In college, I was part of the Honor’s Program. (Pause so I can toot my horn). Each semester we had one class that was required by the program. This class was meant to challenge and interest us, but usually it just gave our small group something to talk about during our pow wows in the cafeteria. Every teacher knows that honors kids are smart, but we also know they are usually smart alecks. During my sophomore year, I was required to take a class that focused solely on protest music. Little did I know that protest music loosely translated simply meant…Bob Dylan.
Now on my list of ‘Things I Really Could Care Less About,’ Bob Dylan probably cracked the top three, but none of us went to class for Bob, we went for our professor. It’s a shame, but all these years later I draw a blank on his name, but his oddities will cause me to never forget him.
To be honest, none of us could even figure out why our Professor was allowed to teach at our Catholic University based on the rumors we had heard. Supposedly he had voiced some very strong, very negative views on soldiers, views which landed him in several newspapers and on a news program or two. So, when we walked in on day one, half of us were disgusted while the other half were intrigued.
Our Professor did not let us down, every class he gave us something to look forward to, but it wasn’t his lessons, it was his eccentric behavior. (Disclaimer: the following is NOT me making fun of this man, because there are things we cannot help about ourselves, but there are things we can do to help ourselves.) Our Professor had a crazy eye that made everyone unsure of where he was looking. This would not have been a problem, except he never bothered to learn our names (you know, all 20 or so of us), so when he called on you, he simply stared at you and said “you.” I think you can see the problem with this. Not too mention, it took a lot to impress this man, so it was quite an achievement when he agreed with you.
When I say he was a Bob Dylan fan, that is understatement. He thought Bob was god, and wanted us to all feel the same. Several times during our semester, he would play Bob’s music, this was probably our favorite part of the class. Not because the music was good, but because of his reaction. Every single time he played a song, he would hop on the window sill, lean against the way, close his eyes, nod his head, and hum along, the whole time smiling to himself. We, on the other hand, spent these three minutes giving each other our best, “What is going on” looks.
So, I can honestly say I didn’t learn too much from that class except that Bob will never be a go to on my I pod. That class, did however, bring our Honors group a bit closer, and it still gives us some fun memories to discuss to this day. And who knows, one day maybe one of my past students will write a Slice about all my oddities. I’d love to read it!