Sunday, February 01, 2009


A family portrait:

My classes are going. Nothing exciting yet. My sociology professors are complete opposites. One is a fucking she-devil. She never smiles, her hair is curly and wild, her beady little eyes penetrate anyone who walks into class three seconds late, and her voice is harsh. She's no bullshit and I respect that. My other sociology professor is a goofy guy in his late twenties...I don't think he's thirty yet. Once he starts teaching, it's like letting go of a balloon and watching it make its way through the air. And on top of that, he drinks too much coffee. His voice is never at a steady tone...up and down, down and up. His jeans are also too tight but he doesn't have evil eyes.

My journalism professors are also opposites. I've only had one class with my Vietnam War in Literature and Film professor but he's funny, outgoing, and he makes the students feel comfortable. He asked our class if anyone has protested the current conflicts and four students raised their hands. One chick, who is from Jersey and talks so fucking loud, said when she was in tenth grade (2003), she was part of a march. The professor asked her what conflict...she responded with, "Iraq. No wait...Afghanistan? No, 2003...Iraq." I'm glad she knows what she's protesting. I'm also glad she feels the need to scream when she talks.

Oh, and my other journalism professor is a motherfucker. He’s old and has worked in the newspaper industry for years and years. First day of class, he asked a bunch of questions. "What is journalism? Why did you take this class? Who reads the newspaper? Who reads the news online? Who reads blogs?" Of course, I raised my hand when he asked about blogs. Who knew I'd be the only one in the class who reads blogs? Professor MF asked me what blogs I read...I rattled off a few and told him I also follow military blogs. He asked, "why?" Told him that's where I get firsthand experiences of those who have served, blah blah blah and that I'm also in the Army. "You're in the Army?" I told him yes. He kind of looked at me like, oh. Then it was time for introductions!

Professor MF came back to me.
"Ms. Hate? H? A? T? E?"
"Yes, it's Hate."
"So tell us about yourself. Why did you join the Army?"
I told him how old I was, why I joined, and then he asked what I had gotten out of the Army, and about my deployment.
Then he proceeded to say, "so you're in the Army, what do you say to those who think you just kill people."
"Uhh, I think those people are ignorant."
"Why? You're in the Army. That's what you do."
"Well, I have the right to defend myself. But we all have different MOS’s."
"Come on, you're in the Army. Say we are at a bar and we're getting a beer. And I'm like, you just kill people."
At this point, I’m getting annoyed. I don’t know if he’s trying to enlighten the kids in my class through me, or just being a piece of shit.
"I spent a year in Iraq and didn't kill anyone."
He looked at me and went onto the next student. They talked about how they like snowboarding, and how they made all-stars on their soccer team in middle school. He asked the class who had the most interesting story...everyone looked at me and pointed. I felt uncomfortable. Professor MF goes, "Oh, the Army brat." The class laughed, while I rolled my eyes and said thanks. The rest of the semester should be interesting.


Blogger Nixon said...

I dunno, Kate, being the Most Improved Player on the 8th soccer team is a pretty impressive feat!

Professors tend to be really good or really awful. Not sure how your school works, but lots of them have tenure so they can't get fired unless they show up to class naked and drunk or something. Sounds like you have a mix of both.

2/01/2009 03:06:00 PM  
Blogger 13 Stoploss said...

I told my Army story in my Philosophy class, and it actually went really well. I usually break the mood by trying to sound like I'm not plugged in to kill all the time--like, "Well, I've urinated in both the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers." Although, in my Middle Eastern Politics class, with is predominantly Muslim, that didn't go over so well. Bunch of fuckin' pouty socialists, they are...

2/01/2009 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger Victor said...

MF sounds like a douche. Just the "army brat" comment made him seem kind of jerkish.

2/01/2009 10:44:00 PM  
Blogger Pinball said...

Welcome to being the bug under glass. In the academic environment I found that the teachers were as ignorant of the military as the most soldiers are of academics. Lots of misconceptions and prejudice.

Of course a person with a sick sense of humor could have fun with this.

2/02/2009 05:54:00 AM  
Blogger olgreydog7 said...

Well, it is UofA. I would actually expect more of your professors to be like that. I think you handled yourself with much more professionalism, as much as I hate that word, than he did. Evidently, he doesn't know what the term Army brat means either. That's what I consider typical of liberal arts education.

2/02/2009 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger Long-time RN said...

Prof MF comes off as a bit of a grandstander from the described interaction. Perhaps a little more interested in how the class viewed him through his responses/reactions to your answers than his having any real interst in your experience. Kudos on holding your own. Sounds like an interesting semester!

2/02/2009 07:56:00 PM  

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