July 11, 2012 by Doug Howard
“If you are reading this blog, but not comprehending it, are you still reading the blog?”
One of the many great things that the College of William and Mary has to offer is the requirement of fulfilling GER’s or General Education Requirements. This allows students to take classes that they would have never taken if they had gone to a college that encourages people to take classes for their major as a freshman. Because of this requirement I have taken many different classes that have given me many different stories and experiences that I will always remember. Some of these classes have been the most fun during my time at the college.
The main story I want to tell is about my GER 7 class which is a GER that encompasses philosophy type classes. I took a general philosophy class and did not know what to expect. I had a fear that it was going to be an insanely rigorous class where you had to answer what statements meant such as “I am what I am,” or “If no one is in the forest and a tree falls, does it still make a sound,” and my personal favorite, “Is doing nothing still doing something?” On the Friday of the first week, our professor came into the room and plopped his chair on his desk and said “Take the whole class to write an essay proving why this chair doesn’t exist?”
You have got to be kidding me …
No? Oh okay well this will be fun … but seriously professor … like who are you!?”
Meanwhile the whole class furiously starts writing. Everyone is trying to be the most abstract person in the room. As I was writing I was just wishing I could see what others were writing because I bet it would be hilarious. Now, I write this story to tell you that in a matter of 5 seconds a student gets up and hands in his paper. Now in my head I’m thinking either this guy is just mailing it in, or dropping out. My guess was dropping out, and to be honest I was considering the same thing. In the end I handed in something that made zero sense, which I considered to mean that I was on the right track.
The next class our professor told us, to our relief, that it was just an extra credit 5 pt essay that we had written and a way to get that kind of abstract assignment out of the way because he knew none of us wanted a whole class in that. The class laughed, but then he called up a student. Yes, it was the Mr. 5 Seconds Student. The professor said that he received the extra credit points. A student near me asked Mr.5 Seconds what he wrote down. The student replied … “Well our professor asked to prove the chair doesn’t exist. So I wrote……..“What chair?”
The rest of the class that semester was amazing and there were no more questions like that extra credit assignment. I am not a philosophy major but I will never forget that story as long as I shall live.
Btw because it is lunch time …“Why are pizza pies packaged in square boxes?”