Monday, November 13, 2006

This is what grad school is like.

Our Southern Literature final exam is on Thursday, and Dr. Douchebag gave us the assignment last week. It involves three-pages of schizophrenic babbling from which we are to somehow find a few questions to answer. Here are a few excerpts, and please remember this is word-for-word.

[From the first prompt, in which we are to compare The Ballad of the Sad Cafe and Paris Trout (which Christina was sad to learn is not about a fish who wears a beret).]
"For Ballad, focus upon Amelia Evans re Cousin Lymon, Marvin Macy (and town/cafe's customers). For Paris, focus upon Paris/Hanna vis a vis Harry Seagraves/wife, Lucy, and make social judgments, draw critical conclusions on similarities and CONTRASTS (whenever possible) re how the grotesque elements/conflicts embody the workings of Southern culture. Focus upon the characters (understanding that they impact us grotesquely) and upon how their interactions/clashes alter their worlds/identities (hence ours, too)."
Oh, Dr. D-bag. The mass underlining does less to accentuate the important ideas as much as it makes them lose their relevance. Also, I'm pretty sure you mean for us to contrast the relationships between Paris/Hannah with Carl Bonner and his wife. My two classmates, with whom I had a study session tonight, debated for about ten minutes whether or not Lucy, Seagraves's wife, was alive or dead until we found the one page in the entire novel on which she speaks. And you wonder why I think you're not reading these novels with us.

[From the second prompt, in which we must compare All the Kings Men and Delta Wedding.]
"...consider Jack's and Willie's macho-ism: male's go-it-alone, detached, alienated psyche seeking self-ness and adequate person-hood as a counter-force to stifling socially imposed identity. How to Jack's/Willie's macho stances account for R.P. Warren's 'WAS' [Side note: "Was" refers to a short story in Go Down, Moses, and in this sense Dr. D-bag is using it as shorthand for "a sense of the past."] as combat-able, over-come-able? [More briefly], why isn't Welty's 'WAS' over-come-able by George?"
Over-come-able?! I hope I get extra points if I use the following sentence as a part of my answer: "Willie Stark somewhat invents his past for his political gain, exaggerating his down-homey-ness." (And yes, I do plan on underlining that.) And "macho-ism?" Do you mean "machismo," perhaps? Who gave this man a Ph.D.?

[From the third prompt, concerning Go Down, Moses and Song of Solomon.]
"For IKE, be sure to discuss whether (and HOW) key characters facilitate or block his JOURNEY: CASS, Buck and Buddy [LEDGERS], Sam Fathers, the hunt for the BEAR. For MILKMAN, be sure to assess whether (and HOW) key characters facilitate or block his JOURNEY to a new IDENTITY: Ruth and Macon Dead (mom/dad), PILATE, HAGAR, Circe, and GUITAR (re Seven Days)."
I can only SUPPOSE that perhaps DR. DOUCHEBAG himself FORGETS that Ruth and Macon Dead, who HAPPEN to BE two OF the FIVE MAJOR CHARACTERS in the NOVEL, are MILKMAN'S mother and father and ASSUMED I might ALSO. If ONLY Toni MORRISON could HAVE made THAT more MEMORABLE. THANKS DR. D-BAG FOR BEING HERE FOR US.

It'll be all over in four days. I can't wait.


Anonymous said...

How much is this education costing you? Oh right, nothing.

You get what you pay for.

Tyler said...

Actually, Anonymous, I spent over a hundred dollars on novels and a coursepack. So there.

Anonymous said...

I suppose a 100-150 dollar graduate school course could possibly produce a teacher like Dr. Douchebag. But then again, some people actually paid full price to take So. Literature class with Dr. DB. So even if you got what you paid for, your classmates were robbed by a crackhead.

Tyler said...

Yes, each class is just shy of $2000, which means that each meeting costs my tuition-paying classmates $200.