Monday, September 20, 2010

The Fish Out of Water

Once you beat the first level of a BYU education, the GE's, you advance onto the next boss: the classes in your major. These classes typically take place in one or two designated buildings. We English majors, for example, rarely leave the JFSB. Our engineering friends stay close to the Clyde. That's the way it is; that's the way the world works.

However, Cecil occasionally likes to stick it to us and schedules upper-level classes in a totally random building. Finance majors get lost in the labyrinth of the JFSB, Physics majors walk all the way over to the Tanner, one time I had a lit class in the's all very uncomfortable.

One can always spot one of these Fish Out of Water because they will have constant looks of bewilderment and unbelonging. They will have grit-teeth-clenched-jaw, Inspector Gadget-when-he's-reading-a-telegram-eyes, and nervous-Andy-Samberg-eyebrows as thoughts like these race through their brains: "Maybe I should just drop this class and delay graduation a semester," "Where did all these members of the opposite sex come from?", and "Where are the %&*#ing bathrooms?" The FOW can also be identified if everyone he or she passes gives him or her the ole stink eye because they have all sniffed out the pariah whose brain is emitting fumes that reek of alternative education.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dorm Raiders

The BYU dorms are a very special place. Other than being the grounds for various creameries, (which hold the crown jewels of BYU: graham canyon ice cream in half-gallon form) as well as the palatial, new (ish) Cannon Center, (where you can get unlimited bowls of Marshmallow Mateys at any time of the business day) the dorms also serve one minor function as the holding pen for freshmen.

Most guys, upon returning from their 24 month sabbatical, forego the little cougar kittens cooped up in Helaman, Heritage and Wyview, instead choosing somewhere a little more mature for their feeding grounds. Like Liberty Square.

But not the Dorm Raider. This guy finds something irresistible about the freshness of the produce at the Dorms. Maybe it's that he can still smell the glory of high school on them, or that he can't stand a girl that actually has a major, something undeniably draws him to those youthful corners of campus.

This guy ranges from 21 to a hair under 30, and he can always be found in the common areas of the dorms, setting himself apart from the freshman "King of Helaman Halls" by using his mission skills to actually talk to the girls, rather than just trying to look awesome in front of them while playing around with their "buddies." You'll also be able to discern the DR by the fact that he'll be hiding his MPB with some sort of hobby-mirroring headpiece (i.e. baseball hat, snowboarding beanie, cowboy hat, barely-legal-semi-pedophilic-girl-hunting hat...) More likely though, you'll find him around the various dining facilities, trying to bat his eyelashes enough to earn him some of that Dining Plus those poor freshman girls don't know what to do with.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Loud Mouth Liberal

As an English major, the majority of my professors have been less conservative than one might expect a BYU professor to be, which is great because I enjoy hearing a little sarcasm and swearing in class. Some of my classmates, however, feel the need to prove their own left-leaning ideals and then get the professor to praise them, or give them A's, or adopt them, or carry them around the JFSB hallways on their shoulders (a feat only a few English professors would actually be capable of...our men are typically not of the broad-shouldered variety--see Male English Major).

If the professor references Obama, there will literally be at least one Noise of Approval. This NOA can be a positive-sounding grunt, a thoughtful "hmm!", or an "mmm-hmmm" one might hear in one of those Tyler Perry movies.

If the professor references the war in Iraq, or any conservative politician, even if he or she has just the slightest bit of disapproval in his or her tone, the LML will laugh so freaking loudly that it will probably suck a year off of your life like that machine in The Princess Bride does.

There seems to be a desperation at BYU to prove one's non-BYU-ness. To prove his or her uniqueness, the LML chooses to shout his or her non-Republican opinions from the peak of Y Mountain, hoping to send Provo into an outrage. Big deal if you're a Democrat. You're still a white, twentysomething Mormon like the rest of us.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Syllabus Jihad

This student's religious zeal for the syllabus is so intense that they print it out the second it goes on blackboard, read it, memorize it, and tuck it into bed with them before finally getting it to the first day of class.

Then, because they view the syllabus as greater than or equal to the Constitution of the United States of America, they will not stand to see one tiny infraction in their scripture.

Professor: "Ok, so we're going to be doing two papers in this class--"

The Syllabi Jihad: "I object! The schedule states that the second paper is due on Wednesday November the 31st, a date which doesn't exist on any Gregorian calendar isn't that right professor?"

Professor: "Yes well I was getting to that, my TA made a mistake, Wednesday is actually the 30th which is when the paper will be--"

The Syllabi Jihad: "Overruled! And where is this alleged 'final study guide' that is promised in section C para. 1? According to the last time I checked blackboard, approximately 12 minutes ago, there is no such thing. Can you elaborate?"

Professor: "But the final's four months away, I didn't think you'd need it--"

The Syllabi Jihad: "Aha! So you admit you weren't thinking? Perhaps there was some substance abuse that impaired your thought process? I don't need to remind the ladies and gentlemen of the jury about the incriminating photos of said professor seen with caffeine-laced Coke in the Cougareat?"

[Professor breaks into uncontrollable sobbing]

The Syllabi Jihad: "I have no further questions."

At least until your next class when it starts all over again.