Friday, December 3, 2010

I Take Notes, Part IV

Part four in a series.

Hispanic Civilization, Profesor C. Imagine a very small, soft-spoken Chilean man, with thin iron-grey hair combed over his head, and a mustache and goatee. He always wears khaki or olive pants and tan, olive, drab, or grey sweater-vests. He invariably enters the classroom carefully carrying coffee in a mug with a picture of a motorcycle on it. His favorite movie is The Motorcycle Diaries.

A sample of his very long lectures:
"Ehm...eh...ya know- it's a llama! Eh...it lives in, ya know, en Chile, y, eh, entonces... it is very, ehm, important to the economy, ya know, there en...en Chile."

*

On the Conquistadors and the Incas:
"They tried to consolidate the villages, and this created a cocktail of germs."

*

"Now, you ask what is a Gaucho- well, you did not ask, but I know, someone thought it."

*

On the Gauchos, with their rugged and otherwise uncivilized habits:
"Their skills did not make them... very accepted in society."

*

On the tendency of Gauchos to disaccept the law:
"They didn't like it when the Gauchos burned the countryside and drove the cattle away and killed them with bolos- and ate them."

*

To a tardy student:
"Oh, yes, come on in- this is just like Kinko's."

*

"They had to build a fence, or else, ya know, the cattle would, ehm, run away."

*

The class wasn't overly enthusiastic, either. It was 70% male, and lunch hour.
"Can anyone define hegemony? Hegemonic?"
*after a long pause*
student, with complacent helpfulness: "I believe it's a made-up word."
"It means dominance."
"And we couldn't just say... dominance?"

*

"I used to have a motorcycle. But my wife, she sold it, said it was too dangerous. So a few weeks ago I went to a course to ride, you know, dirt bikes? I fell in the mud, hurt my back. So, eheh, these kids, they all want to know why a grandpa is trying to ride the bike."

*

Due to the Profesor's soothing accent, I have only these quotes and a few pages of indecipherable notes.


***
More from Professor B, macroeconomics. There were a lot of other funny things he said, but mainly because of his thick Scottish accent- so they mightn't seem funny if I posted them here.

"I watch economists on tv, and you can almost see the demand and supply curves behind their eyes."

*

"So, Kool-Aid is $0.20- it used to be $0.12. So you're not going to buy 18 packets."
"I'm not?"

*

"So in that case, what do we do? Buy less coke. -This is coca-cola we're talking about."

*

"One of the most soul-destroyin' things to do is work for a textbook publisher. You write thousands of questions and get paid five dollars."

*

A student asks,
"So, what should I invest in? I mean, I'm asking you this personally. What would you suggest?"
"The best thing that a young person could invest in? $300 for an hour in Professor B's office for a consultation."

*

"So, put your names and email addresses down on the sign-up sheet for the Study-Budy-List. Also, put down what times you're available to study. Do not write down 'Any Time' unless you really are available at any time. Because if you do, be prepared to get a phone call at one in the morning and hear, 'Hey, huh-huh, want to study economics? Production possibility frontiers? Huh-huh.' Because it will probably be me."

*

"And on the index card, I want you to write-"
"Wait! Which side of the index card?"
"I want you to write it not on the front or the back, but on the little edge of it right there. No. Either side is fine. You guys are really neurotic, today."

*

"You've been trained to know things, whether you know them or not. You've been trained to bs. Sometimes the answer is, 'I don't know.'"

*

"When you get your exam back, it will have a face on it. It might be a happy face, like this-- :) Or it might be an implacable, noncomittal face, like this-- : Now, the face you don't want to see is this one-- :( And if you get this one, that looks like this-- :`( See, he's crying. He's in despair. Come to my office."

*

"You can bring a calculator for the exam; doesn't matter if it's scientific or graphing. Any kind. Except a human calculator that's trained in economics."

*

Two guys talking before class:
"When I was little, we didn't have the internet at home. I had to walk to the library to get it."
"Uphill both ways?"
"Yeah."
"But how did you know that without google maps?"

*

"Please put your information down on this paper if you're planning to graduate or transfer or escape from this place some way or another."

*

When his thick accent makes words or phrases unrecognizable:
"There. I've written it down and translated it into American for you."

*

About me:
"I chose her because she looks so intelligent. I expected a good answer."
(...sorry, Prof. $7000 out of $20,000 is an awful lot to invest. But I really believed in my imaginary venture. I had the entire scenario planned out in my head. Really.)

*

"You can choose any country for your project. Even a tiny little tinpot rubbishy little country like Greece."

*

"Keynes spent ten years explaining his theories, and then he dropped dead."

*

"Required reserve ratio is abbreviated RRR, but it sounds really stupid when you say it. Like a seal."

*

"So you finally decide you're going to spend your hundred dollars. You lift up the mattress and take it out, Benjamin Franklin blinks in the bright light..."

*

Close to finals, a student asks,
"Can you please repeat that?"
"Aggregate price levels."
"No, from the beginning."
"Good morning, welcome to Macroeconomics 251, we're going to have fun this semester-"


***
British Literature II, Professor C. A small, thin man, with thin grey hair, a big nose, and bright little eyes. He always wears khaki pants and a drab sweater over a polo shirt, except on St. Patrick's day, when he wears orange. He has a rather high-pitched voice, and when he needs voices for characters when reading he gives them squeaky voices. The first semester we were suspicious of each other, the second semester it was all-out war, and the third semester we decided we liked arguing.

Bold lover, never, never canst thou kiss...
"It's easy to be bold when you're stuck on the outside of an urn."

*

"Ok, look at the third paragraph, second line. In case anyone doesn't know what a letter is, that's when in the old days people would write with a pen on a piece of paper and fold it up and put it in the mail. The person who received it would respond in sometimes three days, a week, a month, never..."

*

"And that, that is something we all strive for. -Not to be drunk, but to have dignity."

*

A concerned student asks,
"But doesn't Frankenstein put clothes on his monster?"
"He's a scientist. He's not playing with dolls!"

*

While drawing what could be an inverted toilet plunger on the markerboard:
"And this is South America- Oh, [Professor M of Western Civ] would be horrified! He's always telling me, 'They don't know where bloody anything is!'"

*

a note that I slipped under his door on 1 April:
KURTZ IS ALIVE

2 comments:

  1. Because I am obnoxious, I feel compelled to note that saying "Part four in a series" is kind of unnecessary when you put "Part IV" in the title.

    Also, was your professor's boat wood, or aluminum? :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. *looks up*
    I actually wrote that?
    Oh dear.

    My professors' boats are made of wood *and* aluminum. Because they are awesome.

    ReplyDelete