Monday, July 09, 2012

Fuck That Noize, I'm Still With It


I'm beginning to understand what Grandpa is feeling, and somewhat ironically*, it's because of the Simpsons. I've ended up teaching a lot of night classes during my tenure here at the U. Such classes only meet once a week for three straight hours, which is a long-ass time to sit through a class. Even if you're actually interested in the material (a big if with most college students), it's still pretty damned hard to pay attention for that long to one person.

So I have to come up with multiple ways to break the monotony of one guy lecturing, whether it be through the dreaded group-work, pop quizzes, discussions, etc. I also end up playing a lot of videos, and more specifically, Simpsons episodes. I do this both because The Simpsons is inarguably the greatest television show in history (I said inarguably, so don't bother trying to argue the point, it only reveals your ignorance), but more because it's an incredibly witty and astute show that often offers a better insight into what I'm talking about than I do.

But I fear I only have a few more years of being able to do this, as the relevant episodes of the Simpsons first aired when many of my students were not yet out of diapers, if they even existed in the world yet. And though much of the humor is timeless, obviously the references to anything contemporary are getting quite a bit out of date. This isn't a problem for the "non-traditional" students who are often older than I am, but does make me feel a little out of date to the 18 and 19 year-old students in the room. This past semester, I remember having to explain everything from who Blossom is, to why at one point in time people made jokes about Apple computers being irrelevant, to the fact that Lollapalooza was once a touring show full of bands people  actually wanted to hear. Sometimes it makes me feel about a billion years old.
Which is why, when I was procrastinating by looking for myself on Rate My Professor, I was heartened to read the bottom-most review of me:

Also, let it be noted I am "actually funny"

That's right mutha fuckas, I am "young and hip." And this coming from a student who may or may not be hip, but is at least most assuredly young. So while I may sometimes feel out of touch with the youth of today, I now have it in incontrovertible internet writing that I am still young and hip enough for the kids these days.

It also reminds me of a question I had during a recent interview at a University that will remain nameless in which one of the faculty asked me why I thought I was an effective teacher. I don't remember exactly what I said, but it was something to the effect of it's easy for me because I look like I'm 15, so no student is ever going to be intimidated by me, and I'm young enough to still reference the correct parts of popular culture so students relate to me. Granted, this was just the best bullshit I could come up with on the spot, but it turns out I was not only not that far off in my assessment, but I now also have empirical evidence that I was at least partially right.

So I don't really have a point to this post, but I will note that I am young and hip, and you, presumably, are not.

*I have no idea if this qualifies as actual irony or Alanis-Morisette-type not-actually-irony, but you get what I'm going for 

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