Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A warning to my oppressors

I started my odyssey through college last week. My class schedule looks like this:

Technical Communication
Multimedia Writing
Marginalized Populations in Europe 1000-1900 AD
Women in Contemporary Society

Except for the format, Technical Communications and Multimedia Writing could be interchangeable and except for the time period, Marginalized Populations and Women in Contemporary Society could be the very same class. I figure by the end of the semester I should be very adept at creating visually stimulating rants on oppression.

During Week #1 I learned the following…
I am a woman
Women have been oppressed for a very long time
During the Middle Ages, God said women and Jews need to be oppressed because women are lustful and Jews eat Christian babies at Passover
Interactive websites are cool
The 202 at 5 pm is a flipping parking lot
Don’t drink a bunch of water before getting on the 202 at 5 pm

Look over the list, maybe there’s something you can use in it. You won’t be tested later.

One of the interesting features of “new school” is this glaring lack of testing. The entire semester I will have to take only 2 tests in one class and have no finals for any of them. My recurring nightmare of studying all night, then sleeping through the final has become anecdotal and obsolete. Where’s my cramming, my cleverly disguised crib notes? Where is my caffeine-edged regurgitation of chapter and sub-chapter headings? What will I do with all these darn #2 pencils and Blue Books? They are lost to me forever. Alas.

Instead I have papers and projects to do. Lots of papers and gargantuan projects in lieu of cramming useless facts into my head then core-dumping them on to a piece of paper during a test. What do these people want me to do? Apply knowledge? What? I want my machine-scored testing back. I want to fill in the circle completely with a #2 pencil while making no other marks on the paper. I want to turn my paper over and close my test booklet when I’m done. I want my easy A, you educational oppressors.

I’ll leave you with this quote from Marilyn Frye’s seminal article “Oppression.”

“We hear that oppressing is oppressive to those who oppress as well as to those they oppress.”

Believe it.


Mary B said...

No more tests?

:mind fry:

Tracey said...

I'm hearing you! I just went back to university too. Studying psychology. The scariest part?

Psychology is the only subject where they give you multiple-choice-fill-in-the-circle tests. My other subjects require the projects and papers you describe! So the 'thinking' subject is the least thinkingest of them all. Ironic!

Ruth Cooke said...


Thanks for the smile, Carol.