Thursday, December 01, 2005

"...something D-O-O Economics"

Last night I actually found myself trapped in Ben Stein's "Voodoo Economics" class from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. One of my grad school courses is called Random Processes In Electrical Engineering and yes, it is as awful as it sounds. I have no illusions about the 160 minutes of hell I will suffer each week but there was something extra "special" about last night's class.

The stage was perfectly set as if were rippped from the pages of a high school screenplay. Imagine a 12-foot blackboard entirely covered in esoteric Greek symbols, disgusting water-stained drop-ceiling tiles surrounding flickering fluorescent light fixtures, chalkdust choking the air in the room, a classroom full of over-aged students with glassy eyes and lolling heads, and the Hungarian-accented babbling of a tiny professor who hasn't stopped writing, talking, or even bothered to turn away from the board in over 20 minutes. This was all captured with startling accuracy by John Hughes and in some horrifying twist of reality found its way into to my classroom last night. I could think of so many other scenes I'd much rather live out (like singing Wayne Newton songs on a float surrounded by gorgeous dirndl-clad ladies) but it seems that this was to be my taste of Hollywood realism.

What really burns me is that school is not suppposed to be like this anymore. Ferris took place in high school. That's when you're supposed to suffer through this shit; in high school. Awkwardness, unchecked hormones, depression, social despair, and detached lecturers are all par for one's teenage years. Growing up is supposed to be about suffering. But every person in this class was a grown adult with jobs, responsibilities, tuition payments and the dumbass desire to become a better engineer. We're already dealing with a lot of shit.

I guess it's the irony of the situtation, the fact that we're paying good money to suffer like some degenerate fetishist in order to better ourselves, that drives me nuts. Becuase in the end, I choose to be there and I keep going back for more.


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