My college diploma. For one piece on paper, it sure carries a lot of meaning. It’s a symbol of possibility and opportunity, among other things – while also serving as a quiet reminder of my current situation as a 22 – almost 23 year-old – college graduate who still lives with her parents. It also represents the successful completion of 128 credit hours. Of these 128 credit hours, there are a handful of classes that – for one reason or another – have left a lasting impression on me. There’s one common thing that these classes share: I had no business taking the class to begin with.
CLASS 1: CSA 151 Computers, Computer Science, and Society with Dr. Uckan
My freshman year academic adviser must have been on crack when she recommended this class to me. A class with a title that includes the words “computer” and “science” together? My worst nightmare come true. But as we all know, scheduling classes for the semester was always a stressful ordeal, so when I saw this class was still open, I clicked on “register” and that was the end of that.
My teacher was from Eastern Europe and I probably understood half of what he said during lecture. I spent most of the 50 minute class on my laptop scrolling through TFLN.com (it was cool back then) or Facebook chatting with high school friends (this was a new thing to do on Facebook – also cool to do). I had one “friend” in this class, and one arch enemy. I don’t remember her name, but I imagine it being something ugly sounding like Judith or Gretchen. Everyday I’d stare at the back of her head with the most intense hatred. The reason I hated her? Where do I even begin? She never did anything mean to me, but her gross and annoying habits provided enough fuel to ignite this roaring fire of hatred. She bit her nails and spit them out on the floor, but even more revolting was how she picked her ears. But what really grinded my gears was the way she drank from her water bottle. It was infuriating. It was one of those water bottles with a sports cap (which by the way are only appropriate at the gym and at sporting events) and she would guzzle it like it were her first drink of water in days. This girl was an embodiment of everything that pisses me off about people – just zero concern for the people around you, and distracting in the most horrible way. One day I had the pleasure of having her sitting right next to me. This is the expression I had on my face for the entire duration of that class:
The semi-cool thing about the class was that I learned how to write Java and HTML code. I felt so accomplished when I successfully created and linked my own web page using HTML coding language. <p> — that’s a little taste of the coding language I learned. Even though I got a D on the first exam, I was able to finish out the class with a solid B, and with my pride unscathed…this class had the potential to be a major xtina mistake, but I persevered and made coding my bitch. If I can pass a computer science class, then anything is possible.
CLASS 2: English 440 Charles Dickens with Dr. Anita Wilson
When I signed up for this class I was under the false impression that it was a class on Major American Authors, meaning I’d be reading books by more than one author. I was wrong. When I received the long list of books to purchase for the class I was surprised and mildly upset to see that all the books were by Charles Dickens. Now, I have nothing against Charles; in fact, he’s probably one of my favorites when it comes to classic literature. But an entire class devoted to studying his work seemed pretty daunting and something that I did not want to be a part of. My teacher was the cutest thing ever….she looked a lot like Mrs. Puff from Spongebob, but in human form. She tried so hard to get the class to participate, but most usually ended up spending the entire hour and 15 minutes having a discussion with herself. Most of the class relied on Sparknotes, which explains why our discussions rarely went deeper than names of characters and basic plot points. She was an easy grader, so for my final project I decided to make a Facebook page for David Copperfield. I made an album with screenshots from the movie, and made up extremely cheesy statuses that tied in with the plot and mentioned various scenes and characters. Basically I made David Copperfield sound like a schoolboy bitch and mocked classic literature in the process. Just another day in the life of an English major.