Here’s a sneak peek at a scene which didn’t make the final cut of the film script I am currently working on.  I hope you enjoy it!

INT. COLLEGE LECTURE HALL – DAY
Open in philosophy class.
STUDENT #1
Hey, dude, hey.
STUDENT #2
What’s up?
STUDENT #1
Were you in class, on the first day I mean?
STUDENT #2
Yeah.
STUDENT #1
Can I copy your notes?
STUDENT #2
Didn’t take any, the professor never showed.
STUDENT #1
(smirks) Thanks
The PROFESSOR enters.  STUDENT #1 raises his hand.  The PROFESSOR is looking down and shuffling through notes.  STUDENT #1 clears his throat, then louder.
PROFESSOR
Young man, I do not respond to grunts, coughs, or any other form of guttural emissions, and unless you are trying to prove to me that man is slowly returning to his Neolithic origins, I suggest you use words.
STUDENT #1
(caught off guard) I…I was just wondering if this was our first class this semester (beat) you see, the schedule said we had class last Thursday, and no teacher showed up…
PROFESSOR
What’s your name son?
STUDENT #1
Ryan…Ryan Davis.
PROFESSOR
(pause) Stand up Mr. Davis.
STUDENT #1 stands.
PROFESSOR
Before I can answer you’re question, you must answer mine.
STUDENT #1
(Shrugs) Yeah, sure.
PROFESSOR
What is your goal in life Mr. Davis?
STUDENT #1
Ummm…get laid?
Smirks from the lecture hall.
PROFESSOR
I don’t appreciate sarcasm in my classroom Mr. Davis…
STUDENT #1
…I wasn’t being sarcastic…
PROFESSOR
…and furthermore, true or not, the only thoughts I wished to be uttered in my classroom are those thoughts worth being heard in the first place, understood?
STUDENT #1
Yeah…
PROFESSOR
(addressing the class) Now, as all other human beings, Mr. Davis is demonstrating to the rest of us the wonderful phenomenon known as human speech.  As many of you know, human speech has it’s origins in the human brain, correct?  Yet it must be pointed out that while Mr. Davis exhibits the correct faculties in which a brain resides, does he possess the correct motor skills with which to use it? (muffled laughter from the lecture hall) I asked you a simple question Mr. Davis, a question I had hoped you would have answered using anatomy found somewhere in this region (points to head) yet somehow the works got all gummed up, and the question was answered using anatomy quite a bit further south. (muffled laughter) Now correct me if I’m wrong in saying this, but whenever a question is answered using any organ other than one’s brain, the person in question is usually assumed as being…hmmm, I’m drawing a blank…ah yes, there it is, mentally challenged.  Are you mentally challenged Mr. Davis?
STUDENT #1
No sir.
PROFESSOR
Glad to hear it son, glad to hear it.  Now I’m a fan of second chances, so I’m going to ask the question again, hoping of course this time you use the correct anatomy.  What is your goal in life Mr. Davis?
STUDENT #1
I don’t know, get a job I guess, get a wife, have kids…maybe buy some land somewhere.
PROFESSOR
An honorable endeavor Mr. Klein, but now I must ask you…what is your goal in death?
STUDENT #1
I don’t understand the question.
PROFESSOR
You understood the first one son, personally I don’t see a difference!
STUDENT #1
I suppose I haven’t given it much thought.
PROFESSOR
Exactly Mr. Davis, we have an honest answer, why should anyone give a 2 cent rip what happens to them when they die, right?
STUDENT #1 shrugs.
PROFESSOR
But now wait just a minute…something isn’t adding up here…are you a fan of math Mr. Davis?
STUDENT #1
Not particularly.
PROFESSOR
Well humor me, I need the name of a philosopher, any philosopher.
STUDENT #1
Aristotle?
PROFESSOR
Ah yes, Aristotle, a man of great moral aptitude and clairvoyance.  Now Mr. Davis, how long would you wager Aristotle lived, in years?
STUDENT #1
60?
PROFESSOR
Accepted, and when do you say he died?
STUDENT #1
Several hundred years ago?
PROFESSOR
Thousand Mr. Davis, several thousand…now taking into consideration the amount of years he lived compared to the amount of years he’s been dead, mathematically, where should his true concern lie?
STUDENT #1 shrugs.
PROFESSOR
It is the very thing the ancients got right which you are currently getting so terribly wrong Mr. Davis.
STUDENT #1
Whatever. (sits back down)
PROFESSOR
I don’t recall giving you permission to sit son. (STUDENT stands) Now as Mr. Davis has so aptly given way to our first lecture of the year, I believe I will begin class with a story about an ant.  “There was once an ant who lived in an anthill. When he was young, he dreamed of being an astronaut, or perhaps even a cowboy, it didn’t really matter which as long as it was one or the other.  Yet his dream came with no comprehension or reason other than the romantic childish infatuation of something beyond himself, some big iconic image.  The ant thought to himself, ‘If only I could be an astronaut or a cowboy, then I could stamp myself, I could impress myself on the world; I could defy my grand worthlessness in this cosmos by standing out among these other ants!’  But by 20 years he was nervous, by 30 years he was damn right scared, and by 40 years  he’d thrown up his white flag, coming to the terrible realization all that was left to do in life was to eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow he could die!  But no, the ant could not accept that fate, that utilitarian lie, there must be more to his pitiful existence!  So the ant began by trying to find meaning in himself, and was somehow able to convince himself that somewhere buried deep in within his tiny bowels lied the strength to spin the universe on his tiny finger, all he needed to do was believe in himself.  But once again, he’s chasing astronauts and cowboys.  He marched around with his head held high until one inevitable morning he woke up, looked into the mirror, and exclaimed, ‘Oh god, I’m an ant!’  After coming over the initial shock of  reentry, he tried to save his new-found doubt in himself by looking for meaning in the masses.  ‘I am part of something bigger’, he thought, and continued to think until it dawned on him that it didn’t matter whether you had one ant or a hillful of ants, for no matter how he looked at it, you’ve still just got ants!  ‘I need to go bigger still!’ the ant thought, and decided to embrace ideals and beliefs which transcend our cosmos. The infatuation returned to that image he could neither impress on the world nor impress on himself, so it was in turn impressed on something beyond the world and beyond himself.  He gazed and marveled at his great discovery only to be blinded by its artistry, for the cosmic joker named Death was lurking behind the tapestry.  And as a careless footfall occurs without second thought, so too was life crushed out from the ant. He lay there, squeaking and dying in utter misery.  He raised his arm toward heaven and shook his fist with all the vehemence his dying body could muster, only to fall back suddenly- he shook his fist at nothing.  For as his life flashed before his eyes, and he compared himself with the rest of the cosmos, who was he that anyone up there should care for someone as small as an ant?” (pause) “There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody’s expense but his own.” (monologue shift) People cry foul when a rich billionaire sits on his fortune without giving a second thought about those less fortunate, I say let him sit, for what makes one ant any more deserving than the next?  People chase after world peace, saving the environment, perhaps adding 10 years to their lives; they’re chasing astronauts and cowboys.  The ancients got it right Mr. Davis- the only hope we got is something or someone will pity us after death, for if we are to pass into that shadowy realm to find nothing, we truly are the creature most to be pitied.  You ask why I didn’t show up for class last Thursday?  A more important question may be, why the hell does it even matter? (pause) Your syllabi are on the front desk.  The Sartre reading is due next Thursday.  Class is dismissed.

NOTE: The professor in this dialogue is a devil’s advocate, more or less.  He is the antithesis of hope, and is contrasted with the hope the film script ultimately shows in Christ.

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