I live in a bubble.

OK, the title is a lie.  I don’t live in a bubble.  I do live in Austin, though, which is almost as good in some ways.  I think it’s time for hilarious stories about my classmates and teachers!

As I mentioned before, we have three weeks to go before the election.  I had thought that the UT campus was suspiciously quiet this year, at least compared to primary season last spring, when it seemed like the campus became a giant hive-mind for Obamabots, Paulians, and a very small number of Huckabeeans (man, figuring out group names is hard!).  That pretty much sums up the political viewpoint of the school: liberals, big-L Libertarians, and evangelical Christians.  But I came back this year, and everything was quiet, even after Palin was chosen as McCain’s VP pick.  One one hand, I was thankful – I’m glad I don’t have to deal with “Palin is a C***” t-shirts, because it’s just wierd – but on the other, I was puzzled.  Where was all the energy?

Well, it’s started coming out.  In my fencing class, one girl spent every free moment talking about the wonderful world we would inhabit once that dreadful Bush-Cheney White House was gone.  OK, fine – a little irritating, but she’s essentially harmless.  No, the real explosion happened in my history class last night.  My professor is an older woman who has been part of the department for at least 20 years, and she is a proud part of the “Sarah Palin is an idiot” contingent.  In her defense, however, she think Adlai Stevenson should have won, so it’s not a specifically anti-Sarah Palin thing, more an anti-….well, I don’t know.  Anti-Republican?  Naw, Truman was a Democrat.  I guess it’s a cultural problem.  I’ve never actually met anyone who still supports Adlai Stevenson, but OK.  It takes all kinds, right?

So I walk into the class, and everyone is discussing the pre-debate polls.  Obama is 10% ahead!  What can that old man McCain do to derail him, huh?  The professor warns that McCain used to be pretty good back in the day, and another guy points out the dreaded “Bradley effect” – the people polled are secretly racist, you know.  I tried to point out that the polling methodology is wrong, but they weren’t listening, and then I (figuratively) smacked myself in the face.  Why was I outing myself as an idiotic non-Obama voter?

Anyway, after a few minutes, we moved back onto the the class subject, thank god.  But halfway into the class, the sound a car-chase interrupted us – what was that?  Well, as one of my brilliant classmates said, maybe McCain had died during the debate.  This, of course, set off a long discussion of what would happen, considering early voting had already started.  In their defense, they were very worried about this.  Would that woman take over?  Would the GOP have to do another convention?  It was all a bit morbid.  Finally, I pointed out that unless McCain grew a giant talking mole during the debate, he probably wasn’t dead, so maybe we could get back to, you know, the Crusades?  Of course, we had to continue talking a bit more, so I waited the discussion out and tried to avoid rolling my eyes.  I think it’s interesting how my classmates think McCain is so frail and on-the-edge – he’s had cancer, you know!  On the other hand, I’m pretty blase about the whole thing.  If McCain had had lung cancer or something like that, I guess I’d be more worried, but I know the rates for melanoma relapse and melanoma survival, and it’s not exactly terrifying.  Oh well.  They’re history majors, no one ever said they had to know science!  Or economics, either – remember, kids, those Golden Parachutes are to blame for the mortgage meltdown, not bad government regulation and political corruption!  Now, let’s get back to planning those wage and price controls!

Anyway, it was doubly weird, because we’re reading Robert of Clari’s chronicle of the fourth crusade, and the professor loves him, because he’s Everyman of the Crusades!  But at the same time, she castigates people who vote for McCain as idiots – why don’t ordinary middle-class voters understand how stupid they are?  Very strange.  I admit, I’ll never understand the persuasion tactic of “insult someone until they understand how stupid they are and how right I am”.  The same sort of people whinge about how horrible this country is, and how they’re going to move to Canada where all the smart people are.  I guess Canadians are like Pratchett’s trolls, and the cold makes their brains run better, although people who want to move to Canada for that reason that don’t seem to know anything about Canada, or they’d know a conservative government is in power.

Anyway, class ended, everyone gathered around the teacher to talk about Obama’s inaugeration, and I made my escape.  I’m not very good at faking enthusiasm for Obama, and although I don’t think my classmates or teacher are rabidly anti-Republican/liberatarian/conservative, the teacher is pretty forthright that stupid people don’t get good grades, and people who vote for McCain are stupid.  I’d like her to grade my paper (70% of my grade) thinking of me as the eager-beaver sophomore, not as that idiot Republican.

I feel like a coward, but I don’t want to waste the money on this course.  I’d like to at least pass and get rid of another requirement to graduation.  On the other hand, this is the third class in the liberal arts that I’ve taken, and the second I’ve seriously regretted.  A trend to watch, or just bad luck?  You decide.

On the upside, I really want to see McCain win now.  I have class on November 5, and I have the feeling it will be hilarious if Obama loses.


One Response

  1. So sorry for your travails at the Uni.

    P.S., please note the following spelling errors. PP2: wierd->weird. PP7: inaugeration->inauguration.

    Yours Sincerely,

    The Noid

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