Bibliography: This class is required for all incoming master's students. It's dull and boring so far, and I don't think it's going to get any better. However, I have already realized that a lot of things I thought about MLA were totally wrong. So I think it'll be beneficial, if nothing else.
Anti-Colonial Though & Postcolonial Theory: Yay! This class is going to be really great, I think. I've had two undergraduate courses that were about British empire, but both skirted postcolonial theory as much as humanly possible. In one, because it was literature-based and not theory-based, and in the other because it was a history course. This class is going to be pretty intense, though. I have to read Kant and Hegel again, for example, which kind of makes me depressed. But the rest of the course will make up for it.
Jane Austen in Popular Culture: This sounds like a fluffy class, but fortunately it is not. I'm already enamored with the professor, so I'm very excited about it.
As for everything else, I feel like I still haven't settled in yet. There's this table in the Blocker building (where I have class and my office) with a big "Have you heard about Jesus?" banner on it, and it's certainly not the only Bible-thumping sign I've seen around campus. I find it a little off-putting and also baffling. Is that an effective way to evangelize? Do people actually walk up to that table and say, "Gee, no. I've never heard of him. Who's Jesus?"
Besides the Jesus-mania, A&M is just a weird place. I've mentioned the Corps in an earlier post, but it is strange to see people just walking around campus in military uniform like it's normal. And, the ones that wear the beige uniforms sometimes wear these incredibly ugly and huge brown boots. With spurs. It's really quite comical. I wikipedia'd it, and it turns out that only seniors wear them, and they COST A THOUSAND DOLLARS. This place is unreal.
I also have had perfect strangers say "Howdy" (A&M has co-opted this greeting, apparently) to me on the sidewalk. Which is weird. The Battalion had an article today where they interviewed and followed around a freshman for the day and she said this:
"It is such a close environment and full of tradition," Shannon said. "The people are nice; it is extremely close-knit and accepting. It is the only place where I've been when random people on the street start talking to you."Maybe I'm just a jaded cynic or something, but I find random strangers approaching me on the sidewalk creepy, not friendly.
There has never been anything more annoying about A&M than it's OMG TRADITION tradition. These people have made a religion out of it. It's ridiculous. So much so that a student opinion article in the Battalion actually gives this as advice for dealing with the construction on campus:
My advice to Aggies enduring this exodus from normalcy for the span of these oncoming years is to honor tradition. I can see the frustration already building on campus as students have begun to explore this alien terrain, but I urge you to not let it get the best of you.In his defense, the MSC is apparently both an administrative building and a memorial. But, really? His bitching rant about the construction ends in "Be loyal to your administrators no matter what?" It's really rich after the Chancellor ran out the president and the Faculty Senate passed a resolution of no confidence in him this summer. Not that I think the administrators of A&M should be blamed for construction. Construction is a normal part of university life. I've been to three institutions of different sizes in the past five years, and all of them were under construction. But that A&M's religion of tradition can cause students to encourage unquestioning loyalty to the decisions made by school administrators is troubling.
The MSC is a time-honored, sacred place. Revere the memories of the men and women who are represented there. I implore every Aggie, especially freshmen, to remain loyal to your school, your dean and your president.
I guess the short version is that I'm experiencing a bit of culture-shock.