Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My first day back at a big college...

The night before my first class in Nevada School Law was filled with anxiety.  Law.  WTF do I know about law?  Besides the fact that laws are created to protect people.

So, I leave the house at 2:30pm for a 4pm class.  Glad I did!  I went and ate lunch, I got to find where to park, I found my lecture hall so early, that I got to sit outside and visit with another student before it was time for the class to start.

Now, before I walked into class, I wanted to observe one of the oldest and noblest of habits, the good ol' "PB4U Leave" rule.  Yes, I tell my fellow raiders in World of Warcraft this:

"If you're going to sit in a raid or for any duration of time with no opportunity to go to the bathroom, treat it like a long car trip.  Always pee before you leave, you never know when's the next opportunity you'll get to go to the bathroom."

I treat lectures and classes the same way.  You go before you go.  There is no worse feeling in the world than being in the middle of a great lecture and having your bladder distract you from what's going on around you.
So, I took the time before the lecture started to find the nearest bathroom which was housed in the Biology Building.  Ok, one thing at UNLV you need to see...the biology building.  Those Bio students have it good!  There's a garden in the middle of their building!  Plants, trees, a pond...it's really beautiful!  But, being that I was in a hurry, I asked the nearest student the location of the bathroom, hurried up, took care of my business and ran across to the lecture hall.
I was smart enough to jot down a few things in the back of my notebook:
On my first day, this is what I saw:
  • Student wives comparing notes about being students and wives simultaneously (then thought how lucky I am that the son-of-a-bitch is gone so I don't have to deal with him at the same time as school).
  • A Nicole Ritchie wannabe
  • A pretty & professional looking TA (who I found out later was actually the other professor that will be team teaching the class.)
  • An older gent with a waxed handlebar mustache that I swore was going to start singing a barbershop song any second.
  • A Frat Boy with his greek letters on his shirt trying to look cool.
  • Some Hippy Chicks
  • 3 older teachers sitting together
  • a lot of pencil/pen biting
  • Me writing notes for my blog
  • see and smell future teachers all around you
  • A girl with a "I survived Barrens Chat" t-shirt on.
  • People filling out student info sheets
  • at 3:50pm people were still filing in for the 4pm class start.
  • The opening slide on the projector showing an overloaded teacher with the messages"  "Take a seat at the front of the class" (60% sat at the back). "Pick up syllabus and lecture support material" (which was 7 pages front and back).  "Complete and return student info sheet".
  • People eyeing other people, some waving at friends.
  • Periodic table on the wall - a school law lecture in the Life Science Building. 
  • Pictures of cell science on the wall.
  • Professor says we will wait on the first day for people to find the class, however after the first class, we WILL start on time.
  • The obvious occurs to me, is "Fashionable Teacher" an oxymoron?  None of the teachers tend to have much style when you're dealing in Elementary or Secondary Ed.  LOL  Fashion accident anyone?  However the two professors looked, spoke and dressed impeccably.
  • I see older teachers comparing filled out forms.
  • Lots of fidgeting all around the room.
  • Me looking around.  3rd row seat for me.
  • 2 plasma screens
  • 1 pulldown screen.
  • Creationism mentioned - A girl in class has a little brother who refused to go to a mosque because it was "against their religion".  She just got filed under my "has no common sense" list.  She was so proud to say she was a "Christian", she offended me, I'm an athiest. LOL
Overall though, this was the class I was dreading the most, it looks as it will be really fun and very interesting.  Doc McC hit us up with a very (in my opinion) messed up hypothetical.  The story of a teacher who took a secondary job, 30 miles away from the town she lived in, to take care of her terminally ill mother as a stripper!  He asked the class, could she be fired for that?  I resoundingly said "NO".  Her life is her life!  But the class was divided, lots said yes because they judged her before really understanding her reason for doing it, even when they knew her reason, they still condemned her.  Me personally, the Principal who found her dancing at the strip club, if he'd been a Chippendale and some lady found him, would he be treated the same?

I found that my old addage "The Human Race NEVER fails to disappoint me" rang true.  I found such beastly prejudice, such absolute ignorance, such narrow-mindedness that it turned my stomach.  Add in the Christian in the row in front of me, and I was ready to hurl.  I just was aghast at the fact that I try to stay so open-minded, see people for who they are, that to be in a room of 80 people who thrived off of being able to judge another human being without thought to their own short-comings was very distressing.

But all in all, the lecture was great, the way the material was presented was interesting.  In all, a ton of fun!

Lots of reading to do, but definitely looking forward to next Monday.

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