Today represents the end of my first full week back in Urbana, back in school and back at church. I wanted to blog about the whole week, but I sort of got carried away when I got to Tuesday. So here’s Tuesday.
This was the first day of class, as Monday was a holiday. Normally I would have had my discussion section for Libraries, Information and Society, but we hadn’t had our first lecture yet. So I just had my Metadata class in the afternoon.
There are about three guys enrolled for every girl, which is the reverse of most of my classes. (I’m glad I’m not taking children’s lit.) The class might be best described as a cranky purple trying to scare a bunch of greens (and succeeding). The funny thing is that I find it rather endearing, or at least familiar. I know that it’s going to be insanely hard, but I also know that he’s going to be fair, and that he’ll be much nicer and more helpful in person than he is in front of the group. Really it’s like being back in 430. Yes, it was hard, but it was also kind of fun, and I did end up with an A. (Not to mention that Dr. Manning wrote one of my recommendation letters for grad school, and I got in, so I must have done something right.)
The really funny thing about this whole situation is that I can feel myself slipping, slipping inexorably yellow, even yellow-orange in response to Dr. McD’s purpletude. I could tell that the class was very greenly trying to win the professor’s approval, while I just sat there thinking “Of course he’s going to like me. I’m so cute!” (Actually, it was more like (in the midst of designing a simple XML schema) “Well, I’ve clearly got to allow for that element to have a cardinality greater than one. And I’m cute!”)
This is a little surprising for one of my classmates, who had two classes with me last semester and saw me be very green and purple, respectively. In the first, I tried vainly to win the approval of the teacher all semester, while never shaking feeling that she was vaguely annoyed with me, for some reason. (That said, I got a 99.5% on the final. Booyah!) In the other, the professor was insanely yellow. He refused to give us homework, tests or a final, spent most of the semester toying with ideas like making our class into a game, and told us that having ideas was generally more important than actually doing anything. I spent most of the semester in a purple haze (ha!), saying highly grounded things like: “But what makes you think this is a good idea?”
So he was a little surprised when I made public wisecrack about the technical definition of a “document” and a tree falling in the forest, especially after Dr. McD had just warned us against being glib. (But it wasn’t glib. It was more like . . . sassy. And I’d explain the joke, but I just don’t think it would be funny out of context.) Anyway, I think I’m going to like the class. And my goal for the semester is to make Dr. McD crack a smile.