Today was the first day of classes for the spring semester. Since I don’t use real names in this blog, I’m not going to use real names for my professors. Today I had class with my advisor, Dumbledore and a new professor who is already on my shit-list, Paul Giamatti.
Let’s start with Dumbledore first, though. He’s such a genius, he’s my hero. Every time I talk to him it’s like “Dumbledore, impart your wisdom on me.”
Last semester I had a class with him called ethnographic film study. Basically we watched a movie every period, he would lecture and blow our minds with his brilliance, and we would write no more than five essays that were at least four pages long. That class was like Harry Potter Puppet Pals compared to the class I’m taking with him this semester. The class I’m taking this semester is the dreaded “Theories” or Theories of Mass Communication. He also gave us all the “this class will be challenging and rigorous, so don’t think this it will be like all of your other classes where you simply submit the minimum and make it.”
Dumbledore sounds harsh in saying this, grinning like the Cheshire Cat while saying it. But Dumbledore is great for a lot of reasons, for instance he uses words like “taxonomy” (or listing) in his syllabus. He told us he uses words like that because “I will never talk down to you, or anyone. I talk to you like I talk to my colleagues. I also talk to children like this, which is often met with confusion but I don’t really care for them, and so I don’t care.” Dumbledore also told us to work the word “dichotomy” into conversation with our parents, and other people so that they would know for sure we were getting our money’s worth in higher education. In the part of the syllabus about academic honesty, Dumbledore’s only comment was, “Don’t cheat, man. You’ll go to hell. Plus I know when you’re writing and when a scholar is writing.” He then gave us that Cheshire Cat grin again coupled with the “I see right through you all” look.
He also talked about why theories was important and gave us a Leonardo DaVinci quote: “A person enamored of the arts, without having practiced the scientific part, is like a mariner setting sail with neither compass nor rudder, thus having no means of arriving at the wished for port.” Dumbledore told us that Theories was also important because it will teach us more about what we do not know, which seems like a given, but he continued to tell us this: “People are afraid of what they do not know, and making generalizations about anything is ignorant. Are all hispanics lazy? No. Are all muslims terrorists? No. Are all white people fat and stupid? No. Judgmental frames of reference tend toward maximum frames of simplicity.”
After last year completely sucking and me hating college all the time… I’ve finally come back to loving college again and it’s wonderful. Seriously, I love school and always have. Well, except for middle school, everyone pretty much hated that. But having a Dumbledore class two semesters in a row is like… amazing.
Now my next class, with Paul (chosen because he looks like Paul Giamatti), filled me with irrational rage. This class is all about America (effects of slavery, America before white people moved in and ruined everything, what freedom means, what we’ve accomplished, economy, etc.). Aside from my inward grown about this class and having to take it, the professor is in so many words a jackass.
But let me start with the new-fangled boxes of wonder now on the classroom walls when you first enter the classroom in the Political Science and History building. At first, I thought it was a cool idea–you swipe your student ID as a means for taking attendance. Then my professor proceeded to tell us that he blew up the projector in his first class so we wouldn’t be using it today, and we also had to purchase software for this class called TopHat. TopHat, software that I have renamed AssHat, has our student ID attached to it. We will use Asshat to text in answers to our daily quizzes, and will also be used in keeping track of attendance. He told us it costs $20 if we buy it per semester, or $35 if we buy it for five years (I only have one year left, so you can imagine my dilemma). We may or may not have another class that requires AssHat–apparently, the gamble is part of the fun. When I got to the book store to purchase Asshat, I discovered it actually costs $28 and the delightful bookstore employee cheerfully informed me that my professor, “Must have rounded the number, and rounded in the wrong direction.”
Also, attendance for this class won’t be registered unless we have Asshat. So, doing the math, I now have to pay approximately $1.61 for every single class period. Professor AssHat also made a big show of telling us that unlike other professors who forbid cellphone usage in their classes, he was doing us a huge favor by asking us to bring ours to class and use them (to take attendance and answer pointless, busy-work quiz questions). Oh gee, Professor Asshat, THANKS.
Then Professor Asshat continued to go over the syllabus and explained that his format for writing papers is completely different than normal format (like APA, Boston or MLA). But, no fear, if we needed help we could contact this mysterious “Troy” person who has no contact information or last name. He also went over his email policy and told us that if we email him from our phones and don’t delete the “sent from Android/iPhone” that our phones put automatically at the bottom of the email, he will not consider it professional and will not respond to the email. His reasoning for this is, “I treat you all as professionals, and I will always email you back with as much professionalism as I can. By not deleting it, it feels like you are texting me, which isn’t professional.”
Professor AssHat also told us that we will be covering America’s history from the beginning of time up to today (every American History teacher’s goal ever), so “We’ll be flying through the course load starting Wednesday!”
Professor AssHat also tried to make a good case for himself in explaining why we should listen to him in class by telling us all of his credentials. He ruined it when he explained that he went to college with SnoopDog (now SnoopLion) and “several other pro-athletes.” So as a recap, my professor isn’t good with technology (see the projector in classroom 80), he can’t round (see my book store receipt), he has unrealistic course goals (see previous paragraph) and he thinks going to college with SnoopDog/Lion counts for good credentials.
In other news, Jefferson wants to come over and hang out, and spend the night tonight. We had a quick discussion about how he can only come over if he lets me actually sleep since I have class in the morning. And I just lied and said I got called into work so he couldn’t come over. I think I should cut him loose. What do you even say when someone is pestering you about hanging out?
I have a lot of good reasons for wanting to cut him loose too. For one thing, his sex drive is much too high for me and it’s a turn off. For another, he’s cute and I find him attractive… but I’m just not like, “I want you to kiss me. Please. Now.”
Also, he’s wants to be somewhere in five years that I’m not sure I want to be in ten years: married, with a kid on the way. It’s more than the lack of physical chemistry and complimentary five-year plans though. We never have anything to talk about–normally we talk about me, which would be super fun and all except he is so quiet all the time and I’m just like, “You have nothing to say? At all? Why do you want to hang out then? And why do you keep texting me?”
Also… and don’t get your hopes up because mine aren’t… I had the “so what exactly are you wanting” chat with Caesar last night. Bear in mind we haven’t done anything past first base and he hasn’t tried for anything past first base, but I so thoroughly enjoy our conversations and kissing him. Let me mention that he brought up the next time we go out, “we should do something fun that’s not watching Netflix.”
…And the chat about “what are you looking for” in terms of dating, FWBs, Tinder, etc. he said he was looking for a relationship. Like a real one. He also mentioned that he hadn’t been on Tinder in a while because he’s been talking to and hanging out with me so much. I repeat: DO NOT GET YOUR HOPES UP, because I’m not going to. If I’ve learned anything from “being out there” it’s that as soon as you get excited, they will pretty much always let you down in some way. But it would be the universe’s way of laughing at me by having let “love” find it’s way to me as soon as I quit looking for it, would it not?
All in all though today was really good. Caesar invited me to BWW and might come over after, I successfully cut my own bangs this morning, I’m feeling good about my classes today and two different people stopped me and told me I was pretty (the cable guy and one of my room mates friends).