By: Brad Manock
I had to take a music class for my college career. I have never been interested much in music. I have never played any instruments and I am generally uninterested with the subject. These are not good things while taking an online music class. For this online class I had to submit four posts per week to the class discussion board. Most of these posts were either bullshit or were pieced together from information the other students had already submitted to the discussion board that week. Using information that was already available was a pretty good strategy until the class started talking shit about the subject matter during one particular week in this music class.
Going Through The Motions
During one of the weeks in music class we were instructed to listen to several clips of opera and then post about your favorite one and why it was your favorite. Opera is where they are in a play but they sing the whole thing, if you still don’t know what it is just imagine a fat lady in a Viking hat who is singing. I read some of the posts that the other students submitted. Most of them said something like “I really don’t like opera but if I had to pick a favorite it would be ‘blank’ because of ‘blank’.” So I followed that lead since it seemed reasonable that this was a temporary subject that would not matter much in the grand scheme of the class.
The following weekend I received an email from the teacher of that class, the email had been sent out to the entire class. The email was sent because the teacher was upset with the answers to the discussion topic involving opera. The email said that “disturbing and insulting comments were made” regarding the subject of opera. In the teacher’s opinion, statements like “I don’t like opera” “If I had to choose one” or “I didn’t like these examples” were inappropriate. Later in the email the teacher explained that anyone who used one of those types of phrases would receive a zero for that week. The instructor was personally offended rather than not giving a shit like he should have. It might be important to point out that this instructor was male, had it been a female instructor I might be less surprised at the fact they felt disrespected by our dislike of opera.
It was pretty clear that nobody in the class had taken the class because they wanted to, rather because they HAD to in order to satisfy a graduation requirement. For some reason the education system tells you “there are a lot of fun and interesting classes but you are required to grind through some ‘unimportant shit’ classes with teachers who are man-bitches.
Our instructor’s email said our comments were “disturbing.” No, no they were not. What is disturbing is a male professor being so heart-broken and personally offended by our attempt to deflect the subject of opera as politely as possible until the class moved on to a more interesting subject. This statement of being disturbed by our comments was backed up by comparing the music class to more subjective subjects like math and science. The email said, “If you didn’t like a math or science question would you withhold answering?” The answer to that is yes, I would withhold answering. If a math problem has a bunch of question marks in the paragraph, I would only answer the questions I could figure out the answer to.
Clearly this teacher was also quite old, I never seen him in person but he had old-fashion traditional values. This was the type of person that would say something like “that’s the way it is, because that is just the way it is.” I am so glad I’ve graduated from college now.