January 29th, 2013

Otoyo Learns

But Eating!?

I'm thinking like a Hobbit here. So far the biggest problem I've had with school this semester is lunch--when do I eat lunch? I have classes from 12:30pm to 3:15pm, I need to arrive at school by noon because I have to walk to class from off-campus. Maybe I should just have more than oatmeal with blueberries for breakfast. Of course, halfway through math class I was jonesing for caffeine, too.

My math class appears as though it's being taught by a twelve year old girl, or at least a tiny cute woman with youthful mannerisms. One student actually asked her, "How old are you?" which she replied to with a curt, "No," before adding, "I've been teaching this class for three years, so old enough, okay?"

Meanwhile, my British Literature II teacher, Anthony Ding, is in fact a British British Literature teacher, possibly from the same town Michael Palin grew up in because he sounds just like him, except much softer spoken. A gentleman of advanced years, I'm somewhat confused as to the state of his hearing as, although he's barely audible when he speaks, when he switched on a video of people reading William Blake he left the volume at a bleedingly high level.

But I really like Mr. Ding. He's a teacher who I had in my ill-fated grappling with college immediately following high school. I doubt he remembers me at this point, though. Anyway, he fits a lot of my conception of what I think a teacher should be and too often isn't--someone with great love for the material with an interest in actually teaching the ins and outs of it instead of attaining validation from the class.

Sounds like there won't be so much group work in this class, which is nice, though the students were obliged to do one of those silly, "Turn to someone near you and find out things about them," things. Of course, everyone sitting near me turned to talk to someone else, so I went to the back and found another odd person out, a girl named Siobhan who likes sci-fi/fantasy, has just read a book called Written on the Body by a writer named Jeanette Winterson, and is currently in the middle of watching the original Star Trek series. She told me how she was surprised to see Spock display emotion in one episode and I began explaining it's a common misconception--Vulcans actually have stronger emotions than humans but they suppress them. I started to explain the wars on ancient Vulcan led to the foundation of their philosophy of emotional suppression and I could see her eyes glazing over as I began to take her further into Trek space than she was interested in voyaging.

Looking over the authors from the 19th century we're going to be reading, I see we're skipping over Lewis Carroll, all the Brontes, Jane Austen, and Oscar Wilde. Which seems odd to me, but I guess maybe I should see it as a good thing we'll be devoting time to people I haven't read as much of, like Keats and Wordsworth.