My Instructors and What I Can Remember I

I wanted to make a list of my previous instructors and what I can remember from their classes on a word document, and I thought maybe blogging it would be just as well, if not better for storage. The exercise allows me to see if I can recall anything that I’ve been taught and ponder whether or not my money has been spent worthily.

Ms. L. – English: I remember her well because she was the first teacher I had upon returning to college. She had flowers stitched to her jeans and she openly remarked about how much she couldn’t stand to listen to Rush Limbaugh. Clearly a child of the summer of love, she always eyed me in a strange way such that, when she spoke of issues that stemmed from the conservative side, she seemed to be performing some mental transaction with me as though she thought I was a conservative, the fact I was older than everyone else possibly contributing to some suspicion she may have had. Nevertheless, I remember how she made me rewrite a number of my essays as I was determined to begin my resurgence into the academic world with an A. She was one tough, liberal cookie, and I got my A.

My academic memory: write, write, then rewrite till it’s perfect.

Mr. W. – Algebra: This guy was a young cat fresh out of grad school, and hyped with an energy that crossed between being one of the friendliest people I’ve ever known, to an energy that made me wonder if when he said he was going to make us do laps around the classroom, if he really intended to do so. A mathematical genius, everyone always knew what was going on with his wife, because she would always call during lecture, and the phone would ring in his back pocket, and he would stand in front of us, the open marker-pen drying out as he stood, his eyes wandering around the room and to the floor and to the ceiling, as he argued with his wife about where things were around the house or if they were completely out of baby formula.

Academic memory of note: y = mx+b, where m = the slope and b = intercept.

Mr. G. – Music: Mr. G. was intent to teach, though he kept stopping the triad in the middle of the triad when playing the example on the piano as to make sure everyone was following along, which in the process served to drive my musical mind up the wall. Middle aged in his years, he never, ever missed a class, a class that was daily Monday thru Friday, the only daily class I took, and this was a primary source of pondering how much I hated going to school. If he could just get sick, miss a few days for Christ’s sake; every day I looked for a sick notice, and never got a single one. Devoted to music with his life, the man played like a god, and made matters poignantly clear when one was off the mark or out of beat by firing one of his sour looks. He showed me how much I should have majored in music, but by then I was already literature bound. I miss music.

Academic memory: The jump to major five progression is a fabled and famous cadence perversely overused in the world of music.

Mr. S. – Computer Science: A computer science wizard from India, this man never spoke to anyone, though I made an effort to get to know him: at times like these usually he smiled in a way that basically meant “get away from me.” A very generous man, we eventually had conversation when the subject of home remodeling arose between us, where I was able to provide him some tips on painting.

Academic memory of importance: Microsoft Word is nothing like Microsoft Works Word Processor, the one I have to use because I’ve never had Word.

Ms. V. – Child Psych: Explosive with intellectual speech attached to a woman who could have been a model. She knew her subject very, very well, and she knew how to deliver a lecture with power; I think I became spoiled in light of the lectures I’ve had to endure since. When she wanted a message driven home she pounded her fist into her palm, and there wasn’t a single question she couldn’t answer. She’s not there anymore, so I was lucky to have had her, she possessed a supreme method of teaching.

Memory of note (a quote): “You all know how those people over 35, you know, how if they’re still single/unmarried at that point in life, they’ll probably be single forever, you know those types?”

Ms. S. – Anthropology: Ms. S was a surprise and a treat every time. Well aged with snowy white hair, she had a wit that could contend with the best of them, and she taunted her students when they missed her “softball” questions on the test. She paced the floor back and forth referring to Darwin as “ol’ Chuckie,” and she had a love for the weirdest looking apes, or was it monkeys…or chimps, can’t remember, but she never failed to interrupt lecture with a full screen shot of one of those guys. She had a passionate, undying and relentless memory of her time at UC Berkeley and the Cal-State Bears, and all her handouts had CAL highlighted in bold whenever the three letters appeared in a word. If something was good, it was good, but if it was better than good, it was always, “beary, beary, good.”

Academic memory: Old World Monkeys and New World Monkeys are somewhat similar, yet having evolved on different continents, are actually very different. Also, the DNA strand unwinds to allow RNA in to copy instructions for building a protein, then winds back up.

Continued on next post.

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