Tuesday, September 22, 2009

College Professors

A new school year has started and with it, I have become acquainted with new classes and new professors. Two weeks in I have taught my professors to call me by the correct name, and have more or less figured out what is going on in all my classes. Or at least, almost all.

Long-time followers of this blog will be aware of my opinion on my school's general education requirements, but if you are unaware, I've explained Mount Royal's degree requirements in a previous post. This semester for my jr. high-esque class, I'm taking Communities and Societies, which is about, well....that's the thing, I have no idea what it is about.

My previous Gened class was a pop culture class, based entirely on the 60s, where we watched 60s movies and talked about the Beatles with Grant, our prof who in real life was a theatre teacher. He made us do a lot of oral work and speeches, but ran his class fairly slack and was a very likeable prof. He had about 7 journalism kids in his class and so when he ran into our departments end-of-exam- breakfast at the farmer's market last April, he stopped to visit with his student's and bought us a thing of fudge as a congratulations present.

The thing about the Gened classes is that whoever teaches them pretty much has creative license to do whatever they like with them. They can be like Grant and spend two hours on a Woodstock documentary, they can make their class into a course on Imperialism like someone else I know, or they can be like my new Gened professor, Allison Dube.

I had no idea what to expect from my Gened class this semester. All I needed was the little check mark in my degree saying I had fulfilled the requirement. Allison Dube sent an e-mail before the class started, giving a list of three books we would read in her class and explaining the discussions we would have on them. Read book, discuss. I can do that.

Then I went to Allison's class, and nothing was as it seemed. For starters, Allison is guy. A scary looking one who kind of reminds me of my chiropractor. Second, Allison the guy has his PhD in, well something that makes him qualified to teach Intro to Social Studies for college students, and unlike so many of the professors at MRU, he requests that we call him Dr. Dube.

I will never be able to speak to this professor by his name, I will burst out laughing. He sounds like a Marvel comic supervillain.

Then Dr. Dube began his class, which I soon learned, would be the painful structure of all his lectures.

We arrive, we copy down two boards worth of obscure notes on dominants and subordinates, and then, Dr. Dube launches into his lecture, which isn't so much of a lecture as it is his personal soapbox. Here is another fun fact about Dr. Dube; this man, who reminds me of Dr. Gainor, is a fervent feminist.

All his lectures, I'm sorry, tangents, comprise of him reading a few lines from the feminist book he makes us read and then going off about his own experience with how the roles of women have changed. His opinions are littered with comments like, "Women can now express their individuality because they can have careers," and "Women are no longer encouraged to think of others all the time, they're allowed to think of themselves."

Has Dr. Dube never heard of the new domesticity movement? Yeah women have careers but a surprising number are still finding fulfillment and individuality at home. And since when is it a bad thing to think of others? I'm fuming almost every time I leave that class. What am I supposed to be learning anyway? Is my final exam just going to full of Dr. Dube opinions?

I miss Grant, and his lectures that involved listening the the Beatles greatest hits and watching Dr. Strangelove. I think I way under appreciated 60s class when I had it.


Katey said...

Welcome to a university "higher learning" class, a.k.a. the professors attempts to indoctrinate you to their own line of thinking. So much for education.

Jessica said...

Ha. I forgot about that box of fudge. Yeah, as somewhat useless as 60s class was, at least it was more entertaining than "Scientific and Mathematical Literacy in the Modern World."

Remind me again why I'm paying hundreds of dollars for these classes that I will never use in real life?

Unapologetic said...

I identify with so many of your blogs, but this one was up there. I'm taking Globalization, which is basically a synonym for Grade 10 Social Studies. Literally. When I discovered that my 15-year-old sister's course outline was nearly the same as mine, I nearly cried for the wasted dollars. On the plus side, I can discuss globalization with a 15 year old who knows more about it than most people in my class.