Saturday, October 31, 2009

Out of the Mouths of Undergrads

The Roman poet Horace once said, “It is when I try to be brief that I become obscure.” I have developed a similar maxim as I struggle through life as a professional paper-grader: “It is when I try to be nice that I become snarky.” Sometimes the students make it quite difficult not to be.

But since this is supposed to be my listening-blog, I thought I would try to extract life lessons from my most recent round of undergraduate pontifications.

* * *

Beware of the ol’ bait-and-switch: "Freedom is there for the taking, but it has to be worked for."

Equality is relative: “They were still limited and not treated as equal as white Americans.”

Any statement can be contradicted by saying the same thing with more words: “This difference that he references is not a social difference, rather it is a difference in perspective and conflict between social identities.”

For postmoderns, stories can be characters: “Being the main character but not the narrator, the entire story is focused on the man.”

What do authors know about the work? “Granted, Hemingway may feel that I am evading his point of the hero…Yet the fact of the matter is that…”

The best metaphors make meanings more obscure: “A slow death has the chance to act as a kind of time-travel reflecting pond.”

And, most importantly by far...

Bloggers are the world’s best humanitarians: “What better way to assist the rest of the human population in deciding how to live than by publishing your opinion on the subject?”

Surely these lessons were worth staying up until 5am to learn!

1 comment:

learning to walk said...

A.) You've never heard of the ol' "Time travel reflecting pond" metaphor? Where have you been your whole life? Didn't Shakespeare say that at some point? I hear the guy is full of clichés.

B.) We're supposed to be helping people decide how to live? How did I miss that one!?