Opinion

Seeing through the superficial intellectual drivel

Senior year; I’ve finally found myself in 400-level courses and, for the first time in my career at the University of Miami, more baffled by the statements of some of my class members than by the course material itself.
There’s always one in every class… there’s the girl who always asks those completely ludicrous questions that leave you wondering if she really is that stupid or if she’s just trying to alleviate some of the monotony of the professor’s lecture; there’s the guy who only shows up for the exams and somehow manages to do better than everyone else; there’s the jock, the nerd, the brownnoser, the talker, the sleeper, the scary one… and then there’s that guy; the one to whom I’ve chosen to dedicate this column; the one who uses every outlandish word in the Oxford dictionary and manages, somehow, to sound like he actually knows exactly what he’s saying.
But as I sit in class, caught between shock and shame, wondering if I’ve missed some prerequisite along the way because I don’t have a damned clue as to how a fragmented line of a poem by so and so, which on the surface seems to address a summer day and green meadows is in any way an allegorical pun of someone else’s earlier, neo-classicism…what? I’ve begun to wonder if he even does. All I can do is gawk at this guy, avoid the gaze of my professor who mentally counts down participation points every time she looks at me, and frantically search the blank stares of my fellow classmates, who miraculously seem to be as baffled as I. So maybe I’m not the only one. Is this new level of brown-nosing some kind of indication of what I can look forward to in the future?
It’s my understanding that the professors don’t even really appreciate it – because after all, while this “brain” is verbally hashing out ever possible philosophic agenda behind a three line stanza, the rest of the class is either falling asleep, crying in the bathroom, contemplating suicide, or thinking about where they are going on Thursday night; and while it’s entirely possible that some college seniors are geniuses beyond their time, my guess would be that my PhD wielding professor knows a little bit more than they.Real intelligence is always respected, but even us middle-of-the-roaders can see through the superficial, artificial, intellectual drivel. Bottom line, teachers ignore it and students deplore it, so unless you really know what you’re talking about stop trying to sound so damned smart and give the rest of us feeble minds a chance to catch up.

Whitney Friedrich is a senior majoring in Advertising and English.

January 28, 2003

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.