I think it is extremely sad and disgraceful that my predecessors and cohorts in cri-, er, uh, my dear, old friends have been so very, very mean to the person who was the original source of SF...LIS here in..., uh... Um. Well. Anyway, these folks should be ashamed of themselves. Naughty, naughty!
And speaking of Joe...
I came to praise Caes-, er, uh, um, Joe, not to bury him. Not even to burro him. [Writer's note: You had to be there...]
We all need a hero, someone to look up to, someone whose sterling examples can lead us and inspire us to be better drink-, er, um, people. Well, in the nearly thirty years that I've known him, Joe Haldeman has certainly provided a wealth of, um...opportunities...for me as I have stood, humbly, in the shadows of his greatness and observed...and learned.
I teach writing. Joe teaches writing. He taught me. I learned from him that I must give full attention to my students as I read the reams of their mindless drec-, er, uh, um...sincere and delightfully...original...prose. However, I must confess, that even after all these years, I have yet to perfect that proper degree of inebriation that enables me to fully and completely appreciate my job to the fullest.
My bottle's raised to Joe!
Now. Over the years, I, like Joe, have taught thousands of students. Almost as many as Joe has escorted to his room...for his private, special writing lessons. Anyway, since students come in all manner of straps, er stripes and sizes -- 36B is pretty popular -- er, uh, um. (Ahem.) I've noticed that Joe's individualized...tutelage...has survived despite the emergence of a very puzzling phenomenon. Though Joe has remained steadfastly robust and full of hair...(ack! ptooie!), er, on his head, his students curiously grow younger and younger with each passing year. But since he doesn't let that odd trick of entropy distract him, I, too, continue to admire my own locks and firm belly.
Joe has also always been very diligent in admiring and paying close attention to his favorite...pen. So long. So firm. So full of ink... (*ahhh* [sigh]) He holds that favorite...pen...of his so reverently in his hands, revelling in his caress of that finely crafted...instrument...of his as he, uh, er...(whew!) Is it getting hot in here or...?
Anyhoo. Though I have struggled manfully in my teaching career to achieve the level of skill Joe has demonstrated in yielding that...pen...of his, I keep on trying!
Finally, I would be remiss in not acknowledging that Joe Haldeman is truly a teacher's teacher. He has shown me -- indeed, shown us all -- the path to shining excellence in our chosen field of academia. Lot's of lick her [liquor], er, um, booze. Lots of travel. And a school year that is a gruelling, excruciating three months long...