“Suggestions,” by Mazi Kazemi

May 16th, 2012 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

To the makers of the SAT:

My name is Steve Garret. Yes, THAT Steve Garret. Undoubtedly, you are already familiar with my most popular works, such as: The Selected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge Steve Garret (1798-1830), The Bible (Book of Love) [Not commercially available], and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Audiobook). You might be wondering, “Why has Steve Garret taken precious moments out of his busy life to contact US?”

You might also be surprised to know, I am aware that your little “examination” exists, and I have some words on how it could be improved. You see, I have been exposed to the SAT for many years. When I was a young boy, I too took this test. I am proud to say I received a remarkably high score, somewhere between 0 and 1600, despite the ritual blood-letting I undertook halfway through. I was aware, even then, as a green-behind-the-ears, 26 year old high school senior that not all my peers would make such short work of the exam.

Growing up with 4 younger siblings (Pat [1974-1977], Matt [Dec 31st, 1976-Jan 1st, 1977], Anshu [1980- Whereabouts unknown], and Staci-XXX [???-???]), I was able to gaze upon them and sympathize with their stress over the test. Since then, after my writing career REALLY took off, I reared 5 children of my own: 3 by my 1st wife and 2 by the woman in the cupboard under my garage stairs. Before my controversial parenting practices came under fire, and the children were taken away, I had begun to groom them for the SAT. (I believe in an off-branch of the Montessori system. You feed only one child a day. When you do, said child must stand against the kitchen wall and have porridge flung at him from across the room with an unwashed ladle).

As you can see, I have considerable expertise in preparing for the assessment. Luckily for you, I have but a few suggestions that I think will considerably improve the quality and effectiveness of your product.

1. Relatable statistics. Students like to see numbers they can actually relate to. Sample question:

50% of marriages end in divorce. Your friend Billy’s mother and father enjoy regular sex. Therefore,

a. Your parents are divorced
b. Your parents will divorce
c. It’s not your fault
d. It is your fault

2. Word usage. One of the biggest problems I see in young writer(s) who approach me with their work is actually quite a basic one. Too often I see “their” confused with “there” and other stupid blunders. Sometimes simply asking students to use words in a sentence will engrain those words’ proper meaning in there minds. Sample question:

Use the words niggardly, fag (cigarette), and bitch (dog) in a paragraph. Please set your writing in a YMCA in pre-Martin Luther King Jr.-era Memphis.

3. History. I’ve noticed that your reading section often contains boring or irrelevant writing. Make it useful, and the students will pay more attention. For instance:

My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice… And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.”

—Adolf Hitler, in a speech on 12 April 1922 (Norman H. Baynes, ed. The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, pp. 19-20, Oxford University Press, 1942)

1. Welche Religion hat unser Erzähler Praxis?
2. Warum ist das Pronomen “Ihn” kapitalisiert?
3. Who is RESPONSIBLE for the death of Christ?

4. Essay prompts that are more relevant to high school seniors. Sample prompt:

Imagine, if you will, standing in the sterile, small box that is Grandma NaNa’s new room. The constant gaze of the uniformed nurse burns a hole in your back as you approach your NaNa. But her mind is ravaged and ruined by the FUCKING ALZHEIMER’S, and she hasn’t remembered your name since freshman year. You sit staring at each other, and the silence hurts more than unknowing eyes looking back at you. You even wore the sweater she knit you one especially cold summer. Just one more try, please, remember, please… NaNa… PLEASE… WHY… DO YOU NOT LOVE ME ANYMORE… YOU KNOW ME…

Discuss this scenario in the context of global warming.

Anyway, before I prattle on, let me shelve the ideas and say, these are but a few of my thoughts. I’m sure you want hear more so please be in touch. Visiting hours are 1-3 Mon.-Thurs.


Samuel Taylor Coleridge Steve Garret


Mazi says: “My name is Mazi Kazemi, full-time student, yet I’m afraid I may have already lost the reins to my life. It may be meandering in some misbegotten direction, for all I know. Sometimes I write things down; call it a paper trail, if you will, and I don’t think I could stop writing, even if I wanted to.”

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