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Aug. 12th, 2011

So I'm through with summer session. Well, technically, classes ended last week, but the session isn't over until grades are submitted, and that's tomorrow (well, okay, today). And since I am eternally doomed to have the most procrastinating teachers, he still has not submitted grades. Which for a normal class I wouldn't even care that much about, since in a normal class I would be able to pretty accurately guess my grade by the last day.

Except. There were exactly three graded assignments in his class. A midterm, a "paper" (not even going there) and a final, each worth precisely 33.33333... percent of my final grade. Now, the midterm and final were both essays that had to be written in the space of the two-hour class period. By hand. On blank, unlined pages. So even though I did okay on the first two, I am literally at the mercy of the final as to whether or not I pass the class because, hey, it's a third of my grade. And I still do not know. Eight days later, I have no clue. And there is almost nothing more intimidating than sitting down to an on-the-fly essay worth a third of the course grade whose prompt starts with "comprehensively describe..."

I should back up far enough to point out that this was a cultural humanities course ostensibly covering the history, politics, literature, art, science, philosophy, etc, from the middle ages to, well, now. I say ostensibly because in reality we skipped everything but philosophy because the instructor was a philosophy doctorate. Which means it was, basically, a philosophy class. With maybe a little history thrown in for context, but not much. And on the final he graciously let us choose which of the two we'd rather comprehensively describe: existentialism or the period spanning World War I through the end of World War II (both wars, the depression, totalitarianism, etc). And since I'm not nearly anguished enough to truly understand Sartre, I chose the latter. Because I was fairly sure I knew enough history to pull it off even though two hours wasn't nearly enough time to truly "comprehensively" describe everything that happened.

Except. I realized the other night that I totally left out Italy. In both wars. Just completely spaced an entire country, fascists and all. And how do you go into any sort of detail at all about either of the world wars and the rise of totalitarianism without at least mentioning Italy? Bah. Looking forward to fall. At least calculus is a lot less subjective.



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 13th, 2011 01:32 am (UTC)
Italy from 1917-1945 = France (same era) - asshat dictator

see? you didn't leave much out.

It has always somewhat grieved me that France has such a bad reputation when it comes to bravery and war when they at least picked a side and stuck with it (Italy had been a turncoat nation in both wars [okay, somewhat untrue, Italy during WWI was a very different creature, but so was France for that matter.])

Did that make sense? My wine has disappeared.
Aug. 16th, 2011 04:24 am (UTC)
Made sense to me. In my defense, Italy in both wars was barely a country to begin with. France, now, I can honestly say I'm not that familiar with, except from all those romanticized movies where the hero is in the Resistance and dies, well, heroically...
Aug. 16th, 2011 11:43 pm (UTC)
they were called the Maquis.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )



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