Memory Monday

Currently, I’m playing around with a novel idea based off of my experiences in college. Many of the characters are based off of the wacky professors I encountered during my time at UWGB. Here’s a little bit more about how some of these strange people came to influence my life.

Cortes-

All freshmen attending UW-Green Bay are required to take a first year seminar. This seminar is meant to introduce students to campus life. Students are expected to write four essays, have their essays proofed by the writing center, participate in group work, and give two class presentations. These simple tasks are supposed to bridge the gap from high school to college and prepare students for the rigor of academia. In reality, it was all one big joke. My professor was one of the most ridiculous people I have ever met.She is probably the flightiest ditz ever to grace this planet. Once, she told the entire class that the Russians were the first to land on the moon.  Don’t worry though, she caught her mistake by saying, “Hmm…but the American flag is on the moon… Well, I guess they let you put a flag up there for being second.” (Please note: There were at least two history majors in the room who didn’t say a word.) It always fell to me to right all of the many, many wrongs in that class. The absolute worst of these wrongs were executed by my peers during our cultural presentations. Each group was expected to report upon certain aspects of an assigned culture. Seems pretty straight forward right? Apparently not. One horrific example was when a student was meant to present about the holidays and festivals celebrated by the Native Americans of the region, namely the Oneida. Honest to God, the kid just copy and pasted a list of official American holidays. There was Independence Day, Christmas, and Thanksgiving. He even had goddamn Columbus Day on the list! To boot, he decorated the slide with a bunch of stereotypical clip art of brown cartoon characters with feathers in their hair and fucking tepees. The Oneida didn’t even use fucking tepees. At any point in history. They explicitly said that earlier in their own presentation. I was beside myself. Who the hell thinks this is okay? Oh, but it gets worse sadly. Much worse. Another classmate was supposed to speak about the economic aspects of the African American community. Instead, she told us all about how the African Americans should be grateful that we enslaved their ancestors, because they would be a lot poorer if they still lived in Africa. It literally took everything in my power not to scream. I looked at Cortes, who was listening, just as serene as can be. Meanwhile I was failing my arms to see if I could get someone, anyones attention to shut that bullshit down. To my dismay, no one else seemed alarm. I tried to reassure myself that even Cortes wouldn’t let something that blatantly racist slide. Surely she would say something after the presentation ended. I tried to control the violent outburst that was brewing in my head, and wait patiently for my professor to do her job and educate these ignorant children. However, it ended worse than my most terrible nightmares. She actually commended them on their accurate and critical presentation of the facts. For the first time in my life, I was actually speechless.

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