Three Things I Hope To Never Cover in Lecture Again

I am in an entirely in-major courseload this semester. This has led me to the startling realization that there are basically three things that will be mentioned in every single class I ever set foot in during the course of my career here. If I could never have them discussed again, that would be awesome.

  1. Frat hazing: I get it. American culture is hard to pull rituals–particularly age-cohort coming-of-age rituals–from, and you want to pull from your students’ culture in order to make things Relevant. But I swear to Christ, if we talk about fraternity initiation one more time, I’m going to throw a DVD of Animal House at your Google Image picture of frat boys getting their homoerotic on. I have had this used in literally every single class that I am enrolled in this semester with the exception of my archaeology course–and that’s because wooden paddles don’t hold up in grave goods. Please find a new example. (I suggest the Masons. Everybody loves the Masons!)
  2. The “gender is not sex” lecture: I did in fact just have this in my archaeology class, so we’re 3 for 4 (and I’m pretty sure we’re batting 100% in my previous classes). It’s not that this isn’t a good thing to drive home. It is! It’s awesome! But if you’re not going to go into any more depth than this, this is a 101 topic that doesn’t need to be brought up again. It should be taken as a given that your students already know this, particularly if you’re not going to go in depth with this topic beyond that statement. Stick it in one of the required major classes, address it there, and go into it in more depth any other time it is mentioned. It does not need to be a full lecture every single time.
  3. Hijras: Hijras are interesting! They were particularly interesting when I covered them in 101. They have gotten less interesting as they have become the example for third genders in every class I’ve had since. Instead, talk about Native American third genders or invite students to talk about the modern American trans movement. If you’re going to try to relate coming-of-age rituals to the American context by using frat boys, then you have to relate gender issues to that context, too. Stick up some Youtube clips from Buck Angel! It’ll be a novel change of pace.

Vaseline on the Lens of Your Memories

The Dalai Lama wears a sun visor to block stage lights. He is delightful. Image courtesy of Flickr user Ferne Millen. Licensed under CC 2.0.

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It has been a busy week, what with it only being Tuesday. First off, today I saw the Dalai Lama speak at Emory, which was pretty sweet. (He had a tiny sun visor!) Plus, tonight my residents managed to fill a UNICEF box in literally five minutes. They are the bomb! Plus, my OpenStudy blog post went up and I registered the Riot Campus domain and life is good.

While at Emory after the Dalai Lama talk, my cohorts and I ran into literally every frickin’ junior at the school that we knew. It was kind of insane. The non-Oxfordians were wondering who the hell the screaming people in the sweatpants blocking the aisles were, I’m sure.

There was an uncomfortable run-in with a member of our group and her Atlanta campus ex. She came to our table, somewhat irritated: “I wish I could quit feeling! I just want an off switch!” I do not know this girl that well, so I didn’t say much, but I wanted so badly to say that I felt her pain. I have been there! It took me six-ish months and a lot of my life becoming awesome to not be there! And even now, with the knowledge that it was a bad relationship and I am better off single and holy shit how awesome is my life right now, even with that, when I saw my ex’s best friend sitting in the chairs behind me today I started to feel physically ill. I don’t think it ever goes away entirely. Continue reading