Angst Angst Angst

Causes 2 posts in one day! And they’re both about college. Since I’m learning languages, and consider myself a budding linguist in that I love studying the minutiae of differences and similarities within one language or two languages, I thought I would post about college language (highly influenced by FaceBook). No, I will not discuss “leet speak” or anything like that. Here is a dictionary, of sorts, in no alphabetical order.

  • Offensive: Anything that implies a solid belief in anything other than relativistic post-modernism. Nothing is true except that nothing is true.
  • Logical: What you won’t find in most thesis statements in the Education Department.
  • Deadline: What will be pushed back in the case of too many people procrastinating.
  • It’s Complicated: I’m using him/her for sex. Friend me on FB if you want sex!
  • Open Relationship: We’re both too shallow to date seriously. See “It’s Complicated”.
  • Random Play: I’m either a ho-bag, attention whore, or I’m just honest and would like some one-night stands. In any case, I’m either getting some, or none.
  • Sophisticated: Snobbish.
  • I don’t believe in Love: I’ve been burnt, so I am going to avoid relationships. But I’m still going to wish for it, in an angsty sort of way.
  • I’m Atheist: I also have a beard, and dress in depressing clothes, like those emo kids. I don’t believe in God, in fact I spend lots of time hating him. Christians are nothing but fundamentalist terrorists. But Muslims just want understanding. Wait…did any of that make sense? Oh, and I used to be a fundie Christian, so I’ll be just as relentless trying to get you to convert.
  • I have Jesus in my heart: I will try to convert you via a KJV Bible, non-sequiturs, and lots and lots and lots of unintentional bigotry. Horrible spelling may ensue.
  • I am a socialist!: I have no life, and my parents still pay for everything. I also have no idea what socialism means. But I have a flag!!
  • I’m an activist for human rights : I have Che-Guevara on my T-Shirt and still manage to spend $300 on a single outfit that looks like I got it out of a dumpster. I’m showing my solidarity with Tibetans, and don’t want to know that Che was a major murdering pain in the butt, not just a revolutionary. Yes, my parents pay for everything.
  • No “Interested In” filled in? 95% of the time they’re gay or bi and don’t feel like broadcasting that part of their life. The other 5% can be split between old people on FB, or people who honestly aren’t interested in anyone.
  • I’m a Bhuddist: You find a real Bhuddist maybe .5% of the time. Most of the time its some white male, who has no clue what Bhuddism is, just trying to be cool, and failing epically. You will find him in Japanese class, using Japanese he got out of anime. Pity him, for he has no clue the frustrations he causes.
  • I’m a Muslim: This comes in 2 flavors. Either you have the one clique, which is so pro-Islam that they’re as annoying as the fundie clique on campus, or you have that one girl who is really self conscious about her veil and being at a Catholic school. Be nice to her- she usually is pretty friendly, and just doesn’t want to be called a terrorist.
  • Open Minded: Will agree with anything. Anything.
  • Teacher’s Pet: Usually a prof’s kid. Occasionally is just someone who is open-minded.
  • Grammar Nazis: Those precious few who value not writing in text on an essay.
  • Freshman Year: That odd year when you actually have time to do stuff, but nothing worthwhile to do.
  • Freshman: Depending on which college, they might be the slime of the underbelly of their highschool. Half are going to drop out after learning college is nothing like the movies.

Also, how can you tell if your prof is out to get you, or if you’re just being paranoid? This is a very important question. Most of the time, your profs are not out to get you. They may want to help, or are actually indifferent to whether you pass or fail. Some profs get a big kick out of being mentors- thank them, because that takes a lot of time and effort. But sometimes, you get a prof who is evil.

How does this happen? Well, generally all you need is a prof who has low self esteem. This can be the prof who has never been married and is getting wrinkled, so she decides to become pro-feminist to prove how much she doesn’t need men, yet all the topics come around to this subject. This can also be the prof who doesn’t really know his stuff, and is terrified that one student will bring his house of cards down. More common is the prof who is more than a little scared and lonely, and has no idea how to conduct classroom management.

Each of these profs can turn on you. So what do you do?

Ze Checklist to Know if Zey’re Out to Get You:

  1. Have you ruled out all other possibilities? Could you be wrong, paranoid, or could the prof have a genuine reason to kick your academic butt? No, then read on:
  2. Have they tried to get you kicked out of class, without provocation? What lengths did they have to go through to do it? Was digging involved? How much time did it take? How many people did they notify? Did they go behind your back to do it? The harder it was, the more likely they are out to get you.
  3. Are you still in that class, regardless?
  4. Do they make belittling remarks that carry the weight of threats at you, for things most other students wouldn’t be bothered with? (Writing notes, or  lack of notes, forgetting to silence a phone, or simply leaving a phone in view…as the person next to you taps merrily away)
  5. Instead of waiting until after class to discuss something private, do they bring it up in front of everyone?
  6. When class is held at an off-campus location, do they conveniently forget to email you, but no one else?
  7. Do they take your bathroom breaks in the middle of class as a personal affront, and ask publicly that you ask permission to use the toilet? Do they ask why you need to use the toilet?
  8. Do your grades reflect the prof’s attitudes towards you on that particular day? (Be sure that you are reasonably a good student, with good attendance, and facts to back you up…) Good indicators can be nasty comments left in the margins of your essays, or docked points if participation is actually graded.

Oh my Gott. Zey are after me!!! Vat do I do???

  1. Don’t panic. Keep very very good records. Save everything. Everything.
  2. Keep it legal. If you’re not allowed to bring a recorder to class, and its against the law, don’t do it.
  3. Sharpen your memory. Build your legal vocabulary.
  4. Assess whether its worth it to report this prof. Keep in mind your prof is richer, and more powerful than you. His or her word will be accepted against yours more readily. Ponder the implications if you have further classes with this prof.
  5. Behave formally and politely- do nothing that would give any sort of logical reason for them to go after you. If you’ve been a stinker in the past, now is the time to change.
  6. If they ask if you have a problem with them or the class, make like Obama or Kegan and use some good tactical maneuvers to get yourself out of it.
  7. Try not to be a smart-ass if they ask you the bathroom question, although highlighting menstruation issues is a great way to shut them up.
  8. Be patient. If they are really out to get you, don’t make a big deal of it. Chances are you’ll have the support of the class if the prof constantly shows how much of an ass he/she can be towards you. Your classmates aren’t dumb- they know they could be next on the shit-list.
  9. Confide in some other profs, but do so with discretion and tact. Remember they are colleagues, and would like to keep their jobs and relationships.
  10. If the situation warrants it, and it has gotten out of hand, remember that college is a hierarchy. Also remember that legal language is a help- it smells of bad PR and a lawsuit. You might bring up legitimate concerns, but don’t forget that college is also bureaucratic. The administration is lazy- they don’t want to help anyone, they don’t care. But they will care when you mention harassment (the proper name for targeting you) and the possible ramifications that is going to have on the PR of the college. You shouldn’t be kept from a good education (which YOU are paying for) because of emotional distress, simply because your prof has nothing better to do than harass you, for whatever excuse. Come prepared with lots of hard-copy evidence to back up your own anecdotal evidence, and perhaps with accounts coming from other students who would support you.

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