AISU—As everyone outside of the North Korean prison camps and parts of Communist Cuba knows by now, The Erica Glenn will not be returning to teach choir or direct the performing arts at AISU next year. Ms. Erica has been chosen by Arizona State University (that’s ASU, or AISU without I) to receive the largest scholarship ASU has ever offered, take over the ASU women’s chorus, become a goddess, and pursue her education in choral conducting, all while ASU pays her to do it. Ms. Erica has somehow chosen this over her loving, procrastinating, get-all-the-sucking-out-in-rehearsals (but also sometimes in the performance) middle and high school students. The coin she flipped to make this decision was probably weighted somehow by those heckin ASU people.
Ms. Erica has always been incredibly overqualified for the job she held at AISU, but has used her overqualifications and otherworldly connections to make AISU what it is today: a school that, despite failing miserably at everything, somehow succeeds tremendously at the performing arts.
Because of Ms. Erica, AISU’s performing arts program has had the opportunity to perform with incredible musicians and influential figures such as Erica Glenn. Almost as valuable were opportunities to perform with Dallyn Bayles, Kurt Bestor, Aaron Kenny, That One Guy, and other amazing people, as well as some people who weren’t that amazing but are possibly sort of well-known-ish maybe. Ms. Erica led AISU’s performing arts to undeservingly win countless competitions and awards, from the Utah Shakespearean Festival to the Kurt Bestor Competition to State Music Festivals/Competitions and many more.
Ms. Erica has stuck with AISU’s choirs in times of trial and hardship, usually caused by AISU’s choirs, and helped the choirs get through the hard times and make something of it. From the first showcase for the school during week zero to the latest regional music competition, Ms. Erica didn’t give up on her students (and also probably bribed the judges at regions), and practiced them into being better and slightly more deserving of their accomplishments.
There was a time when AISUers asked hypothetically, almost with a chuckle, “What would AISU be without Ms. Erica?” Now the school must face the horrifying reality: “What will AISU be without Ms. Erica?” And no one is laughing. Truly the school will not be the same without Ms. Erica, who is arguably responsible for all successes and improvements AISU has ever had. In fact, it may well be that without Ms. Erica, AISU becomes, to most observers—including those in Communist Cuba—merely “that school that had the whooping cough outbreak.”
Many students and staff members are expecting AISU to completely shut down not long after Ms. Erica’s announcement. However, in what experts are calling a surprising and risky move, school officials recently announced that AISU will not go hide under a rock somewhere and cry itself to sleep. Instead, plans are to stagger along like a crippled dog and whimper occasionally. Bets on how many days or hours AISU will survive after Ms. Glenn leaves have been circulating throughout the school. Las Vegas has officially placed the over-under at one hour, with most people eagerly taking the under, while others optimistically insist it will last as many as 90 minutes. In anticipation, many staff members and students have already begun looking for greener pastures, such as the Utah Department of Corrections or Alcatraz.
However, some students have a more positive outlook, especially with the news we just received that Ms. Erica’s friend Ms. Sarah will be taking over in Ms. Erica’s place. Ms. Sarah has an impressive resume, and many AISU students hope that she is actually just Ms. Erica in disguise and this whole thing was an elaborate prank gone wrong.
Despite the sense of optimism about Ms. Sarah, Arizona State has reported record numbers of applicants in the past few days, including several AISU students who are nowhere close to graduating. Some students have speculated that this was ASU’s plan all along, and that the school has terminated the recruitment manager, unofficially giving that title to Ms. Erica. In related news, local surgical clinics have reported a sudden increase in men-to-women gender change operations, a trend that is striking similar to the recent increase in the number of audition requests for ASU’s women’s choir.
Ms. Erica has done more for AISU than anyone can ever repay her, and she’ll do the same for ASU. One day, when she is conducting the Mormon Tabernacle Choir or something bigger than that (which is hard to imagine, but then, we once thought the same about the AISU gig), as well as singing every part by herself, and taking whatever she does to unimaginable heights, the one consolation for her former AISU students will be that we can say, with a smile on our face and a song in our heart, “We heard it here first.”