So, I told myself last night that I should actually write about the Nonsense Class I sat in on yesterday (incidentally, there was also some neat fog around two last night
). Some people may question why I would sit in on a three-hour class that was basically nonsense to me. However, in hindsight (and even while writing in the margins of my notebook) it was worth it for the whole college experience. Where college is made up of upper-level grad students in sociology, which is apparently a subject that has taken it upon itself to re-define lots and lots of words that would make sense normally.
The course description made sense, I swear it did. And if I was going to leave at all, it should have been after I was handed the fifteen-page syllabus full of disjointed readings. Oh, and about halfway through the course outline there was something about "feminism." That should have tipped me off. But I desperately needed a class (I didn't even know at the time how desperately I needed a class!) so I stuck around, figuring it might get better or something. In fact, the first half of the class pretty much made sense. If I'd done the reading, it might have made more. But the whole time I had this vaguely unsettling feeling that the words they were using, though they made sense to me, were not being used in the same way that normal people used them. I sat... took notes... made eye contact with the prof a few times, because she was oddly friendly like that, and would watch you if you were watching her. For some reason, this didn't freak me out. After a while, though, things just started sailing over my head and I ended up preoccupying myself with placing the prof's accent. (At the start of the break I found out it was German because all her computer menus were in German, and then I moved on to trying to figure out if the softness of it was because she was taught in the UK, or if something else was in there.) After the break, though, was discussion. There were little bits and pieces here and there during lecture, which is part of what kept me around. We had That Girl (which is different from That Guy, in my experience. It's just been this year, but That Girl is always eastern European and questioning the professor. Sort of interesting, though it never ever brings up anything that's useful to me). We also had this big, well-spoken guy whose voice sounded like he could sit around talking on NPR all day. And he was into
this strange sociology stuff. He had a habit of talking about how things had blown his mind in the most amazed tone of voice. There was another girl that was unremarkable other than the fact that every time she spoke, my mind immediately overwrote the scene into something that looked like it belonged in Waking Life. I think that had to do with the tone of her voice, too. I think I spent most of the class, actually, thinking about people's voices and the voice acting training it would take to get them right. Though at some point I was distracted enough in my notes to try to figure out which month and day were most aesthetically pleasing
. Which was inspired by seeing January written upside-down in the one guy's planner and thinking it looked sort of pretty. As you can see, I was sort of torn between Wednesday and Thursdsay. Oh, and marvel at my awesomely bad doodles. And yes, that does say "transsexual lab" and no, I don't know what that had to do with anything. I think the explanation was something along the lines of considering the time spent in society after a gender-change operation to make sure you're adjusted before you're allowed to change your name can be considered a lab. (See, I was paying some attention while doodling things in my notebook. And if you were wondering about "karaoke bar?" there... it has nothing to do with anything real, and more to do with busting fictional characters out of rock star bootcamps in Japan.)
This does lead me to the best part of the class, though... on the whole, I became increasingly certain that there were lots of words that meant things that I did not know they meant. Like lab. Then my favourite enthusiastic grad student, at the end of another girl's presentation on "the Factory as a Lab" he breaks out with "Wow! That just blew my mind! What you said... what you suggested about a church being a lab. Wow. That... that would be really interesting to look into. Just like your theory on the retail store; the way they modify reality for participants. Wow. It's like, a total black box." I'm thinking maybe church means what I think it means, but that's about it.
Honestly, though, I couldn't even tell you what the class was about, though, aside from the fact that Laboratory was the most-used word. It was definitely sociology... and I definitely know now, by virtue of the fact that I can't even picture myself sitting in a class and being that exited about re-defined words (and not the fact that they've been re-defined), that sociology is not a field for me. So yay, experience! It probably isn't fair to judge it on this class... but not having even the slightest
interest should be enough of a tip-off. And I went and sat in on Biological/Cultural Evolution today... in an hour and a half a lot of things were said that did not make sense to me, but at least they were nonsense in interesting ways that were also rooted to things that I actually knew about. (Even Dawkins... and the Red Queen Hypothesis. You know... things I'm familiar with.) Oh, and they were in reference to culture. A lot like Nonsense Class was... only sensical
. And thankfully the professor will still let me in, so I once again have three classes and won't have to be a part-time student and drop out or something. Now all I need to do is sort out the mess with my fourth class.