Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What I learned on the first day of school

College kids are strange. All the dudes look like 50 Cent's hangers-on or a Jonas Brothers cover band auditioning for a remake of Pretty In Pink -- upturned collars and little alligators? I honestly had no clue they still made these shirts. I remember wearing some once, when I was seven -- and all the chicks look like extras in a Britney Spears video -- shut the hell up, I'm allowed moments of curmudgeonry, and so are you, so drop the eye rolling. Crap, my black socks just dropped. No wonder it's square peg and round hole with you whipper snappers.

Dig my swanky duds. If I had a lawn down here, I'd tell you to get off it. And next time, I'm keeping the fucking hacky sack cell phone. Doesn't anyone listen to music anymore? You really want to talk to other people all the time?

Boy, I'd love it if everyone's phone simultaneously cut out for a lousy five minutes. There'd be a riot and I would laugh loud and often. Until I got trampled. Anyway, after having the brain reside in sleep mode for a good portion of the summer, educationally speaking, here's what else I discovered both on my way to, and inside, the classroom yesterday afternoon.

1. I am abysmally poor at spoken French -- let's not even mention listening comprehension -- on an epic scale not seen since The Iliad. Probably doesn't help that the only skilled person I can practice with speaks my language with far more ability than I can speak hers and lives a few time zones away. Maybe I need one of those cellular telephone doodads. I think she takes pity on me. Or is having sadistic fun, I'm not quite sure.

2. On the flip side, my prof is appreciative of my efforts to actually participate. Hey, it's the only way to keep the grade from sliding into Bush territory outside of cash bribes and no one is taking dollars these days.

3. I am glad that this is an upper level class and not 101, as I'm certainly not old enough to be the parents of these particular students. Yet.

4. For the eleventh class in a row -- thus proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that French is the language of choice for the discerning linguistic connoisseur -- the male/female ratio is positive for yours truly.

"What's your point, couch jockey?"

Merely making a sociological observation, my sweet, such as the following:

5. I pity the clowns who drive instead of taking public transportation. Good luck finding a spot after having missed your first two classes. I'd tell you that lots B through Z are closed for construction, but you probably figured that out the 73rd time you circled the campus.

"But we have a future --

--whereas you don't."

Not if Johnny Mac blows everything up.

Personnes âgées 1, jeunesse idéaliste 0.


Übermilf said...

They've also started wearing Sperry top-siders without socks again.

Dean Wormer said...

You tagged this "narcissim."

I would've tagged it "healthy self-interest in my own superiority."

It's all in the wording, randal.

FranIAm said...

I like what the Dean said! Plus, I am old enough to be their parents and seeing his comment made my thought train derail (oh blame Dean for everything!) so now that is all that I will say.

La Belette Rouge said...

That is a whole lot of insight for the first day. Pace yourself, Tiger!

And, by Johnny Mac are you talking about John McEnroe? See, I am old enough to be their parents. Le sigh!

okjimm said...

// as I'm certainly not old enough to be the parents of these particular students. Yet. //

Count your blessings. This is a medium sized town and the campus here is about 12K. After Bubba did two semesters of radio shows last year, I have 'students' calling me 'Mister' and asking if I am 'Bubba's Dad'.....makes me feel real old....especially when they are bartenders pouring me beer.

Randal Graves said...

übermilf, I hope that was a joke.

dean, but then the tags on my List of Tags would wraparound and how orderly would that be? Dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!

fran, I'd suggest teaching dean a lesson, but you got some of those Kick Ass awards and might hospitalize the dude.

LBR, I am Tiger Woods. Just more pale. And I hate golf.

No, our next president. You're old enough to be McEnroe's mom?


okjimm, dude, now I feel much better. Thanks! I suggest milking that, maybe you can score an extra beer or two. "Oh, pour another one for the old guy."

Unconventional Conventionist said...

Vous étude avancée langue grenouille? Pourquoi est-ce que vous n'aimez pas l'Amérique?

Randal Graves said...

Je déteste la liberté, bien sûr !

Übermilf said...


Randal Graves said...

Well. Okay, anyone want to dig up some other blasts from the past and make a wager on which one next receives the hipster treatment?

La Belette Rouge said...

The thing I hate most about He-weasel's new job is that it requires golf play. HATE the golf!!
I just wanted to call you Tiger as in "woh there, Tiger."

And, it seems that I am old enough to be blind and dumb. No, I am not old enough to be McEnroe's mother--thanks be to Gawd.

Randal Graves said...

I know what you meant, I just couldn't in good conscience pass up a chance to rag on golf. It's fine for Nintendo, but what a complete waste of time. Silly clothes and, frankly, it's not even a sport, but a game of skill. Otherwise, darts is a sport.

If you were that old, well, you'd be old, and not sporting those swanky duds for interviews. Speaking of such, did they say what the timeframe is for hearing back?

Bradda said...

Me and Fitty are going off to hacksack, peace Randal...

susan said...

I'd be happy if everybody's cell phone cut off forever. Doesn't anyone besides me ever feel like being alone when they go for a walk?

DCup said...

I'm looking forward to a resurgence of the Members Only jacket.

Mathman6293 said...

Randal, the styles are all over the place these days. The good thing is that if you wear some sagging ass pants you can keep you other clothes in there just in case you need them.

Tengrain said...

I am abysmally poor at spoken French -- let's not even mention listening comprehension -- on an epic scale not seen since The Iliad.

L'iliad n'était pas en français!

Avec respect,


Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

mon p'tit chou-I feel your pain ... I've begun the language classes myself. Funny, there's another American in the class and she makes me look good. Her accent is atrocious. She makes zero attempt to use the French approach to pronunciation. So while phonetically she gets all the syllables said, she still says car like car etc. why do I diss this lady? because my word of advice for you (probably unnecessary) is to embrace all those weird exercises we did in French 101. you know the ones... where we spent hours "du-ing and anh-ing and ee-ing and ohn-ing" etc etc.

and if you didn't do those, start now. the ability to make (or mimic) those sounds is a key to speaking better French and thusly better convos.

oh and are you taking any OTHER classes?

and have you BEEN around a high school lately? that's where those outfits are germinating.

Randal Graves said...

bradda, damn dirty hippies. I hope it falls in sewer, landing in some toxic corporate waste!

susan, exactly. Sure, they're useful: "hey, I'll be late, hey the car broke down, hey, pick up some milk," but jeez.

dcup, you guys are killing me here.

mathman, so that's why they wear them. Young people, I've misunderestimated you.

tengrain, c'est vrai, mais personne connaît Le Roman de la Rose, par exemple.

JNRR, believe me, I'm completely on board with that stuff because there ARE times, just like in English, where sound is vital. Think of are/our. If you're new to it, and thus not a master of context, you'll want to pronounce them correctly. Say rue ten times fast. Correctly.

Hell no, one class is plenty. I'm too old to take a second.

Believe me, I see it on Mondays when I drop our oldest off. Damn kids and their clothes and their rock music.

b said...

Ah, how I've missed your blog! And how I honestly miss school. Yes, idiotic freshman and all! :(

Randal Graves said...

'bout time you reappeared on the tubes, slacker. ;-) But I'm not with you on the idiotic freshman! Damn kids!

Spartacus said...

I hear Sergio Valentes are making a comeback too... Anyone for a pair capezzios?

Liberality said...

People who talk on cell phones or text message constantly are rude and stupid, you have my word on that ;-)

Randal Graves said...

spartacus, can we pair those with 70s trucker caps?

liberality, well, if you insist on making such a blanket generalization. ;-)

Betty C. said...

Study well and live.

Distributorcap said...

do you have a slide rule?

American Hill BIlly said...


This was an amusing/excellent post.

I can definitely relate with you on the french knowing OUR language better.....It blew me away meeting people in America Central that know English better than I.

Yep, I agree with you a 100% regarding using public transit....I have looked and wondered about all how much it must cost the average idiot that just burns the gas up.

United In Peace And Freedom