Oberlin Blogs

Professors Say the Funniest Things

December 17, 2011

Ruby Turok-Squire ’16

Title says it all.

Below is a list of real life professor quotes from my first semester at Oberlin. Let me say, though, that these were all jokes, and meant as jokes. None of what follows reflects upon how academically challenging my classes are, or how supportive and kind my teachers are. It just shows a bit of their fun side. And if a class is fun, you'll look forward to it, be motivated by it and end up learning a lot more from it. So enjoy!

  • Do you know what day it is today? It's September 23rd, the day that Frodo and Sam set out on their journey to destroy the Ring. Music Theory
  • Let's contrast this with a squirrel. Philosophy
  • Who wants a chocolate biscuit? Classics
  • Someone's head is leaking. Music Theory
  • It's a C, see? Composition
  • What you want, what you want - I've got it. Music Theory
  • I'm easily bribed. Presents can be left in my office. Classics
  • Sense making? Questions having? Ongoing let us. Be. Music Theory
  • (Upon looking at a piece I'd written): As Schoenberg said, a composer's best tool is the eraser. Composition
  • What is the plural of cow? Kine, of course. Music Theory
  • I wouldn't want to live in a virtual reality, even if it was a really fun one, like Zelda. Philosophy
  • This time, it's Purcellnal. Music Theory
  • I'm going to do something that I hope will confuse you. Composition
  • When a miner falls down a mine-shaft, what key do you get? A flat minor. You guessed it - Music Theory
  • There may be a meaning of life, but I don't know what it is! Philosophy
  • Tongue in cheek, in what sense? Whose tongue is in what cheek? Classics
  • What are you doing if you compose 12-tone counterpoint? You're putting your dux in a row. Composition (this is a really, really music geeky one - sorry.)
  • In a past life, I was a failed comedian. In this life, I am a successful comedian. Music Theory
  • Overall, hello. Never let anyone maintain that I'm a linear thinker. Composition
  • What the heck was going on with all those nuns? Philosophy
  • Stop smiling. It's time to learn. Music Theory

So, in between being dead intellectual and serious, we get these little rays of sunshine. Not that the rest of the lesson isn't sunny too, but you know what I mean. It's kind of like realising that you're eating a raspberry jelly bean when you were expecting a plain old red apple one. Life just gets better. Also, Knowledge + Funny = Power^2. My profs have really got me under the thumb. And if there's one thing they are not, it's crusty fusty academics. Thank god.

But I've got to give you the other side of the story. Here's an example of the frustrating side of profs: grading. In one class, I have consistently been given the same grade, and very similar comments, on three papers over the course of this semester. Each time, I tried extra eeextra hard to improve in the ways that he had suggested, went to office hours for advice, and each time, apparently, failed. I am currently busy banging my head against a wall, in between comfort bingeing on dried fruit and bananas. But I did enjoy the comment saying that my latest essay made him 'dizzy'. I take that fully as a compliment.

Two apples stacked on top of eachother. The apple on top has a tearful and scared face carved into it. A banana peel hangs over the apple as hair.
My inner apple, upon hearing that its intellectual efforts had been for nothing.

A student said to me the other day that what you actually learn to do at college is learn what your professors want you to do. She may have a point! But let's not be cynical. I'm still an optimistic, excitable first-year. The complaining can wait. All of my profs are mega helpful, if sometimes cryptic. There so should be a major in 'Professor Interpretation Studies' - I need it.

Plus, I take this all far too seriously. Because sure, a little subjectivity creeps in here and there - nobody's perfect, right?

The moral of the story here is: Grades Schmades!

A girl taking a selfie with the upset apple. This time, the apple is upside down and has an orange peel draping over the top.
Turn that frown upside down and stick a plastic spoon in it. After all, it's almost Christmas! Mmm, orange peel hair. I guess I should actually do some work now...

An exciting thing happened today. It snowed!! Oberlin - snow?! To be honest, I thought I'd be drowning in it by now, but no such luck. Sod that global warming.

Tappan square with bare trees and remnants of snow.
OK, it's pretty pathetic. But still! Narnia is one step closer!
A small, young tree with a small patch of snow at its roots
To all those international prospies scared about the severe weather at Oberlin: this is your answer.

Let's continue the incoherence of this post with some extra-curricular entertainment, courtesy of Music Theory 101. We actually watched these in class. I'm not even lying.

[Video no longer available: https://youtu.be/scCTty3KDLk]

[Video no longer available: https://youtu.be/kKgBdrsqvjs]

It's finals week, guys - we're allowed to procrastinate. So finally, on the 'animals do the funniest things' theme (woops, have just realized this may only be a UK TV show. Oh well) - here's a recent headline from Scotland. 'Story of the day': see, we Brits have our priorities sorted out.

Happy Christmas everyone!!


Similar Blog Entries