>>> The Rollercoaster of Drama
By staff writer Simonne Cullen
January 25, 2004
I had an epiphany recently: I hate attending classes that have nothing to do with my major. I have no idea how in the hell I ended up at a liberal arts school, but I did, and now I am forced to take classes from subjects I hate—like science, mathematics, anthropology, and psychology. You know, everything we had to take in high school only more in-depth, with a 20-page research paper requirement, and five extra books that have a combined cost higher than my tuition.
The largest class I've had so far was thirty people, and my smallest was six. My friend Jamie, who attends the University of Illinois, lives college life a little differently than me. Her biggest class was 800 and her smallest was 50. Both of these seating arrangements have their pros and cons. I may be getting in-depth knowledge on the molestation of livestock in early America, but Jamie's professor isn't mentally taking attendance to see who shows up to hear about it. And while she can opt to be lazy and blend in with the crowd, I'm forced to contribute to discussions at least five times. Because at liberal arts school participation is worth more than that 20-page paper.
God I hate discussions. I hate sitting around with a random assortment of people and being forced to give my own opinion. A lot of other people feel this way about discussion in general, but if you neglected to read the material then you hate it even more. And then there's always that one girl who thinks she's an expert because she's decided to make gender studies her major. And believe me, she will look at your lazy, unmotivated ass disdainfully. Apparently we're all dumb for not understanding the allegorical references in Robin Hood, and its homosexual overtones where England is concerned. Listen feminazi, I'm just taking this class because I need to graduate and it was in the afternoon. Now, I haven't seen the movie in a while, but I'm pretty sure Kevin Costner was trying to hook up with that Maid Marian chick and not Morgan Freeman.
I'd like to see the mentioned genius in one of my acting classes. Watching my overdramatic theater professors go to town critiquing them like Steven Spielberg would. “No! I don't think he understands where your motivation is coming from. Use the Stanislavski Method you fool! Be the cow. Embrace the cow. Down on all fours. Now let me hear you Moo. That was okay, but intensify it more. Now Moo—moo like you don't feel like giving milk today. Once more MOO with feeling. I said FEELING!”
Wow. That was just really weird. Yet if you've ever taken an acting that was class completely realistic.
Back to those crappy discussions. They aren't so bad during a three hour class. It's a nice break from the monotone lecture, but now you're actually forced to participate. You need to share your thoughts about women's suffrage in early America with five other students. Who, by the way, also didn't read the material—oh and then there's always that one foreign exchange student who stares at the floor the entire time hoping you won't ask her anything because she can't let anyone find out that she doesn't even speak English.
That Legally Blonde movie is seriously misleading. Everyone in the movie has a laptop and is taking extensive notes. Maybe it's just because I'm going to school in the sticks, but we're all still operating with pens and notebooks here people. Except that one kid who has decided to advance his academic note-taking capabilities by toting his mini-computer to class and tick tick ticking away for an hour and fifteen minutes. I'm sure he's onto something though because while the professor thinks he's taking ample notes, and we're all doodling in our notebooks, he is playing one very badass game of Snood.
I love the rebel that takes on the professor in an intellectual argument. This is pure entertainment value people. It's great to see a professor and student go head to head on the subject if the student is smart, but it's even better when the student is as dumb as Jenna Jameson is horny. This guy rarely speaks, but when he does it's going to be a battle of wits that usually ends in the student revealing that he's watched the movie instead of reading the book.
For example, when I visited UW-Madison as a high school senior I heard an English professor state the obvious, that the bad guy in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing was the prince's brother. All of a sudden a hand shot up and this kid defiantly insisted he was not. Arguing ensued for 20 minutes until the guy let it slip that Keanu and Denzel were two different races, making it an impossibility for them to be related. I don't know what was worse, my t-shirt being more expensive than his education or that he went pre-med.
I have this one professor who looks really saddened when she asks us for questions and all we ever do is stare at her blankly. Sometimes I can almost see the tears welling up, ready to fall down on the cold, hard, unresponsive floor.
I also had a professor who was so passionate about her subject that I felt bad and tried to become interested in geology. But after slipping and sliding down 30 mud-infested feet of forest during one of our labs I didn't feel so bad about putting out my blank stare anymore.
The worst professors are the ones who feel it's necessary to look at their list of people and call out a name at random. This is when we all wish we went to big schools with lecture rooms that hold 400 people. That way when your name is called out all you have to do is blend in and pretend you didn't come to class that day. But not here at good old LU—our professors know us so well that they trust us to baby-sit their offspring.
My philosophy professor freshman year had the most annoying habit though: he loved calling out my name and waiting for an answer I didn't have. Now a classmate of mine baby-sits his kids, and can't figure out why they have this stranger urge to Moo. Hey, don't look at me, I dunno!
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