Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Move Along

I had my second day of classes today. I want to make a big deal out of being back in college, with, like, the general population again, but I can't get worked up about it. I mean, I've been taking courses all summer, and compared with taking a collegiate level statistics course in four weeks (I made a B, by the way!), how hard could this all possibly be?

I'm taking Macroeconomics, Intro to the Catholic Church (going to a Catholic university has its...downsides...this one's being that I'm required to take so many religion and philosophy courses just to graduate that I might as well just get a minor in each), some literary criticism course, and The 19th Century Novel. They all seem more or less do-able, and I'm sure I can glean enjoyment (or at least motivation to do the course work) from each of them in some way. My impressions specifically are:

My econ professor seems pretty friendly. Of course, he's like 100 years old, but where Montgomery Burns took the...Montgomery Burns approach to aging, this guy took the Santa approach. Which is encouraging! Then again, it's economics. Then again, I took it in high school and quite enjoyed it! Then again, it's ECONOMICS.

Theology is going to be far and away the most difficult to get into: I went into the course thinking that it would be no problem to just treat it like a history lesson. I like history. I would prefer to think of it as a fiction story but then we're treading in dangerous waters: if I think of it that way, then I'll treat it that way, and if I treat it that way, I'm going to one day lose track of the fact that my prof is a priest and say something offensive, like I almost did this summer in my philosophy class:

Prof (discussing Greek myths): "So a reinterpretation of this myth would be mind-blowing to the Greek culture. Can anyone think of a myth that we all believe today that could be reinterpreted?"
Priya: "Well, the basis of Christianity?"

But I didn't say that out loud, of course. I looked up just in time and saw the sculpture of Jesus on the cross that the school has on the wall in every classroom and remembered where I was. If only I was always so lucid in the moment - I said "fuck" in front of the priest that officiated Lauren and John's wedding...in the church...standing right in front of the altar. And I didn't just say it. I said it enthusiastically. As in, "Fuck yes, there is going to be a bachelorette party."

ANYWAY. The prof (who is a priest!) had us all bow our heads and say the Lord's Prayer to start the class off. And it's been years since I've heard it, but I still knew all the words, and they were still on the tip of my tongue when I closed my eyes. But I don't think it would be respectful to say those words I don't believe in the presence of people who are actually praying just to fit in or indulge a reflex. I certainly wouldn't appreciate it if someone cheapened my prayer that way. They say that God can hear every individual voice, but I'm sure it helps the people who believe if I keep my spam prayers out of it.

So. Those were my classes yesterday. Today I had the lit-crit and 19th century novel. The literary criticism course seems like it'll be really interesting: the prof said today that it was mostly theory which...I don't know what that means, but I tend to like the theoretical more than the practical...except when we're talking about macing someone, of course. Then fuck the hypothetical. The lit-crit prof is really cute, she's a young lady from Minnesota, and though she doesn't talk like the characters in Fargo or anything, she does have that clean, healthy glow about her, and the earnest expression and demeanor that you would expect to see with someone who grew up in the midwest. People in that class are so...English Major-y though. There was a guy sitting in front of me who, when asked to introduce himself to the class, said that some people call him Brad Pitt since they get confused for each other so often. And then another girl (incidentally, sitting next to Brad Pitt, aka Greg or whatever) was using a folder with a damn Yorkie puppy on the front. And she was an grad student, so you know she was definitely not being ironic (my impression of grad students evidently being that they have no sense of humor, haha). Then again, these are my people by choice, so I guess I should just shut up and embrace it. Maybe I'll go out and get one of those flower hats that Blossom was always wearing. That seems about right. You know what, though? Maybe these people are being witty and I just can't tell because I'M the one that's a freak who has no sense of humor. Maybe I'm just threatened because I'M usually the clever one - or among the clever ones - and this is so over my head that I can't even comprehend it.

But I doubt it.

Then the 19th Century Novel. Sighhh...what to say about this class? We're going to be reading David Copperfield (not to be confused with Daniel Copperfield) IN ITS ENTIRETY, as well as Pride and Predjudice, Ruth, Madame Bovary and some Joseph Conrad thing. *shudder* Oh well, I signed up for this course because I knew it would be good for me, and I want to read all these books and understand them. And I just can't be motivated enough to go out, buy them, read them, and then peruse whatever reading guide the publishers decided to include. How do I know if my conclusions are the correct ones?

Plus, my instructor's kind of attractive.
Okay, distractingly attractive.
Obviously he's on the wrong end of 45 and is married (happily, from the five words he said about his wife. Okay, he said, "my wife likes Colin Firth" but it was the way he said it), but isn't that the point of stupid professorial dalliances? It did not help that I got there before he did and sat front and centre (BECAUSE I LIKE TO BROWN-NOSE THE PROFS, ALRIGHT), and then he kept standing really close to my desk and rocking back and forth on his heels which, you know, made me uncomfortable. If you think I'm going to refrain from referencing that Police song about the teacher who has a crush on his student, you're wrong. It's JUST LIKE that Police song about the teacher who has a crush on his student, you guys! Don't stand! Don't stand so! Don't stand so close - etc.

So I'm optimistic. About all of it. And I have the little occurrences that will keep me going along: Lauren and John's tentative visit in September, my visiting them in Austin over fall break, Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner. This semester will be great. I can tell already that it might be hard, but could also turn out to be really easy.
Except for maybe economics. I mean, it's ECONOMICS.


L said...

1) saying a prayer before class? that fucking BLOWS MY MIND. on a related topic, are you at all interested in seeing Religulous? between myself and John, i feel like i'm the only one really excited about it.

2) no one should feel badly for acting inappropriate around that priest - i mean, i told you about the drugs stories, right??

Priya said...

1. Yeah dude, a prayer. I had him for the second time today and he did it again (different prayer this time) so it looks like it's going to be a consistent thing. I have to write a paper about how I was introduced to the Catholic faith (under the assumption that I am Catholic), due Monday. I'm glad it's a long weekend because I'm going to need to think seriously about how to approach it. As I told Marion earlier today, I'm kind of tempted to describe my earliest forays into voodoo: "at first the smell of the chicken blood was overpowering, but I soon learned to love the sticky feel of it between my fingers after a particularly satisfying sacrifice..." But I would never actually do that because I would probably have to speak to him after class about it. Yuck.

2. What drugs stories?

L said...

Oh, he's very open about the fact that all he did in college was get high and drink, etc. I asked him when we first met him what his favorite January Term was (because that's when people usually go abroad and shit) and he just took the opportunity to tell John and I about the one January where he and his friends just did all the drugs that they could find and buy in Dallas.

I didn't know what to say to that.

Kyle said...

I think your 19th Century Novel class might be easier than you anticipate. You only have to read two books, not three, since the book "Daniel Copperfield" DOESN'T FUCKING EXIST.

Seriously. It doesn't. Ask anyone. Ask Charles Dickens, for example.

Jordan said...

i'm glad i wasn't the only one confused about this "daniel copperfield" fellow. it's in my nature to assume that you are right whenever there is a discrepancy, but just knew something was off.
anyway, and more importantly, re: paragraph eight, nothing - not anything - at st. thomas will ever be so witty it's over your head, priya. that girl with the yorkie is dead fucking serious. and brad pitt has a complex. and it doesn't begin and end in the english department...

Priya said...