Tales of a Thirteenth-Grade Nothing II: Encountering the Core
Written by Bwog Staff
Now that midterm season is fully underway, Bwog hopes that the eager young flock comprising the Class of 2010 has managed to masterfully memorize the Medea and can hopefully hum the whole Histories of Herodotus. What, you freshmen were expecting some kind of QuiCore? We couldn’t just strip away SparkNotes’ raison d’être- or deprive you of the thrill of Thucydides. Curious, then, to evaluate first-years’ progress, we elicited this report from freshman correspondent Dan D’Addario:
I have to be honest, I didn’t know that much about the Core Curriculum when I first came here. More specifically, I didn’t know that it would take over my life, precluding me from being like my friends at Brown who take four pass-fail courses in bone-setting and rhythmic gymnastics. No, I’m forced to learn things. And learning is hard. Forthwith, I present my Core learnings, having reached my first midterm of college.
The Medea – You know that girl who got dumped by her boyfriend, and then immediately started spreading rumors about how small his dick was and how he gave her herpes? Of course – everyone knows that girl. And how she then started a Facebook group mocking her ex and keyed his car? Sure, sounds familiar. And then gave the ex’s new girlfriend a poisoned robe, killing the girlfriend and her father? And killed her (hypothetical) children? Medea – role model to crazy exes everywhere.
Oedipus the King – And to think all this time I thought people were saying, “edible complex”…
After the jump, our intrepid first-year explores the world of University Writing and Major Cultures…
With the exception of the delightful Christopher Hitchens – the gin-soaked-militant atheist-crazy Vanity Fair columnist (the one not named Dominick Dunne) – I have never heard of any of these writers before, nor, I’m guessing, will I ever hear of them again. But now I know how to write a lens essay, which will surely come in handy. I mean, just because I haven’t been asked to relate scholarly texts to touchy-feely stories from my own life for any other class yet doesn’t mean I won’t be asked to… I’m wasting my time, aren’t I?
Orientalism. Orientalism. Or. I. Ent. Al. Ism. Half a term of a MEALAC Major Cultures class, and I eat, breathe, and sleep Edward Said, though I’d be hard-pressed to tell you any major tenet of Islam or any contemporary Middle Eastern leader. But hey, Orientalism! Do you know about Orientalism?
To be fair, we’re also reading an ancient Indian text – the Ramayana, which forms a nice counterpoint to the Iliad and the Odyssey. If you thought Odysseus was a bad-ass, Rama accepts banishment for fifteen years because his crazy stepmom pretended to die and manipulated Rama’s father. While away, he ends up in a village of monks, or something. Also cool – the book’s edition is half in Sanskrit. Take that, Richmond Lattimore!
In conclusion, Orientalism.