Anne of Teen Fables


Discourse on an Awkward Philosophy Tutorial
September 5, 2010, 10:35 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I tried in vain to confine my focus to the panorama that included my philosophy tutor, and the whiteboard on which he scribbled with increasingly desperate hope. It was kind of quaint, the way he clung so stubbornly to the discussion topics while a band of disinterested students avoided his gaze like they’d killed his mother.

It wasn’t an unusual sight as such. I remembered this scene well from my semester one English tutorials, when we first years had felt the first pangs of self-doubt upon being posed such questions such as, “how does the novel’s focalisation iowdy rqd frame our perceptions of iwo meiwofm wfio wefmiom iwefmoi?” Discussion had dwindled after the first week, and we settled into a sort of vague apathy under the cold stare of our frustrated tutor.

I saw the same expressions in the features of my classmates now as had met Chaucer mere months ago in those ill-fated English tutorials; yet despite the parallels, this particular class seemed unique in its mediocrity, the situation being as follows:

As we sat stoically in wait for the semester’s first philosophical epiphanies, the academic tranquility was unexpectedly shattered by the steady reverberations of RAVE MUSIC that filtered in unapologetically through the stained-glass windows. This, at 5pm on a Tuesday afternoon – an awkward hour for a rave, I noted. The anarchic sounds of a classic club beat and incomprehensible lyrics rang out in a faithful rhythm, and though his students shuffled uncomfortably at their desks, the tutor continued to breeze through Aristotle as if a bass line had never been heard. Was it MADNESS on our part? The lack of acknowledgment was disconcerting.

I glanced out the window and spied a TANGO CLASS in the next building. The world seemed to have a vendetta against my ability to concentrate on ancient philosophical arguments. I watched pairs of awkward dancers sashay about a disused tutorial room, and forgot about the possibility of contributing to class discussion…

When the tutor turned his back on the class briefly, I saw a girl in the front row grab her satchel and slip out subtly like lightning. I was consumed by jealousy in an Othello sort of way. I was bitter, like 80% dark chocolate.

A woman in a flowing floral-print kaftan revealed herself as the mouthpiece for the wandering and oppressed, with observations on the sexual repression of women, as well as a string of ideas using the words ’emotional’ and ‘inner’ more frequently than necessary. Though I instinctively branded her as The Bothersome One, I was appreciative of her input for the glorious interlude it brought to the painful recitations of the demoralised, but far from defeated tutor.

All the while, the RAVE MUSIC continued to RAVE, and the tango dancers continued to taunt me with their liberty. I rifled through my philosophy reader, and tried to construct philosophy-themed puns, but the best I could come up with was a sort of hybrid between ‘Plato’ and ‘potato’. The room was uneasy. I tried counting sheep.

With glee, I saw students begin to pack away their stationery with the conspicuous sounds of stacking and zips. I watched their pantomime with elation. It was Christmas, celebrated with shoulder-slung canvas bags, and a whiteboard eraser. The droning halted, and now that its office was done, so too did the RAVE MUSIC. The world was again in perfect harmony.

I looked forward to the eleven remaining tutorials like one looks forward to a new Nickelback album.

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2 Comments so far
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I looked forward to the eleven remaining tutorials like one looks forward to a new Nickelback album.

WIN

I shared your pain in this aforementioned philosophy tutorial, and i cannot believe the succession of distracting noises preventing us from enlightening our philosophical minds. (I mention here the hovering helicopter and people outside who seemed to have confused their identities with that of a seagull’s)

But despite the continuing awkwardness, it has quite improved…i guess.

Comment by Jess

I have no idea why I have not read your blog before now. I also have no idea why this is the most recent post. MICHELLE GARRETT, THE WORLD NEEDS MORE OF THIS BRILLIANCE. If I may, I shall quote back to you my favourite lines:
“I was consumed by jealousy in an Othello sort of way. I was bitter, like 80% dark chocolate.”
“I looked forward to the eleven remaining tutorials like one looks forward to a new Nickelback album.”

I also appreciate the capitalisation of RAVE MUSIC.

Comment by Alyssa




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