Monday, October 16, 2006

Class #13

5:15 Professor mentions shortening days. Expresses regret over loss of light during class time.
5:16-5:18 Professor takes show of hands to see who’s done reading. Discusses nature of readings complementing each other, and suggests we read one piece “IN CONJUNCTION WITH” the other.
5:19 “What happens in this story?” “What is this story about?”
5:20 Professor admits to omitting words randomly from sentences. Compares class to “canaries in a coal mine.”
5:21 External door has begun to bother Professor. Closes door. “What happens in this story?” Ooh, a new approach—“what’s the problem that sets this story off?”
5:22 He’s been in the room for seven minutes. But there was scribbling on manila!
5:25 I just heard “Andrew Jackson” mentioned. Apparently we’re listening to “that guy” tell us an anachronistic historical anecdote.
5:27 Professor become confused by student’s use of word “explanation” in question. Asks her to repeat it twice
5:30-5:31 Professor pauses mid-sentence, begins thirty seconds of total silence. Writes on manila folder. Punctuates silence with “uh. Oh, I know.” Another 15 seconds of total silence.
5:32 What the fuck is he writing? We’ve got to steal a goddamn folder one of these days.
5:33 Professor singles out several students at random and accuses their parents of exploiting tax loopholes. Mention of second paper. Still not assigned, by the way.
5:34 Professor assigns sections of his book to read. Becomes confused over whether he wrote the introduction or the conclusion. Unable to decide.
5:36 Another twenty seconds of silence. It looks like he’s drawing some kind of diagram, maybe?
5:38 Oh, no way. Another twenty seconds swallowed by the mouth of the manila God.
5:40 Professor just pushed me. Literally. This was part of an effort to get class to come up with phrase “pressure groups.”
5:41 Professor admits to hating freshmen.
5:42 Lyndon Johnson is still “important.” Professor implies that his class is not very easy and naturally selects a cross-section of undergraduates that are “a cut above” the average. Looking around the room, especially at “that guy”, I question the accuracy of this.
5:43 Professor asks about the “picture” of American politics. Stares at the seating chart.
5:45 Professor tells “old joke” about life in the shtetl. Point is ENTIRELY unclear.
5:46 Professor has difficulty understanding “last three sentences” of student’s comment. Observes inexplicability of difficulty, as student is not “fast and slick, from Chicago.”
5:50 Student’s concern that comment may be tangential prompts Professor’s response of “if it’s not helpful, I’ll ignore it. If it is, we’ll go off on it.”
5:53 Professor’s daughter, while in high school, “never went out with an Anglo boy. Man. Man-child.”
5:55 Ooh, shtetls mentioned again! Beginning to question whether finishing this course is at all worth picking up the major.
5:56 Boyfriend to professor’s daughter in high school had “the most beautiful mouth I’ve ever seen.” Apparently he looked like Michaelangelo’s David. Professor tries to get several students to take an art history course with him.
5:57 Professor asks student to pass toothpicks to another student before stopping himself and remembering that “women don’t chew toothpicks.”
5:58 Professor bemoans loss of professional wrestling on television. Sings praises of get-rich-quick real estate infomercials.
5:59 Ingmar Bergman and tax scandals.
6:01-6:02 “That guy” suggests that one way affirmative action could have been stopped would have been to have Congress expand the benefits of affirmative action to all people, thus negating any advantage it would otherwise confer.
6:03 Professor trichotomizes his oeuvre by color of the respective covers of books.
6:04 “What is this story about?
6:05 Professor suggests that one student get a blood test to check her metabolism. Offers to give other student “his shot.” Begins to bemoan similarity of many of the students’ names in the class.
6:06 Professor attacks political correctness, wonders if disabled Americans will attack phrase “lame duck” and demand “handicapped duck.”
6:07 “If there was a riot in New Orleans, what would Bush have done? OPENED THE FLOODGATES!!”
6:08-6:09 Professor apparently dislikes “artistic” photographs. Expresses confusion and frustration about black Americans being patriotic.
6:10 Professor urges class to take any legal stimulants before coming to class. Suggests “a sip of tea, a nice watercress sandwich,” mentions that he would buy class food if he could afford it. I ask him to repeat comment verbatim.
6:11-6:12 Professor takes toothpick from student, reads label: “teatree therapy,” checks with student to ensure that he will not have an adverse reaction. Reminisces about time student left three joints in his classroom.
6:12 Professor tells story about varsity athlete who discovered marijuana, “had the munchies for two years and became a blimp, or at least blimpish.” Observes that we at least don’t look stoned, just tired.
6:13 Professor expresses amusement at fact that I’m taking down his comments word for word. Oh, if he only knew. Scribbles on manila. Discards, finds new manila, scribbles.
6:14 We’re half a class behind, apparently? He’s still dismissing us now—in fairness, he’s doing it because he feels badly for all of us being lethargic. Let nobody say that our Professor is not benevolent and sympathetic.


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