If You Don’t Know, You’ll Never Know…

…that I’m mean. Because I am…let’s be honest. But at least it’s funny! Which brings me to tonight’s rant:

Professors who try too hard make things awkward for everyone. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m an adult now, but I can’t remember being embarrassed for my professors or teachers when I was of the “appropriate schoolin’ age”.

Case in point:

On the first day of class, the professor entered at the last-minute with a pair of very unflattering sunglasses on his face. Remember that I only attend night classes. So the eyewear he was sporting was not for UV protection. We spent the better part of the next ten minutes speculating as to why he would be wearing sunglasses not only at night, but inside the classroom. We came up with the following two scenarios: Either he was blind (which would have been odd being that he was looking directly at the computer screen) or he wanted to be able to see us without us knowing where he was looking (creepy as hell). It turns out, however, that he had gotten jumped on his way to his apartment and was rocking a HUGE, nasty black eye. Way to play it cool, prof. I still don’t remember anything from his lecture during that class. Just the black eye staring back at me.

Tonight’s class (since I missed last week) was my second go at it. The class broke into groups and each group will have a turn at doing a presentation on the assigned reading for their assigned night. Tonight’s subject was Sherman Alexie’s The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven.

The professor’s presentation on Alexie fell WAY short of the student presentation he should never have let happen first. He opened with a question: “Who here likes Gray’s Anatomy?” (Silence). “Well, these guys had a song that was played in one of the episodes!” (First in a series of arbitrary Youtube videos, this being a live performance by a punk band called Reddmen. You guessed it. Real live Lakota Indians playing white man music!) Then, instead of telling us something we didn’t already know about Native American history and why Alexie uses sarcasm and fantastical observation to explain the hopelessness of reservation life, he plays us YouTube videos of three singers Alexie uses in his book. We get why Jimi Hendrix was an important symbol for Victor’s father in the midst of his identity crisis. We didn’t need to watch his fingers tickle the guitar for five awkward minutes. Thanks though. I have YouTube and the ability to make superficial observations of Alexie’s prose at home, but I’d much rather hear it from you. This desk is a dream to sit in too. Really. Just ignore the pinched nerve in my back. I know I am.

I can smell him trying to prove to himself that he belongs here and it is making me uncomfortable. It smells like teen spirit. Maybe next we can watch Nirvana on YouTube. Kurt died before the age of 30 too.

While all of this nastiness was going through my head tonight, I couldn’t help but notice that there was a kid wearing bright red jeans and a mauve sweatshirt. And THAT, my friends, annoyed me more than anything else. Until, that is, I was leaving the three-hour waste of my time. I ended up behind the professor on the way out of the building in some sick twist of fate. He held the door for me and as I was walking past him he said, “have a good weekend!”

What? I spent the whole five-minute walk to my car submerged in confusion. “Have a good weekend?” It took me until I was in my car to realize that yes, today is indeed Monday. Whew! In the words of the great Chelsea Handler, “What. A Whirlwind.”


One thought on “If You Don’t Know, You’ll Never Know…

  1. Bethany Leeuw says:

    tickle the guitar for five awkward minutes put me over the edge!

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