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I AM THE SMART ONE YES published on

Two classes today – one had five students, one had three. Both only got finalized a couple weeks ago.

So it was kind of a weird day.

The other four people in computer science were either sophomores or freshmen, all of whom had just finished up the prerequisite the previous semester/year. I took the prerequisite first semester of freshman year. Listening to the guy talk was kind of panic-inducing, but the actual text didn’t look at all bad when I started looking at it. This is the same set of reactions I had when I took the first class freshmen year, which was an easy A – I think it’ll be okay.

The professor was obviously worried about this random senior’s presence amongst his delicate little majors/minors, however, so I promised him I’d drop the course if it started to look like I was going to hold them up.

Modern East Asia, on the other hand, was very on-the-other-hand. It is being taught by a grad student who only signed his contract last Thursday – Professor Portentous, the usual East Asian history teacher, is out of commission for the semester for medical reasons, and the guy who was originally slotted to replace him had a family emergency. Hence, Grad Student. The class consists of:

* The Voice – a senior East Asian Studies minor, whose nickname I did not select at random, and who has been known to annex entire discussion periods even having blown off the reading. When I entered the room, he was earnestly suggesting to Grad Student methods of shutting him up, up to and including force.

* me – a senior East Asian Studies major who did a semester-long research project in Grad Student’s pet subject (the Japanese military medical corps) last semester. (project previously featured in this journal as “essaypocalypse”) Also, when Grad Student asked us to define “history,” I worked “constructed narrative” into my schpiel, which thrilled him – according to the people taking the early morning section of the class, this is his very favorite phrase. Oops.

* a guy who’s taking the class for a GE

GE guy looked very sad. I don’t know if they’re going to keep the class if he drops.

(Though Shorter-Than-Me-san, who’s in the morning section, said something vague about transferring over, which would be good. I really don’t want to rearrange my whole schedule again…)

Professor Portentous sent me a very apologetic email about how sad he was to have to be canceling his classes. (I think he sent personal ones to all the seniors.) This alarmed me slightly, and I reassured him that everything was just fine and he really ought to go back to bed. Now I kind of see why he was so fretful. His department’s not really prepared to lose both him and Shitty Art Teacher at once.

On the other hand, we do apparently have four Real Actual Japanese People on the faculty all of a sudden – I think we’d only actually planned for one, the Noh dance teacher, as of the end of last semester. The others are a replacement for Shitty Art Teacher (I have her class tomorrow); a second language teacher to take over the Intermediate class from Sensei; and apparently some kind of music teacher – I’m not sure whether she’s associated with the East Asian department or not, but she was in the library yesterday. These all seem to be older people (not grad students), which obviously isn’t a guarantee of responsibility, but hopefully their presence will help keep Sensei and Mr. Smuckles from overheating.

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