When you’re an Engineering Major, and all your previous grades have been based on tangible evidence, it’s kinda hard to grasp the concept of a grade in a liberal arts class. One of our readers, Robbie Sherrard e-mailed us to share this story of a first attempt at electives. Don’t let this happen to you, Socialites. Robbie is an NYC stand-up comedian, and you can find more of his stuff on his website, InvisibleParachute.com.
With one semester left and all my business and engineering classes completed with passing grades, I had filled my schedule with the remainder of my humanities, social sciences, and free elective requirements. After three straight years of technical subject matter and bell curves, I was pumped for my fluffy final semester.
On the first day of class, I was brimming with excitement. I woke up at ten o’clock and started running around my house trying to stir up some enthusiasm for morning cocktails.
Me: “Dave, want a beer?”
Dave: “What? It’s Monday morning. And we have school.”
Me: “Yeah, I know. We’re seniors though. It’s totally acceptable. Besides, there aren’t any rules against it.”
Dave: “Absolutely not, and there are definitely rules against showing up to class drunk.”
Me: “I figured you’d say that. That’s why I’ve got THIS.”
I produced a pomegranate flavored Smirnoff Ice from my pocket.
Me: “You’ve been iced, bro.”
Dave: “Get away from me. By the way, that was cool like a year ago, and it was barely cool then.”
Losing interest, I tossed the Ice and a banana in my backpack and headed off for class. I wandered around campus for a few minutes before realizing I had no idea where the building was. HU was not an official building code, and no one walking around campus was willing to speak to me. So I decided to drop the class, and instead sat in Starbucks for forty-five minutes to scope the new semester’s talent.
My next class was in the library, which I was immediately uncomfortable with. I’m not really into libraries in general. There are always students there pretending to do work, and I often get roped into one or two hour conversations with people I don’t know very well. So I took a deep breath, put my hood up, and made a beeline for the elevator.
I luckily reached the classroom with no human interaction, but upon arrival was immediately faced by ten students sitting quietly around a table. I sat down cautiously, eyeing my new classmates. I had been in classes with the same people for about two years now, and couldn’t remember how to make friends.
“So, the library, eh?” I asked to no one in particular.
One student very slightly nodded in agreement to my semblance of a question.
“Righteous,” I responded in response to the slight nod, which I assumed was a response.
We sat in icy cold silence for a few more minutes before the professor walked in.
“Welcome to class!” she said with surprising excitement.
She burst into a spiel about what the class was like, what we were going to do, what we’re going to learn, etc. Pretty basic stuff. Then, she got to how the grading works.
“Now, as for how the grading works,” she said.
I simultaneously laughed and choked on my banana.
Once I caught my breath, I nudged the girl next to me, “This ought to be good.”
The girl shifted uncomfortably.
“I’m sorry?” the professor asked, looking directly at me.
I looked around confusedly, and then pointed to myself as if to say, “Me?”
I sat up, chucking to myself, “Umm, I’m sorry but I’m just a little confused. I was under the impression you kind of just gave us all A’s. Am I right guys?”
I once again nudged the girl, who this time rolled her chair out of nudging range. No one else responded.
Professor: “Well, we do give grades, but as you’ll notice, a large portion is at my discretion.”
Me: “Oh my mistake. I’m just not really sure I understand how you actually do the grading. Wait, do you guys know math?”
The professor then asked me to leave, and I headed downstairs to search through the course catalog for another class I could add. This semester was already proving more troublesome than I had planned. I whipped open my backpack to find my class schedule newspaper, and accidentally iced myself.
I took a knee, yelled “CHEERS” to a nearby table of students, and was immediately barraged with hush sounds by the entire library. This semester may still be awesome after all.