Rant in C Major

Posted: October 28, 2011 by S. Trevor Swenson in General, Life, Me & Mine
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No, no, no. Minor, not miner . . . oh, forget it!

I’m trying. I am really trying to be positive, upbeat, productive and to get and keep my life on track. Of course, in life there are roadblocks.  I wish there weren’t.  Scratch that.  I wish there weren’t so many roadblocks on our journey. No roadblocks in life makes for a boring existence. We need the assholes to appreciate the good guys.  Lately I have been encountering more than my fair share of malarkey from people who I have poor chemistry with. There are a couple of  people at work who took an irrational and snotty disliking to me.  I wish I knew why.  Somehow it annoys me more when someone dislikes me for seemingly no reason.  Before you say “You’re being too sensitive”.  Yes, you’re probably right. The co-workers in question routinely come into work, smile, hug and kiss my other co-workers and don’t say a word to me.  if I’d had a heated argument with them I’d understand, but we’ve barely exchanged 10 words.  I haven’t given them nasty looks or attitude. I don’t leave work behind for them. I’m nice. I smile. I say “hi”. I ask how they’re doing. (I don’t care, but I ask.)  Last time I checked it wasn’t socially acceptable to grab people of this sort by the collar and scream “What’s your goddamn problem with me, huh?”  It’s frustrating to say the least.
I’m 41 years old and still trying to figure this type of thing out. People sometimes fantasize about going back in time and doing things differently (i.e. better) in life given the wisdom they hopefully possess now.  For me, maybe Jr. High wouldn’t have been the 2 year nightmare it was, filled with all of my insecurities and uncertainties. Sure, I still would have been shorter than most of the girls in my class, but I would have been more well adjusted about it. There are so many things I would have said and done. I’d have gotten better grades. I’d probably still have been a wise ass. I once got slammed into a row of lockers for asking a crusty old science teacher “Hey Mr Conz, how big is Uranus?”  I wasn’t so funny back then, but it was a good warm up for the legendary wit that I eventually grew into.

I know, George . . . it's hard to believe, but it's true.

Today I got a C in my American Film class. 76% on a paper. Essentially, this is the first grade equivalent of a red or green star sticker on your spelling test instead of the coveted silver or gold. It is taking the bronze in the Special Olympics, Ms Congeniality. The assignment was to write a “critique and review” about a film we had seen in class.  It was a silent film that held about as much interest for me as the latest Fast and Furious atrocity.  I understood why it was an important film.  If the CP signal lit up the skies over Gotham, I would have thrown on my tweed jacket, grabbed my pipe and transformed into one of my many alter egos; Captain Pretentious and dazzled boring people at a film discussion party. I could have held a solid conversation about the film, and had all the correct observations. Suffice to say I got it. I didn’t like it, but I got it. 
My teacher wrote all over my paper in her illegible scrawl. How is it that a person gets to teach at a college level when their handwriting resembles that of a low IQ 8 year old writing with their feet?  Apparently there was no thesis in my piece. She punctuated this point in the most annoying way possible by underlining various lines throughout the paper and scribbling “Is this your thesis? Yeah, yeah Mrs. Orsen Spielberg. I get it, OK? 
To be fair to her, yes a paper requires a thesis.  To be fair to me (who is generally the person I am more interested in being fair to) her assignment said “write a review and critique.”  If I read a review of a CD, movie, book, painting, or restaurant, I don’t generally see a thesis in it. 

"In the cut throat world of corporate death food, KFC stands alone and I intend to prove this with the following criteria...."

No, the reviews I have read and written tend to be composed of a synopsis/overall view, the strengths, the weaknesses, comparisons and a final analysis. I covered all these bases. The assignment called for 5-7 pages. I wrote 9. I explained and pointed out the various innovations of the film and why they were important.  I expounded on the strong and weak points of the film with various examples. I made relevant comparisons to other films both well and lesser known. I turned in a paper every bit as good as the 8 or 9 that I’ve purchased in the past!

Being a tremendously well adjusted and mature adult, I am now starting to think that my teacher, Mrs. Cecil B. Douchebag, and I don’t have good chemistry. I think she dislikes me, and I have come to the conclusion that I feel the same way about her.  I think she is accustomed to younger students she can more easily impress with her extensive film knowledge. I am not one of these type of students  I happen to know a fair amount about film myself.  I enjoy reading about films, viewing them, analyzing, writing about and discussing them.

She once stopped me after class to ask that I take a seat near the door so I wont interrupt the films that she shows during class. I had gotten up a whopping 2 times that day during the four and a half hour class to leave the room. The fact of the matter is that the only person disturbed by this was her. I don’t think 2 breaks in that span of time is excessive. I got up quietly and slinked out of the room. To listen to her, you’d have thought I prefaced my exit with noisy and unnecessary laps around the classroom making ‘choo choo’ and other Tourettes like sounds. She also admitted that her son and husband wont go to movies with her anymore as she embarrasses them with her cinema-nazi behavior. (I thought I was bad, hissing at my poor mother to “shut the fuck up” when she asks me questions during movies.)  I’m 41 Professor Loews. I stopped asking to go potty well over 2 years ago.

I am, for the most part, an A student.  My GPA is 3.87 which means all A’s save for one B- and two A-‘s.  I have never gotten a C in any of my classes.  At least the ones I didn’t withdraw from in a snit of algebraic frustration. 
After getting my paper back, I stuffed it angrily into my back pack and sulked and sneered at her while,   throwing my cough drop wrappers on her desk until she handed out our second “open book test”. I finished the test before anyone else, furiously scribbling the various multiple guess answers on my exam and then tossed it in front of her with an exaggerated ‘choke on this bitch” gesture and stomped out of the room. I was too angry and disgusted to be a good little student today.  Back in Jr. High I used to draw the teachers I disliked being lynched, or buried up to their necks and urinated on by the offensive line of the Denver Broncos. Some of these art therapy pieces were found and I had to go to the school counselor. I was just a misunderstood 14 year old artist with anger issues. Geeeez.

No one ever pays attention until it's too late. ("The Ring", "The Sixth Sense", "Cocoon")

I did not return for the second part of class, so she will mark me absent for that. My school has a kindergartenesque attendance policy and if you have too many absences you can fail or get a lower grade regardless of your academic performance. Dr. Francis Ford Cuntilla will not, under any circumstances excuse any student from any class for any reason. Just so we’re clear, If a student misses more than 4 classes or 16 hours, they fail. Got in a car accident?  Your mother died?  Food Poisoning? Meteor hit your house? Stormed out rather than beating the teacher half to death with a 9 page review and critique? Tough titty friends and neighbors.  You fail.
So now what do I do?  I can’t drop the class, so I have to try and salvage what I can out of this woman’s chamber of cinematic torture. Friends with cooler heads have suggested I go back and explain nicely that I misunderstood the assignment and ask if I can do it over, which is a good idea I suppose with the exception of having to speak to Professor Siskel Von Ebert.  Given her truly zen stance on absenteeism I suspect that I will only become more angry and frustrated after the encounter. I’ve noticed that there is a type of teacher who delight in their rigid stances, like it is some virtuous form of academic tough love.
Maybe I should just accept the inevitable C from this woman and torment her in and out of class. I once drove a teacher in high school to muscle relaxant addiction. Maybe I should start handing in lengthy extra credit pieces about the cinematic brilliance of Vin Diesel, or the Post-Expressionist motifs in the Clint Eastwood “Any Which Way…” film series and how the orangutan co-star was an analogy for the futility of modern man. I could raise my hand and demand or beg her to read them to the class. The next time she scribbles all over one of my assignments, I will go up to her and ask “Professor, what is this word?”  After she tells me, I will go back to my desk and then return to ask again, “How about this word?”  Repeat until she is visibly flustered.

Brilliant Story! Click me!

Maybe I will do better as a nuisance than a student in this particular class.  If she hates any type of interruption during the screening of the precious films she shows…I could bring in noisy snack pack bags of potato chips for the whole class. Those new biodegradable bags make a sound like fingernails down a chalkboard. I know it would be blasphemy to my fellow cinephiles, but belching or farting during Citizen Kane would really get her goat.

  1. You really, really need to be a comedy writer!!!!!

  2. Tallkronan says:

    Oh dear! I think of all students I might have opffended (or rather: I surely have offended) over the years. I think also you tend to expect more from an older student. Fair? Nah. But I think most teachers do.
    Get back on the horsie, Scott!


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