Philosophy was at 9 a.m. Monday morning and was my very first class when I arrived at a college a bright-eyed 18-year-old freshman.
OK, so I was 22 years old and bleary-eyed from a hangover. My path to glory hasn’t always been a straight one.
But I got there, eventually. I was 27 years old when I finally passed statistics 101 during summer school.
It’s always been my opinion that math is black wizardry and should probably not be forced upon people like me. I’m good with words, but make me do anything with math and civil fraud charges aren’t likely far off.
It’s weird: The statistics teacher was a nice Brazilian fellow, a real good-looking son-of-a-bitch with curly black hair that fell to his shoulders and a rather tenuous grasp on the English language. I’ve never had a better math teacher. I don’t remember your name, but thank you, Tall Dark Stranger.
But alas, incoming University of Colorado freshmen, freshwomen or fresh-somewhere-in-between above or below, I was talking about philosophy class.
Sometimes my mind wanders.
Philosophy class was at 9 a.m. Monday and was my very first class when I arrived at college.
It was 2001, and “Fight Club,” having just come out a year or two prior, inspired several young men in the class to dress up like Brad Pitt’s character, Tyler Durden — Hawaiian shirts, rose-tinted glasses, fake red leather jackets and sometimes a vest. It was a dark time for fashion.
In addition to dressing like the hallucination of a mentally ill movie character, the Tylers were often the main culprits of this scenario you will surely endure, brave soon-to-be university student:
“Well, I was thinking of letting you go early today, class,” the distinguished professor announced as he ran fingers down his mustache, around the corners of his mouth and finally to the manicured goatee that ached expectantly for his touch.
“Unless, that is, anyone has a question,” the distinguished professor continued.
“Actually,” one of the Tylers said. “I have a question.”
Silent but palpable groaning from the auditorium.
The professor, who had two teaching assistants/indentured servants, looked like Dante Hicks in the movie “Clerks” if he had been played by Charlie Sheen. He wore a tweed sport coat with the patches on the elbows.
Incoming freshperson — you will have a professor with one of those coats before you are done. You think it’s just something you see in movies, but it’s horrifyingly real.
Anyway, professor Hicks-Sheen promised us that if we behaved throughout the semester, he would explain to us what was actually happening in the movie “The Matrix.” Like I said, it was 2001. Apparently, computers will eventually just find people too hard to organize and do away with us. Sort of interesting.
I got an A on my final paper on Martin Heidegger. My girlfriend, who took the class with me, was enraged that the Heidegger paper I wrote for her only got a B.
It was an interesting start to a five-year-long journey I’m not even close to paying off.