Sex Ed in Higher Ed

College instructor teaching human sexuality rants about the dumbing down of America, the lost art of manners, grammar and (the perfect combination of both) the thank you note. Also includes random rants about life, pet peeves, and sometimes raves about favorite things.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Nothing Means More to Me

I may have mentioned my obsession with a so-bad-it's-good show called The Girls Next Door. In my own defense (and yes, clearly I feel defensive about being obsessed with this show, as I should - it's that stupid), I remember meeting a doctoral candidate (years ago, when I was but a wee undergrad) who professed an undying love for Cosmo magazine. I was shocked - not because I didn't read Cosmo (really! No self-respecting sorority gal would be caught dead without her Bedside Astrologer) but because she was so respectable. And smart. And educated. And articulate. And such a feminist - what the hell was she doing reading Cosmo? She must have noticed the confused/horrified look on my face because she said, "It's nice to have in the room - so for a few waking moments I know that I'm not the dumbest person in the world."

And now I understand completely. One might think that pursuing a Ph.D program makes one feel intelligent. It does not. Here is why: You realize how much you don't know about your particular "area of specialization." You realize how much you don't know about a whole lot of things. You realize that there are many people (and some much younger than you!) who have published articles in scholarly, peer-reviewed journals, and presented at national conferences, and you're still trying to figure out why you got a parking ticket yesterday. You can't say a bloody thing without some obnoxious such-and-such saying, "I'm not familiar with that particular study. Can you cite the source, please?" and you're dying to respond, "Oh, eff off. I just said that Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte might be the best drink ever. It's my opinion, you self-important jackass." But alas, this person is your professor, so you cannot.

All my excuses, caveats and disclaimers in place, I have to say: The Girls Next Door makes me feel like I could perform brain surgery in my kitchen with a bread knife and some Saran Wrap and do a damn good job. Granted, I know there is much to be said for creative editing, but gob those girls are dumb.

In summary, I give you the best freakin' quote ever, said by the woman who single-handedly makes me feel smarter than any graduate class ever has, Kendra:

"Nothing means more to me than shakin' my ass, and that's what Halloween is all about."

Personally? I can now die happy.

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8 Comments:

Blogger Dori said...

I soooo identify. It is impossible to surf through that show. It just lures you in and makes you feel brilliant and at the same time deeply sad for the "girlfriends". I'm stunned by how much they "enjoy" getting together and taking rauchy photos of each other. Another thing I can't fathom: how their families are so proud of them. WTF?

October 19, 2006 10:42 AM  
Blogger liberalbanana said...

I hate that overwhelming feeling of "there's so much more to learn out there." And to think about people are going after their PhDs makes me want to cry. Four years after graduating with a BS I can't even focus on a single educational-type task for 10 minutes.

Boss, you want me to research something? Oh dear god no.

Is it lunchtime yet?

October 19, 2006 11:34 AM  
Blogger desiree said...

Okay, Just yesterday I was explaining that I had a nightmare that the "Girls Next Door" ladies were going to wind up on the streets and I spent the whole dream beside myself with concern for them. Now you suddenly mention them. Creepy.

Halloween is about candy and the inocence of youthful exuberant joy NOT shakin' ones ass. GAH.

October 19, 2006 12:08 PM  
Blogger Schietto Sister said...

Doesn't she know Halloween is about trying to figure out what in gob's name your children are going to wear for costumes when you hate Halloween (execpt for the candy) and you can't sew a stitch and you don't really want to throw something together with felt and a sheet and pipe cleaners? (Run-on sentence intended!)

October 19, 2006 1:22 PM  
Blogger That Girl said...

It's so hard to explain why being in a doctoral program often makes me feel like the most stupid person on earth . . . and on the flip side why watching mindless television makes me feel really good about myself. Thanks for elucidating this quirky phenomenon.

October 20, 2006 9:44 AM  
Blogger ricki said...

Yeah, I've noticed the same thing. (And I'm a professor.) I come home from work some days feeling like a frickin' idiot, then I switch on the tv, find some chat show or local news program, and suddenly, I feel like Einstein.

I know they call it the "idiot box" but I think the people who came up with that name developed it for the wrong reason...

October 22, 2006 12:26 PM  
Blogger Shark said...

My God, that poor old man, stuck with those three mindless spending-machines...it's easy to see why he reduced his stable from seven to three...oh, the horror...

October 23, 2006 6:55 AM  
Blogger Veronica Mitchell said...

I absoutely know how you feel. Another blogger linked to the Girls Next Door website, and I watched every online excerpt. It was inescapable. I was hooked.

And I thought of you when the student (I don't remember their names) called her professor to see if she could reschedule her exam because of a photoshoot.

October 23, 2006 8:03 PM  

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