Oh, my parents. My father came over first, illegally, in the bottom of a boat or some shit like that. Which would be cool except any rebel anti-establishment attitudes he used to have disappeared as soon as he became an American. My mother, in typical Korean fashion, keeps asking why I don’t have a boyfriend. Dude, I don’t even have time to take a shower, let alone meet any guys. Yeah, so there’s the guys in my classes, but have you seen them? Fuck. I don’t know who’d wanna hit that. Unless you find pimples and pocket protectors insanely hot. I’m not that desperate. Yet. I should just tell mom I’m a lesbian. So what if I’m not. Maybe it would get her to shut up for once. Either that or she’ll scream and cry and ask what she did wrong in raising me. I better not. Besides, we’re Catholic. Or Protestant. Or, I don’t know. Apparently we’re supposed to be religious. Or not. I mean, they cancelled Christmas. My parents. My brother and I came downstairs that bright, glorious morning. No tree, no gifts. Not even a fucking newspaper. They used to always get us a newspaper. Nope. They just sat there and told us they didn’t feel like doing it this year. My poor, adolescent brother. He still believed in Santa Claus. Well, not after that.
Christ! What time is it?

She checks her watch.

Oh. Only three a.m. Good. I still have 5 hours til my organic chem test. Well, four if you count the fact that I haven’t eaten in three days so I have no energy to move and it’ll take me an hour to walk there.

She opens her book, then stands up and heads to the door.

I need to go stab myself in the eye with a spork. Then I’ll get back to studying. Since it’s all I have.

She exits the study room, leaving her chaotic desk all alone.

The End.


At 3:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Um, I vaguely remember telling you all my stories in this monologue. I don't think this is "loosely" based on me in any way. It's like me. It IS me. around 5am in the study room. Good addition with the desk and stuff. It adds more character and less bitching and moaning which was just about the extent for the 1st draft. Man, I feel so special. I'll rub it in Ash's face.

At 1:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Hyun tried to rub it in my face but then I gave her a friendly reminder that while she was the inspiration for the monologue, I was one you cared enough about to warn (regarding the excessive profanity).
I found the monologue to be highly amusing. Especially this part: "Where's Hyun? In a coma." I was laughing at that for so long - while Hyun was in the room. She didn't think I should find it so funny. But good job!


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