Thursday, March 03, 2005

In Your Easter Bonnet

With all the frills upon it...I have no idea where I'm going with this.

Currently (not) reading:

Orientalism, Edward Said (has made me realize some very interesting things about modern Greece that I would rant about but you don't care)

"El perro del hortelano", Lope de Vega (melodramatic Spanish love stories are always appreciated)

any number of postwar German documents on Nazis (cheery.)

The Millenium of Hieronymous Bosch, Peter Franger (ye gods)

So the real reason I started this post was to rant about grad students. One grad student in particular, actually.

See, I'm in this class that's designed for grad students. ARTHIST 296S, it is called. Despite its outward gradstudentness, there are a fair number of us undergrads enrolled in this course, but normally it is all cool. We talk. I sit across from the professor and thus draw an unduly humiliating amount of attention to myself, but it's ok.

One of the perks of ARTHIST 296S is the snack break. Since it's a 2.5 hour class and all, in the middle the professor will let us have a little bit of foodage. She set the precedent by bringing wine and juice on the first day, then assigned us each to share in the fooding responsibilities.

Now, this particular grad student's first transgression is related specifically to snacktime. It was her turn to bring the nibblies, you see, but when she sauntered up to the head of the table around 8:30 her first words were "oh! I didn't bring anything non-alcoholic. Here's the wine."

Oh, my silly little grad student. You were there on the first day when the professor took a poll of who was underage and almost half of us raised our hands. You cannot plead ignorance, because you know me and you know I am an underage undergrad. This "oh, goodness!" Scarlett O'Hara-style deprecation of our being is not convincing. It is obnoxious.

You know what else is obnoxious? Your habit of pointedly breaking into conversations in order to bring up outside sources. Because, you see, just because YOU have read Guy DeBord's entire collected works and written 100 pages on them doesn't mean that anyone ELSE even knows who Guy DeBord is. And - this might be a revelation, now - you're not adding to the discussion if only you and the professor have any idea what you're talking about. Minus another 10 points every time the professor sees your pathetic attempt to kiss up to her for exactly what it is and contemptuously calls you on it (that ought to bring you down to around -30 or so, I think).

Strike three: bringing up your credentials in every possible situation. Yes, ok, we get it. You went to Princeton for your undergrad. That's very cute. However, tossing around questions like "oh, has anyone heard about what's going on at the PRINCEton Art Museum lately?" is not making anyone like you more. "He's a great professor; I know, because I had him at PRINCEton," is also bad. "You like sports here? That's so...well, at PRINCEton we prefer symposia"...defies commentary, really. Guess what? Yes. You went to Princeton. Duke is plebian. We get it. If you're so good, why are you here now?

The fact that I was in German 14 with you last year (me = sophomore) and got a better grade than you (you = first-year graduate student) doesn't really help your case, either. Yeah, you can sit over there with the grad students and pretend not to know who I am and ignore me when I say hi. That's fine. Now list the dative prepositions.

*Allison, signing off at 3:30am and slightly less bitter than it might seem*


Blogger Chris Clarke said...

Dammit, I want the Edward Said rant. You can guest post it at my blog if you don't want it here.

3/03/2005 1:49 PM  
Blogger :D said...

I love it I love it I love it. This is why Allispain (all is pain) is not allowed to stop blogging.

3/03/2005 2:52 PM  
Blogger Chris Clarke said...

"Because, you see, just because YOU have read Guy DuBord's entire collected works and written 100 pages on them doesn't mean that anyone ELSE even knows who Guy DuBord is.".

I tried to read DeBord once, but it was hard without my spectalces.

3/03/2005 6:49 PM  
Blogger Chris Clarke said...


3/03/2005 6:49 PM  
Blogger Allison said...

I would rant now, but I've forgotten how it went. Over break I'll try to reconstruct it for your bored-ing pleasure. And if you really want to lower the quality of your blog by posting my drivel, well, I can't stop you. :)

I broke DeBord once. See January archives for details.

3/03/2005 8:09 PM  
Blogger Allison said...

"bord-ing pleasure"?

I am unwitting constructor of AWFUL puns!

3/03/2005 8:10 PM  
Anonymous Craig said...

DeBord is what you do when leaving a plane or a boat.

3/05/2005 5:34 AM  

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