Scrap Paper Poetry #5: Boredom, Lecture, Oh- It’s Halloween

Is it Halloween?
The calendar says it’s so –
October 31st, let’s give a poem a go:
No, I think I’d rather not;
Validity and logic forms have turned my brain to rot.
If you’re looking for effort here,
I’m sorry to disappoint.
So go outside and fool around or fire up a joint.
What I really wanted to say, I guess, in a way not too obscene,
Is go fudge yourself
And have a Happy Halloween

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Scrap Paper Poetry #3: One in the Hand, Too Bored

Scrap Paper Poetry - Hand

Why, oh why did I think it was a good idea to take a Critical Thinking class that runs from 5:30 to 9:00 at night? [Edit: That’s a lot of empty space down there. Hrm. Too lazy to fix it.]

Boredom boredom everywhere

and not a drop of sleep.

Reason out that argument,

a conclusion two premises deep.

Pay attention,

Make sure you understand.

Oh, look-

I drew a hand.


Scrap Paper Poetry - Hand 2

Oh yes, because it was originally going to be taught by a professor I’d previously had, who rocks my philosophical socks. But there was a last-minute professor change… *sigh* More poems to come.

Scrap Paper Poetry #1: Finnish Philosophy Professor

This is the crap product of sitting through the first 4 hour evening class of the quarter… where I learn about nothing more than the syllabus… and listen to the professor spout out argumentative gobble-di-gook:

Sitting in Philosophy

at half past eight o’ clock,

The professor’s a dichotomy

of a Finnish doc and cock.

He struts and clucks and flaps his arms

about arguments of incredulity-

O, the pedantry, the deductive absurdity,

this King of Meta-Normativity.

Yeah, he’s Finnish. He’s got the Swedish Chef twang going on. (Yes, that was political incorrectness. No, I do not give a damn.)

The first in a series of poems that I write in the margins of my notebook or on class handouts that I care little for. Enjoy.

“Rate My Professors” is Completely Unbiased (My Arse)

Preparing for college means a lot of things. You might be living on your own for the first time, so you stock up on the Ramen, microwave ovens and flimsy IKEA furniture. You have to buy textbooks, which burns a fat hole in your already starving wallet while bookstores laugh at your student poverty. You register for classes, get your photo ID, contact your hopefully sane and not freaky roommate, etc. It’s a lot to do!

And then, when you get your schedule, you scan down the list of classes and think “Wow, freshman year is going to be great. My class is going to be super easy and my teacher is going to love me!”

What? Who am I kidding? You’re probably thinking “Holy shiitake mushrooms, how am I going to handle this schedule?! And…”

And then you look at the professor’s name beside the class name…

“… What the heck is my professor like?”

Cue the chorusing angels and ethereal light beaming down on your head through fluffy parting clouds. Here is where the beauty of the Internet comes in.

RateMyProfessors Logo

If you haven’t heard, there is a website called Rate My Professors, where students – this should be pretty obvious – rate their professors. It’s a pretty popular site and I just had to check it out. It’s so popular, a lot of people schedule/change their classes based on the site’s reviews. Plus, there’s even an app for it. So I couldn’t resist. In general, I try to be an open-minded person, who takes hearsay with a grain – more like a vat – of salt. To really understand something, you have to experience it yourself, yes? This is my philosophy.

However, because I have Antzin-Pants syndrome, which I touched on in this article, I couldn’t help checking out my professors to see what others have said about them.

Boy, did this make me laugh and cry at the same time. 

What I have gathered from this site is that most of the people who leave reviews either really love the professor or really hate the professor, so you don’t get a whole lot of unbiased, “average” ratings. But then again, how am I supposed to know they’re unbiased? Sometimes, it’s easy to spot the begrudged and the smitten:

Excerpts taken from review of statistics professor:

VERY POOR TEACHER, DOES NOT EXPLAIN ANYTHING, BORING LECTURES, TOO MUCH HOMEWORK.

Yeah, he’s hard. Granted this is college. It should be a challenge. The class will go fine is [sic] you pay attention and study. Tutoring will also help. Just ask questions and make him go slow. This man lives for stat’s.

Excerpts taken from review of computer science teacher:

I thought Karla was an extremely boring teacher. Two hours of her was just too much for me.

She is energetic, hot, and ambitious. She has the whole class on the edge of their seat waiting to learn more…too bad she’s taken…

No professor is “one size fits all.” You have people who will go into an ALL CAPS RAGE about a professor and then you have people who will confess a somewhat inappropriate amount of affection for a professor… Seriously, did that review really call the professor “hot?” See, this is the part that makes me laugh.

ROFLMAO

The part that makes me cry (aside from laughing so hard), is the person in my head saying, “But what if it’s all true?” Extremely opinionated reviews are easy to ignore if they’re scattered, but when there is a pattern of reviews indicating a general consensus, you can’t help but wonder if the masses are right. The reviews for the statistics teacher are largely negative. The nicest review was that second one above. The reviews for the computer science teacher are largely – overwhelmingly – positive. There are only a couple of negative reviews and those reviews aren’t even that harsh.

There are keywords in the reviews of my third professor: “brilliant,” “pretentious,” “frighteningly brilliant”, “snob,” “genuinely interested.” I kid you not, almost every review for this professor has one of those words in them. Can 10 pages of reviews be wrong? Let the poster for a mediocre movie do the talking:

Ryan Reynolds is okay

Ok, this was a stupid picture insert.

People fear the unknown. That’s part of human nature. Maybe you’re one of those “gonads of steel” people who laugh in the face of danger. Even then, the unknown still reaches into your core and pokes your huevos ever so subtly, telling you “hey, you have no idea what you’re getting into. It could be nasty.”

So maybe the reviews are right: my stats professor is an unorganized burn-out; my computer science professor is a hilarious and quirky hotty; and my honors professor is a pretentious scum bag, who may or may not be after students’ interest.

Well, you know how I’m going to find out if these are true? I’m just going to go to class. Rule in life: Judge everything for yourself.

Have you used Rate My Professors? How do you feel after reading your professors’ reviews? For non-Freshman: How accurate were the reviews for your professors?

Gotta’ Take ’em All [Classes, I Choose You!]

Life… is like Pokemon. Let me explain:

I’m walking along this strangely straight and repetitive 16-bit path, when all of a sudden, a large field of strangely square and repetitive 16-bit grass appears. I can’t go around it. Can’t dig under it. Can’t fly over it. So I have to walk through it. It’s annoying as all get out, but Ash Ketchum’s got to do what he’s got to do.

Awesome Pokemon Graphics

Anyone with a decent childhood knows what I'm talking about.

After two seconds of walking through the 16-bit grass…

A wild HISTORY OF ASIAN ART appears! Holy crap on a cracker! I want that!

That Freaky Glitch Pokemon

We all remember this freak

Class, I choose you! Oh wait. I’m out of pokeballs. To the PokeMart!

Yes, life is just like Pokemon. No, let me amend that statement: picking college classes is just like Pokemon.

In my previous post, I talked about my experience concerning college freshman orientation. It was fun and informational and it’s making me freak out with excitement. However, picking classes was painful. You heard me: painful. I know I said in the previous post that it was way easier than I had thought it would be since all the required major courses were already picked out for me. There’s a flip side: flipping through the book, I had a heck of a time trying to figure out what elective classes I wanted to take because literally two dozen courses looked interesting and amazing. Maybe that’s the academic animal *cough*nerd*cough* part of me, the side always thirsting for knowledge and striving to become a learned, respected “Renaissance [Wo]Man.”

When picking classes, you have to ask yourself a few things:

X-men Beast

Academic Beast

1. How many credit hours do I want to load myself with? This question comes with sub-questions: Am I going to be working one or several jobs this term? How many clubs/activities am I going to participate in? How much homework can I handle? If you are going to be working, you don’t want to take 17 credit hours that term (unless you’re a rabid academic beast with superhuman skills that don’t require sleep and fatigue). It’s all right to take a relatively light amount of classes – but do so with caution. Make sure you’re taking enough to stay on track for graduation. Extra time in college means spending extra moolah, something you may or may not be able to afford.

2. Is this a class I want to take? Maybe you don’t have a choice. You have to take the class whether you like it or not. But if you get to choose, try to pick something you’ll enjoy. If you love art, but hate English, why would you willingly choose “Analysis of Anglo-Linguistics” (is “Anglo-Linguistics” a word?) over “Study of Modern Design?” It’s a no-brainer! However, I know it will be next to impossible to create a perfect schedule with all classes you love. If the class sucks… don’t take my advice; I haven’t even started college yet.

3. Then why am I even listening to you? Okay, for one, you’re not listening to me. You’re reading words on a screen. My mouth isn’t moving whatsoever, so it doesn’t require any effort on your ears’ part. Secondly, I like common sense, so I write about common sense. Novel idea, eh? You might think I lose merit for not having even set foot in a college class yet, but I’m just saying what makes sense. Please, I implore you to correct me in the comments. Seriously.

 Now, if you’re done with your sassiness…

4. Ok, ok, fine. Um, how does this all connect to Pokemon again? Oh. I started with a Pokemon comparison, didn’t I? Now, I have to follow through, don’t I? All righty then, here it goes:

Classes are like Pokemon – I want to take them all. There are so many of them that it would take me a long time to actually take all the classes that I want. I mean, I’ve lost track of how many thousand gazillion Pokemon there are now in addition to the original (the best) 150. Do you remember how excited you were/are when you do the “Pokerap”? As a child fan of Pokemon, that was your goal in life: to catch all 150 (plus 1 if you count Mew – or is it Mewtwo?) Pokemon and be “the very best that no one ever was.”

Masterball is awesome

Masterball. Now we're talking.

Your available credit hours are your pack of Pokeballs. In the game (at least in the Red and Blue versions), you can only carry 6 Pokemon with you, stored away in those inhumane, cramped spaces within the Pokeballs (animal abuse is a whole different discussion). In college, you’re only allowed a certain number of classes. You can’t take 10 classes because, well, you’re just human. And you know what? That’s okay. You don’t need all 150+ Pokemon to become a Pokemon master. To become a master, you need to know how to use yourself and your Pokemon to the best of your ability. Likewise, to become a successful college student, you need to know your strengths, weaknesses, and limits and you need to learn how to use all of that to your ultimate advantage.

So even though you want to catch/take ’em all, you can’t. It’s something us academic animals just have to come to terms with. And if you feel small, overwhelmed and defeated, just remember that this:

Splash does nothing

Splash does nothing

Evolves into:

Gyarados Hyper Beam

Effing yeah.

So are you as excited about the variety of college classes? Care to share what you’re taking or what you want to be taking instead? Finally, what other comparisons can you make with Pokemon relating to college? Let me know in the comments. Unleash your inner child.