The Truth About Those First Few Weeks of College, Part II | Teen Ink

The Truth About Those First Few Weeks of College, Part II

October 13, 2010
By Erinhatgesprochen SILVER, Stafford, Virginia
Erinhatgesprochen SILVER, Stafford, Virginia
5 articles 1 photo 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" -- Monty Python

- I have spoken to at least 4 people in the past week who did not realize that using SparkNotes is a violation of the Code of Academic Integrity. Actually, they were downright shocked when I told them, despite the fact that the entire freshman class did an activity centered around this violation (using unauthorized aides on an assignment) and its consequences. I realize people use them throughout high school, but did you seriously not reason that even doing it then can get you not only kicked out of class, but suspended? Your high school must have sucked horribly if they allowed you to use them. In college, you can fail the assignment or even the entire class, be suspended, or be expelled for cheating - because yes, using SparkNotes is considered cheating. The amount people shocked by this has, so far, has been the biggest 'WTF?' moment for me.

- I think I was the only one to read Fish Tales (the Code of Academic Integrity. Yeah, I have no idea why it's called Fish Tales) before we matriculated (signed our names in the books, thereby making us official college students). To be honest, I didn't finish the last few pages until after we'd said the pledge. Nonetheless, I have actually read it. When we sign the book, we are swearing that we have read and will abide by the Code of Academic Integrity. Just like with SparkNotes, I am apparently the only one who realizes this. So the entire freshmen class (all 212 of us) are starting off our college lives by not listening and lying.

- My roommate consistently goes to sleep at 1 in the morning after being on Skype for far too long. Apparently me putting my PJs on and crawling in to bed, the covers over my head is not enough of a sign that she should shut the Hell up and stop trying to talk to me.

- My former Orientation Leader - walked by my roommate and my's dorm the other day, showing a prospective family the Freshman dorms. Our room looks like a train wreck. I don't think the prospective student or her mom looked in, but the dad seemed to think we had a pretty sweet getup.

- I am already not really sure as to what is going on in my math class. No offense, but it seems like the type of math for people who think too much. For example, Euler's Theorem was made because somebody wanted to know if you could cross all the bridges in a park in Kongisberg (or however you spell it) only once and end up where you started. For anybody who's wondering what the answer's no. There are an odd number of edges.

- My British Literary Traditions (read: English) professor seems really strict but nice. I'm not sure how I feel about her speaking voice yet, but considering that I've already read Sir Gawain and the Green Night, The Canterbury Tales, Jonathon Swift, "The Rape of the Lock", and Beowulf, know how to use MLA and and have no need to take English 185 (thank you DE English), this class should be fairly non-stressful for me.

- My Death & Dying (read: sociology) professor is very nice, but a little flaky. She showed up for class 10 minutes late because apparently, she did not realize that it started at 10:20...not 10:30. So the fact that I was in the wrong building in the first place did not matter. We didn't finish going over the syllabus - the only objective of the day - because I accidentally got her off on a little lecture about the difference between anthropology and sociology (I was only asking because my anthropology professor seemed so upset by being called a sociologist. When I told her this, she said she'd talk to him, reminding me once more why talking to teachers is a bad idea). She calculated my day of death on The Death Clock, then did another test using the whole class to see how long we would live. At the end she gave us a survey to see how experienced we were with death, which sounded even more morbid when she got excited about the answers and told us she'd have them tabulated by Friday. We don't have class tomorrow because she has jury duty. I have no idea what to say to this.

- My Intro to Math Modeling professor is very nice, and reminds me of my high school chemistry teacher in that I really don't want to say I hate math because I don't want to hurt his feelings. Introduction to Mathmatical Modeling, however, sounds like puzzles, and apparently I am knocking out a math requirement and a computer science requirement in a very popular class, so I'm okay with it. The only problem is that I chose to sit in the back and I am the only freshman in my class. Yippee skippee.

- My concert choir professor is very nice and unlike every other teacher I've had so far, actually remembers people's names. He even remembered my voice teacher telling him about me. He also happens to live in my home town, and when I told him I what high school I went to (I also had to say that no, I was not in chorus, because I was too shy), he commented that we have an "intimidating" choir. And yes. Yes we do.

- My The Stranger (read: anthropology) professor is still ADD but seems to be really excited about our class. He must have said about 5 times in the 20 minutes he was actually there that he was sure we were going to be a great group. We covered some pretty good stuff in the time we were there, did not get syllabi, and were told that sociologists know nothing. After about 15 or 20 minutes, he had to leave because there was a scheduling conflict (there seem to be alot of those at this school). He gave us a worksheet and 2 chapters to read, which will be fun because apparently the first chapter talks about Star Trek. After he left, the Assistant Dean of Students did a lecture on diversity and let us out of class 40 minutes early because, "I have shit to do and you have shit to do".

- I went to my first OSMA meeting last Thursday. OSMA is a fancy way to say GSA [Gay-Straight Alliance]. It stands for Organisation for Sexual Minorities and Allies, which sounds like beastiality or necrophelia as opposed to LGBTQ [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Questioning]. I never really considered homo- or bisexuality to be minorities (it's not like it's a rare thing to meet someone who is). However in OSMA itself, apparently being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered or even questioning is a minority; there were 8 of us, and of the 7 who stated sexual orientation, 6 of us were straight. The 7th was pansexual. There were 3 Jewish guys and one girl who gave off the vibe of being Jewish. She also gave off the vibe of being Republican and a lesbian, but she is neither of those. We also had an actual practicing Buddhist who was not Asian. The president spent the entire time calling the non-Republican/lesbian/Jewish girl a whore and making Jew jokes. It was an interesting day.

- That night at dinner, I became an honorary Jew. This honor was bestowed upon me after expressing that I'd like to learn and sing the Dreidel Song. The guy who made me an honorary Jew has cat-coloured eyes. They were beautiful.

- My roommate informed me and one of our hallmates at lunch one day that she does not believe the Holocaust happened. I realized people like her existed, but I never thought I would meet one. She apparently believes that if something like the Holocaust really would have occured, we wouldn't be talking about it. This belief absolutely astounds me; my grandfather liberated concentration camps (he met Elie Wiesel as a teenager), we study WWII for so much of our lives, I know and have met so many Jewish people (including my favorite teacher) - why would she think that pretty much the entire world would participate in a vast, time-consuming, morbid, sick, historically documented lie? She does, however, believe that man really did land on the moon...something which a lot less likely. For history class, however, she is reading a book on the Nuremburg Trials, so this should get pretty interesting.

- Yesterday I started my math homework at about 8 and finally gave up at about midnight. It takes me awhile to do math homework because I like to take down notes as I go along. I get to class with the intention of turning in half of my work with a sort of "oh well, I just need to do better next time". Then I realize the reaosn why it was taking me so long: I was working on Chapter 2. Our homework was on Chapter 1.

- I had dinner with a bunch of techies on Sunday night. They were very interesting. One was Jewish, one was a lesbian and one had a John Lennon vibe. The girl actually saw me sitting alone and cam up and offered to let me sit with them, which is pretty awesome because they were all upperclassmen. They still acknowledge me when they see me despite my being a freshman, although I havne't seen them all together since then (I really and truly am sad about this), and make it my mission to find the theater house so I can see them. I was also informed by the Jewish guy - that you can't lose The Game if you are Jewish. He didn't elaborate.

- We all know that one guy or girl where the minute he or she opens his or her mouth, you groan. Here, this guy is in my FYE - First Year Experience - class, though not in my section (he is in English, I am in anthropology). He is, however, in my roommate and our friend's section of The Stranger, and they groan at the thought of him. According to my roommate, "everything he says is intelligent", but he does not know how to talk conversationally. Tonight, for example, both sections of our FYE went to the President's house for a dessert reception. All the people he spoke to kept their heads down and mostly did they "uh huh, yeah, okay, right" sort of thing you do when someone you really do not like is trying to talk to you. Even my anthropology professor did not want to talk to him, and tried to pawn him off on me by mentioning to him that "Erin likes science-fiction too. She wore a Buffy tee shirt - right? - on the first day of class. We bonded over Joss Whedon". He was either really desperate to get this kid to stop talking to him, or I'm already a teacher's pet. Perhaps both.

- Since coming to college, I have realized that I really and truly did need reading glasses. I have worn them all day every day because when I don't, the words in books are...I don't know how to describe it. Gnats? I've also realized that those who wear glasses don't rub their eyes because they are stressed out. No, glasses are just annoying.

- I went to college with the intention of majoring in English and education and minoring in film studies and perhaps German. Then one day I was sitting in English and realized how extraordinarily depressed English makes me.

- My anthropology teacher left the class at random today for about 10 minutes. I don't know where he went or what he accomplished.

- Apparently anthropologists and sociologists hate each other. Today, my anthropology professor role-played to show us the difference between, say, a social psychologist and a cultural anthropologist (he is the latter). His play-acting of what anthropologists do was different from what my sociology professor had described. I comment on this at the end of class to my anthropology professor who tells me that my sociology professor "knows nothing. She would probably kill me if she heard me say that." I commented that she seemed nice and not like the killing kind. His response was simply "oh, she's not that nice."

This is all I got for right now. I'm still writing, but my brain is too fried most of the time to speak in anything but metaphors.
To end with, some random quotes from my chorus and anthropology professors:
"Yes. There is more than one person named Franz in Germany." -- chorus
"What is the one thing we all know about people that lived a long time ago? That's really universal? They all died. They really failed to stay alive." -- anthropology
"How do people use a cheat sheet? There are too many words." -- chorus
"Why is there diversity? Because you suck and I don't." -- anthropology
"You can tell me I'm part of a species that thrives on social interaction, but I ain't gonna socially interact right now!" -- anthropology

The author's comments:
This is the second half of an article I wrote earlier, and I just remembered I forgot to check an important box on that last one. Oh well.

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