Tales From Grad School: The ‘Double Dunkers’

In 2006, I was in the process of earning my Master’s and ended up bonding more with the professors, who were closer to my age, than the other students, many of which were undergrads.

My prof and I were discussing an Amish school shooting (the shooter was not Amish) and that led to discussions about the difference between Mennonites and Amish (as far as I can figure, the Amish are slightly more strict than the Mennonites, but outsiders would easily confuse the two sects) and the similarities. They are both Anabaptist sects. That led to this conversation:

Prof: What’s that? Anti-Baptist?
Me: No, ANAbaptist. And I am not positive, so I must invoke the power of the Internet…hold, please. *wikipedia search*
Prof: ‘kay.
Me: Ah, I get it. They are double dunkers.
Prof: *laughs* What?
Me: You get dunked once as an infant, and re-dunked as an adult. Apparently the original dunking comes with a limited warranty.
Prof: “Double dunkers.” Holy crap.
Me: Well, sort of, yeah.

Then we both had a good LOL over that. It was nice being a grad student.

I’m back in school working towards getting an AS Paralegal (you may have noticed the paralegal-related stuff I post on Mondays), and it is mostly online and my classmates are mostly very, very young or very, very old. It’s weird.

My grad school prof  that I had that chat with had a class of undergrads after my class and if I was hovering about doing work on a project, the children would say the most entertaining things. Apparently I missed some real doozies on Tuesday. The prof started discussing current events and polling the class about films that they thought were culturally significant and important and so forth. I tuned out when I overheard half the class ask what “Citizen Kane” was. Even if you haven’t SEEN it, it’s culturally illiterate not to even have heard of it. AT AN ART SCHOOL.

Then again, this art school has a football team and tons of conservative Christian Republican activists. Yay, Georgia. It’s a way to rebel and be non-conformist at an art school, I suppose, where the default settings / stereotypes are liberal, culturally-cognizant youths who are far more interested in the fine arts than in chasing the pigskin around. A few quarters back, there was a big kerfluffle over whether or not the art school should have fraternities and sororities. NO! Go to a party school if that’s what you want. For chrissakes. They don’t make art students like they used to, people.

Also, most of my professors were in a semi-permanent state of despair because hardly any of the children knew how to speak or write using proper English, and few of them read. Anything. Ever. Even if it was an assigned article. On the plus side, most of these kids did get weeded out after tackling the core courses they had to take as undergrads…those who were stubborn about remaining illiterate and those who decided that going to art school would be the equivalent of getting a degree in Advanced Basket Weaving (even the Fiber Arts program requires its students to be able to communicate clearly) were quickly disabused of that fantasy.

Twenty years ago, the school was desperate for applicants and it let pretty much anyone in who could stomp their hooves on the floor to do basic maths, but now only 20% of all applicants are accepted, and far fewer manage to make it through the various hoops and obstacles involved. Ha, joke’s on you, this particular art school is actually FREAKING DIFFICULT. Who knew?

In the meantime, my professor and I would sit and chat, and that particular day the newbies hadn’t had their first midterm yet, and they were actually all being rather gleefully ignorant and lazy, and acting as if The Olds in the corner were stone deaf and unable to hear them…and I am guessing that my professor probably took a lot of Tylenol every day.

We’re still friends on Facebook and LinkedIn. I am not friends with any of the children.


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