Picture it. If you will. A university theatre with hundreds of seats bolted to the floor. The room is almost full of very young people. I am also in the room. I am not so young but I am younger than the old guy who is clearly ancient so I'm still young...ish. On this day, which was yesterday, I decided to sit up closer to the front because it turns out I'm not as young as I think I am. My eyes don't work like they used to and this professor uses an overhead projector.
Yes, you heard me right. An overhead projector. With transparencies. It's like I stepped back in time. My time. When I actually was young.
If you don't know what this is, google it.
So I sit on the second row. There are 175 young people behind me. With their fresh ears and fresh eyes. We are waiting for the class to start. Most of us are on our smart phones or laptops answering facebook messages and texts and other various important things.
The professor walks in, makes his way down the long stairs to the front, he puts a CD into a CD player. Yes, I said CD and CD player. Stop interrupting.
The William Tell Overture comes blasting out of this tiny machine. It's blaring and I can see clearly that this has bolstered the professor's enthusiasm for what's about to happen next. He begins to talk. He's yelling, actually. He's a yeller, it's how he teaches. He's a passionate man, what can I say? I can see his mouth moving and I do hear every 7th word when he happens to pass in front of me in his crazed pacing. All I can hear for certain, though, is the infernal music. He's throwing his hands around. He's flushed. His body language is telling me that he is a true believer of what he is professing.
He is pacing, pacing, pacing.
All I can think is that if I'm on the second row and I can't hear him then when is one of the young people in the back going to do something about this insanity?
After a moment the professor looks up into the audience, never pausing with his words, and notices that someone has their hand up. He yells out to them, "Yes, I love comments! Go ahead."
The comment maker says something no one can understand due to the racket coming from the CD player.
The professor puts his hand to his ear and yells, "What was that? Speak louder!"
The comment maker repeats herself.
The professor shakes his head, he does not understand, he can not hear. He says, "Let me turn the music off, I can't hear you."
He walks to the other end of the room and turns the music off. He asks the comment maker to repeat herself, again. "What did you say?"
She yells back, "I said....I can't hear you!"
I love this class.
Later in the class he sings Doing What Comes Naturally from Annie Get Your Gun.
And asks for audience participation. To which he gets some.
As we leave he presses play on his CD player. And once again the William Tell Overture comes blaring out.
Things I learned in University this week:
I can count to 20 in Italian.
I can say the alphabet in Italian.
I can tell you who I am, where I`m from, where I live, and what I do. In Italian.
I can tell you where every single toilet is, but not in Italian, between where I walk in the doors and where my furthest class is. This old lady pees a lot.