Thursday, March 15, 2012

Chaucer Hates Me and Other Tales of Woe

I think my Canterbury Tales professor thinks I'm an idiot.

Submitted as evidence:

Exhibit A: Last night, after I commented on the use of the biblical illusion of the Samaritan woman at the well as a reflection of the Wife of Bath* he said, yeah.  we learn that in the Prologue.  

Exhibit B:  Also last night, I commented on the joke in the Wife of Bath's telling of the story of Midas and the ass's ears, about how the W. of B presents it as anti-feminist rhetoric, but her casual advice to read Ovid's version of the tale undermines it and makes the joke a feminist statement.  And he said, well, that's the flat reading of it.

I like him, I do.  I mean, sort of.  I just don't get what's happening in the class.  I like the tales, but we barely talk about them.  He speaks about them so tangentially that we spend most of the class watching him retrace his rhetorical steps so he can remember what his point was to begin with.

It's . . . exhausting.

I don't know if it was him or me, but yesterday in class I felt particularly exhausted.  This was especially unfortunate, as I arrived a few minutes late and my usual seat (front row, left side - it's a seat that says, hey, I'm here to learn, but let's not make a big deal out of it) was unavailable so I slipped into the seat most readily available with the least amount of disruptive desk moving.  This seat happened to be directly in front of him.  We were eye to eye for the whole class.  I don't even want to think about what this seat says about me.

So I spent the whole class period valiently trying to look engaged.  I caught myself staring at the board behind him, slack jawed, so I mustered my wits and resolutely chewed some gum.  I think it worked.

Then again, if he thinks I'm a moron, what does it matter anyway.

On the upside, the girl in class who gave the Greek entomology of the word nostalgia told me after class that she liked my nails, so, all in all, I'd give last night a solid B.

*I grant that this is not an especially brilliant observation, but the class was silent.  Someone had to say something.


  1. So MJ and I have been discussing her future. Seems she's serious about it. And in devising a life plan that includes EVERYTHING she wants to do I am finding I reference you frequently for how to go about finding fulfillment and doing it all.

    Rapt gum chewing is in fact THE best way to feign interest in just about anything. And your nails ARE adorable.

  2. That is so weird. My theory is that he hasn't even read it and has taken some tips from Idiot's Guide to Looking Like You Know What You're Talking About When Teaching a Class, Even Though You Haven't Read the Material. He's intimidated by you and your witty insights. I'm sure of it.

    He's maybe read the prologue, and had that one-liner ready.

    I once had a teacher who treated me the same way, but that's because she thought I was a bully, which was totally false!

  3. If that'd been me I probably would have gone home and cried.