The thoughts, ideas, findings, and fancies of a Catholic student at Our Lady's University.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Of Punctuality and Syllabi

It occurred to me just now that this is the first year I've started school without Mom beginning the day by taking everyone's picture. Not that I would have had time for that today anyway, since I overslept until 16 minutes before I wanted to leave. Still, I managed to get out the door on time, and the only thing I forgot was my lunch. The first class of the day was English 1121, at 8 am. I made up my entire schedule around that class, as the professor was highly recommended by multiple people, and it was worth it. I think he realizes just how hard it is to get and keep the attention of 20+ high-school/college students. I was a little worried when I picked up one of the books for the course, as it contained a lot of essays by liberal feminists (one by Gloria Steinem particularly made me shudder), but none of those seem to be on the syllabus. French was a complete 180 from my Latin experience. I'm used to working mainly in grammar, and far less in conversation, whereas this class seems to be focused far more heavily in conversation. The only thing I really picked up was "Comment allez-vous?" ("How are you?") and the 6 responses she taught us. That, and our homework, part of which is to find her car in the parking lot (red Honda with a French flag on it was all she told us), write down the license plate, and find a definition in our French dictionaries (apparently it says something in French…).
Of all my classes, College Algebra 2 & Trigonometry was the furthest from what I had expected. The prof is a very energetic 30-something woman who spent 40 minutes on the roll call, as she wanted to know not only our names, but also where our dream vacation would be and why (detailed explanations preferred, it seemed). When one person replied that they would like to vacation in Greece, she said, “Oh, so you could she the Parthenon, the Coliseum, all that good stuff?” I guess that’s why she became a math teacher. She also made reference to The Da Vinci Code, which she said was based on “kind of a screwed-up subject” ((), but then said that it was remarkable just how much history and fact Dan Brown could work into his pages ((). It was also a new experience for me to be told to skip the first 598 pages of the book, but apparently that’s pretty common in one-semester classes, which I’ve never before had.
Then I had a break for over an hour, during which time I ate lunch and finished most of my homework.
After that, it was off to choir, which was by far the best part of the day. The director is a very vivacious and fun person (our concert title this year is “Bach to the Future”). She didn’t waste any time getting to the music, and we were able to get through a couple pieces right away.
Lastly, I had “Practical Experience in Journalism” (producing the student newspaper). I went to the room and there was no one there, so I checked the course catalog and, discovering I was right, went back by this point, it was after 1:00 (the designated start time) and there was still no one in the room, so I waited for a bit and then inquired at the information desk, all the while being plagued by visions of being horribly late to a class on the first day (I absolutely cannot stand to be late for anything). The secretary directed me back to the room I had been at, but this time the prof was there. As it turned out, only 3 students had registered this year and one of them couldn’t be there today. I didn’t really care that I would probably be carrying at least a third of the writing/publication, I was just so happy not to be late.
The professor remembered Katie and Jessica from when they worked on the paper a couple years ago, and that seemed to work in my favor. I’ve heard stories about his extreme political liberalism, so I don’t know if his good disposition toward me would continue if he noticed the picture of John Paul II that I have taped in the front cover of my notebook. Not that it really matters – JPII moves for no one.
Surprise, surprise, I had my last name mangled during every roll call. By the end, I pretty much stopped caring. They’re just going to get it wrong tomorrow, anyway (except for the teachers who wrote correct pronunciation on their lists; I corrected it for them). I pondered briefly what would happen if we took the “J” out of our last name, just to make it easier on strangers, but I don’t think “Kleeski” is much of an improvement.
I was very happy to discover that I have friends in 4 of my 5 classes. Hopefully, we’ll be able to study together. As the friend with whom I’ve got French and Math said, “Well, at least if we fail, we fail together.”
Anyway, that’s pretty much what I’ve got to look forward to for the next 3 ½ months. Just thought I’d share.

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