10 Notes from Campus

This is not, you might have noticed, a post about the event I promised to post about two days ago.

And you thought I’d forgotten. I haven’t. I’ve just decided to delay it until such time as I see fit to stop delaying it. Or, you know. Until I have time to copy over the pictures from the camera.

I find my that my mind is all over the place tonight, unable to focus on anything productive like my unfinished Russian homework, my unread literature homework, the dishes in my sink, the laundry in my washing machine, or the labrador staring at me, wondering if I’m ever going to take him out. Can’t imagine why I’d want to do any of those things when I could sit on my couch eating popcorn for dinner, and write about some of the things that have happened on campus in the past few days.

I’m sure my professors won’t mind. It’s introspection. They like that in Social Work. Right?

1. I’ve been searching for the best place to do Russian homework on campus, and I think I may have found a strategy that works. It’s about time, as many of my previous efforts have been unsuccessful. For example: The week before last, while sitting outside of the union, I was approached by a young man. I was clearly surrounded by Russian homework. A textbook, a workbook, a laptop with translations on the screen. A pile of homework to be corrected. Uninvited, the young man sat down next to me, and asked, “So what are you working on?”

Lucky for him, we were in a public place, so I had to quell my desire to take the Russian textbook and slap him upside the head with it. I told him I was busy – which should have been the end of it. But he was undeterred, and proceeded to quiz me about my political and philosophical knowledge for the next forty-five minutes. Russian homework status: unfinished.

My favorite place to sit is outside of Calhoun. I have an emotional attachment to this building, because it is where I had Vampire class last fall. Really, this building changed my life.

Alas, there are no power outlets outside Calhoun.

The Union is crowded. The FAC is worse. The Social Work lounge – usually an optimal choice – is, unfortunately, in the Social Work building. Which is in Timbuktu. At least, it might as well be. If I’m going to lose half an hour walking, it just isn’t worth the effort. And, of course, none of the busses service the Social Work building.

I should say, none of the busses will take you TO the Social Work building. There are plenty that will take you away from it. It’s no wonder we’re the smallest school on campus.

So, you see my dilemma? I have heaps of unfinished homework, and for the past several weeks, I haven’t been able to find a good place to do it. Location is important, you know. As I said though, I’ve developed a strategy. I’ve taken to lurking in the halls of Parlin, waiting to see which classroom is left empty at the beginning of the new period. There’s usually one – not necessarily the same one for multiple periods, as I discovered yesterday when I unintentionally found myself crashing a class on English literature. But still, I like this strategy, and I think we’ll see how it works.

2. Speaking of literature. Today, in World Literature, Dr. Richmond-Garza had us rolling.  If you’ve never had the opportunity to hear a slightly gothic but very proper British woman interpret Faust, I highly recommend it. I mean it. I want you to run out and find yourself a slightly gothic but very proper British woman at once. … No? You’ll just take my word for it? Pity. I can’t do the accent very well. She included in her lecture a pantomime demonstration of how cats kill mice. I just wish I’d had the presence of mind to pull out my phone and video it. Something about the idea of Satan being a cat…

There is a REASON that I am a dog person. Thanks to Dr. Richmond-Garza, I now know that it’s because cats may be secretly trying to steal my soul.

3. It also occurred to me during today’s reading of Faust that I might very well be Wagner. Which, if you’ve read the play, is not necessarily a good thing. He’s such a lovely, sweet…naive little suck-up. It didn’t dawn on me that I might be turning into this character until Dr. Richmond-Garza made the comment, “Imagine going to office hours and saying to your professor, ‘Oh, I’m just so impressed with you, I could do this all evening!’, none of you would ever think of doing that.” Then I squirmed in my seat a little bit. And giggled. And tried not to make eye contact with anyone.

Because I’ve come very close to doing that, not once, but twice.

Okay, so I didn’t actually tell my professors that I’m damn near giddy every time I get the chance to have an intellectual conversation with them about anything. But I do distinctly remember calling Kelly, just before office hours last semester, and saying something to the tune of, “I’m so excited! I get her to myself for twenty minutes!” And then there’s Russian. Enough said.

Does this mean that I’m Wagner? I never knew. I really don’t want to be a little German boy. I’m afraid it just wouldn’t go with my image.

4. But this does bring me to my next observation. In a Russian verb lecture today, Dr. Garza mentioned that similar intensive programs in Stanford and UNJ hadn’t gone quite as well as ours. Stanford’s intensive Russian had a 50% drop rate. We gained a student. I hate to tell him this, but I’m pretty sure it has something to do with him not being the professor at Stanford. (Now, if saying this makes me a little German suck-up… *shrug* What am I gonna do?)

Half the class is there, myself included, because of him. The other half – at least the ones not graduating – will be taking his classes for years to come. I guaran-fracking-tee it. He really does have a cult-like following there. I think there’s a FB group and everything.

In all seriousness though, the professor makes or breaks the course.

5. And Jester smells like fried food and feet. I don’t know why you’d care. But there you have it.

6. Course schedule is out. Tomorrow, I have to do some major running around in an attempt to take care of some credit transferring that I didn’t do earlier, but should have. I’m not looking forward to it.

7. Breakfast tacos make my world go around.

8. I had a Social Work Research Methods midterm exam yesterday. I felt good about it. Except for the one question I didn’t answer. Still – I deemed that, as a Social Worker, it was my job to be honest. So in the blank, I wrote the following: I’m sorry, but I just don’t remember the answer. I’ll spare you making one up. 🙂

I hope he appreciates my honesty and doesn’t take it as cheek. It really wasn’t meant to be. I just couldn’t remember the answer.

9. If my actual notes were this detailed, I might have had a shot at remembering the answer.

10. Today while walking by the six-pack, I saw a guy pull out a hammock, tie it between a lamppost and a tree, and prepare to take a nap. You just don’t see that every day.



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