Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Reflections Upon the First Month

Where to start? There's quite a lot to cover since my last update. So much has happened, and most of it is actually a so comedic (slapstick, tongue-in-cheek, irony, absurdity, take your pick...) that I'm thinking about journaling every week about the bizarre or flat-out hilarious events in which I inevitably find myself involved after I graduate, using my journal entries to write a book about a wonderfully caricature-esque Covenant College.

Let's start with my classes. My major (psychology) dictates that I must take this-many "core" classes in edition to the Psych classes, so I am trying to get a lot of my required stuff out of the way so I can get to "the fun stuff". Ironically "the fun stuff" also requires the most work, as it is a four-hour class and all my others are two- or three-hour classes, but the only time I complain is the week before an exam. I will have had two exams in Psych before I take my first tests in Old Testament Literature, English, and Covenant's little "intro to reformed theology" called The Christian Mind. Tomorrow we get our assignments for this year's Psych lab: rats. We each get our own little rodent friend to train throughout the semester, but we do not yet know what we will be training our little rodent friends to do. I sometimes wonder if my professor likes to play mind games with us and see how far his students will speculate or how much anxiety he can cause. It also helps that my Psych professor is also my Christian Mind professor; when we have to take our final for Christian Mind, I won't have to explain to anyone that I couldn't take the test because I was on a field trip to a mental institution.

I also enjoy Old Testament, considering it is one of the few classes in which I have not been penalized for letting my required reading fall behind. Every day my teacher, who is quite possibly the kindest and most amazing man I have ever met, reads something from one book or another for a bit of a devotional; normally it's something written by C.S. Lewis, or from this little wonder called the "All-Better Book". Go look it up on Amazon -- it's so amazing that our entire class misses this little book whenever the teacher reads to us from something else.

However, I have to say that the most interesting class as of yet has been Concepts in PE. True to advertising, this class has more to do with concepts than PE. We write essays instead of running laps or taking hikes on the walking trails on and off the campus. We research and read articles online that scream "Get a life and go exercise!", and then we write a page-long summary about each assigned article. I read my long-winded textbooks for hours, only to learn that thousands of people die every day from a sedetary lifestyle. I don't understand why we are not practicing what is being preached to us, but this is all that the teacher (he is not a professor, and yes, that is significant enough to merit a raised eyebrow) prescribes, and we must, by his orders, make him happy.

Now I feel that I must tell you -nay, warn you- about my PE teacher. He is a lean (trans: skinny) man who is easily over forty, judging by the age in his face; his graying hair is always "styled" (if one can call it styled) to such a wiry and bizarre degree that I've begun to wonder if he sticks his finger in an electric socket every morning on his way out the door; his glasses, if the lenses were put side-by-side, could roughly equal the surface area of a pair of ski goggles; and he always wears the same horrible blue wind-suit because, apparently, someone forgot to tell him that certain highlights of eighties/early nineties fashion was buried in the same cemetery as disco and pet rocks. He preaches to us every day about how TV dinners are going to give us high blood pressure, about the evils of high fructose corn syrup and red dye number four, and about how every soft drink except root beer is going to kill us (it seems that, due to the skyrocketing levels of acid in sodas, our teeth will rot out and we'll choke on a rotted and fallen-out tooth in our sleep). However, his most memorable trait is that he is a very detail-oriented person and expects every other person on campus to be the same. In all honesty, I believe that he does not worry about what his students learn, just as long as they turn in their one inch margin, eleven point Times New Roman font, twelve point Arial Black heading, zero-point-five indented paragraph, left flush, horizontally stapled in the left corner, two to three page papers on time. He gets very upset if these insanely fine details are not followed to the letter. I am convinced that one day a student is finally going to turn in a paper that is exactly opposite of what is required, and it will push him over the edge and he will spontaneously combust. The only things left to prove his existence to future generations of freshmen will be his sneakers, those horrid bug-eye glasses, and a pile of smoldering ashes that smell faintly of Splenda.

Most upperclassman, when told that a freshman has this specific teacher their first semester, have typical responses of either "He's a psycho but he's easy" or "Oh God, really?" I have heard this same man described by my fellow students -mostly by those who have failed, by no fault of their own, to meet every nit-picky requirement for an assignment- as a "lunatic", a "Nazi in a windbreaker", and a "psychotic freak-bag" (though I personally believe calling him this is an insult to the psychotic freak-bag community). I have been so fortunate as to have been spared from his wrath, and even though he has invoked the fury of my peers, he has so far been spared my own. So far.

In as much as I have rambled for the past few paragraphs, I have not even touched the topics of my classmates, my hall, or the random but on occasion hilarious stories that occur from day to day. But that must all be saved for another entry... I think I hear my Psych book reminding me how much reading I've yet to complete before Monday's exam.

Today's Song: either "Let Love Grow" (Paul Coleman Trio) or "In The City" (The Eagles)
Today's Obsessions: Shinedown, The Three Musketeers, Terry Pratchett, MST3K, "Criminal Minds"
Today's Quote: "Wednesdays are like the hangover Tuesday leaves behind."

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