Friday, September 21, 2012

Fall Semester Gazette

Friday is payday for most of the people in the USA, and in a sense it is for me as well.  For though I don't make a regular wage, my last day of classes is Thursday, and on Friday I get paid in writing time.  For one day I get to set aside my studies almost completely, and hit the books in a different way: JD's rough ways, Kate's bright spirit, Murphy's adaptability, Christophe and Leopold and Starry Wisdom and the world of Corbenic that the rest of you have not yet experienced but Lauren and I continue to build and explore every week.

But the rest of the time there are classes, and studies, and other sundry things.

After this post, I am moving my weekly post time from Friday to Monday.  I simply do not have as much time during the week, and so will be working on thsi during weekends.  But in the meantime, here is a brief gazette on this semester's Classes of Coyote.



Basic Spanish (or: "Summer Latin Class Only Gets You So Far")

Alas, this class has been dropped like a super-heated diamond.  Much as I wish I could have kept it, much as I treasured it, I was losing fingers.  I was doing all right in the class itself, but there were two problems.

One, the class is designed to retake tests at will, whenever you have a spare moment, at Wossamotta U's main Testing Centre.  Well, because I have to wear dark glasses, the Testing Centre won't let me in.  I have to use a special service called, ironically enough, Access, to take them proctored.  Which means making appointments for each test, at least a day in advance but preferably around a week.

The second problem is that I already had a class sucking away more of my time than I had expected.  My Body Parts and Functions class had to take priority, since it is part of my chosen career, and so, hail and farewell, Basic Spanish.  Perhaps we will see one another again during the summer.

Then again, maybe not.  I am not in a position to lose face among my peers lightly, and it is widely known the no one respects the Spanish Repetition.

Anticipated Grade: None.



Body Parts and Functions (or: "Thank the Gods for Dignified Gibberish")

This is the class for which I bleed.  My professor has determined that it takes strength to inflict pain, and if this is so then his strength has grown great indeed.

It is primarily an online course, which sits well with me.  We meet every other week for four hours and the Prof gives dynamite lectures on the nature of the human form.  I set aside twenty hours a week for this class, which, for a five-hour medical class, seemed reasonable.

The first exam almost no one passed, and he curved it viciously to allow anyone to walk away from it without leaving a trail of blood you could sled on.

Twenty hours is plainly not enough.

I took my beloved Spanish class into the back yard, let it smell the green grass and chase at the birds that flew above as it had when it was young.  Together we re-lived the years we had spent together, frolicking beneath the gumdrop sun.  Then I put my shotgun against its frontal bone and blew its cerebrum out its coccyx.

Body Parts and Functions, like a green absinthe faery, thirsts for my soul.  But it will find me ready.  Thirty to thirty-five hours a week worth of ready, and my own cot in back of the open biology lab.  We will see who is the strongest.

Anticipated Grade: B.



Study Smart Not Hard (or: "How to Take All Your Other Classes")

Actually only half a semester on this one, with a class on memory enhancement taking over when it's done.  This class is run by Prof. Clockwork from my old Medical Gibberish class, and so far it has proven invaluable.  Study Smart Not Hard has a host of strategies for time management, note taking, and study skills that I have been giddily applying to all my other classes like le saucier at a fondue party with the cheese loaded with THC.  The angels there are still magnificent, the location is even better (a huge room with no windows, this pleases me), and every chapter helps me with all my other classes.  Definitely one of my better ideas.

Anticipated Grade: A.



Head Shrinking 101 (or: "Jung Was a Dirty Old Genius")

Psychology has always interested me, ever since I first saw Helter Skelter in grade school.  So the class itself is also fascinating.  And the Prof is golden.  Though her syllabus is written a bit like Mein Kampf, the class is run by and for adults (even if my classmates do giggle at some of the strangest times).  All the quizzes are on line, the better to spend class time in discussion, and the tests focus on comprehension.

Part of the class is doing a review on a psychology book, or a reference book by a shrink of some stripe or hue.  Setting aside Jung's texts on alchemy (alas), I focused on more traditional works.  Even though it was written long ago, she is letting me do mine on The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.  My cup.  It runneth over.

Anticipated Grade: A



Karate For Grownups (or: "Conan, What is Best in Life?")

I love this class.  This should surprise no one, but I say it anyway.  Even though, like so many other sensei, my Karate professor absolutely loves his physical drills (oi, vey), the moves are excellent and the applications well thought out.  It's actually a local American style of Karate, Bushidokan, and incorporates several other styles.  All the better.  One of the reasons I love Shorinji Shodan is its approach: I have always been a fan of the Anything Goes School of Martial Arts.



And besides practice, and hitting things, I'm learning.  Not only different approaches to basic moves (and the power is in the basics, never doubt that), but he also covers a little on bo staff.

Some of the philosophy of movement is different, but so much the better.  When it comes to the Martial Art, so long as I am learning I am happy.

And this class makes me very, very happy.

Anticipated Grade: A.



Jazz Ballet (or: "Keeping up With the Birds")

Right before Karate I have Jazz Ballet, Jazz Dance taught as a ballet discipline.  Which is cool.  However, I haven't taken ballet since first grade.  No problem.  After all, it's an introductory class, right?

Oh, dear.

I am one of two students in this class who doesn't have a background in dance.  And by background, I don't mean taking a few classes before.  I mean tying out for shows, at least making the callback, and usually ending up on stage.  And these are the people the Professor is teaching to.

Heh, heh.  oops.

I am also almost the only dancer who isn't quite willowy, and among the tallest.  I certainly have the broadest shoulders.  Combine this with my fighting years of body karma and muscle memory to not look like I'm trying to kill someone when I do a dance move

(internal monologue: "Oh.  That's kind of like a block.  Hey, do this is a fight, you could really hurt a guy.  That's pretty cool.  I mean, um . . . oops.")

The net result, when I look at the wall of mirrors before me, is both frustrating and humbling.  The rest of the class moves with perfect open form, celebrating with every movement their utter safety and faith in the universe to be a beautiful and forgiving place, looking every inch like dancers for the Sugar Plum Fairy . . .



And then here am I in the corner, beating my thighs to the beat and bellowing, "THE INTERNET IS FOR PORN . . ."



All right, it's not that bad.  But I do feel rather like a bull mountain gorilla surrounded my minah birds.

Still, the Prof has said she grades on learning and effort, and attitude.  And I am learning and doing my damndest.  I think next time I will take ballroom dancing.

Anticipated grade: A.


So, this concludes my gazette for this week.  Henceforth, my postings should be available every Monday.  See you then.


--Coyote.



(Wile E Coyote is (c) Warner Brothers; Jung and Leonardo DaVinci own their own works; Bushido was created by someone else a very long time ago; Ranma 1/2 and all its characters were created by Rumiko Takahashi; Mr. Baryshnikov and Mr. Hines are (c) themselves but White Nights is (c) Columbia Pictures, I think; the Nutcracker Suite was written by Tchaikovsky and the Internet is for Porn is by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx.  Gorillas are (c) themselves and who am I to argue?  All rights reserved by rightful owners.)

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