Wednesday, January 26, 2011

2 Days in Professors

The first couple of days of classes are always hectic. I’m never really quite sure what is going on. I suppose that because none of my professors seem to be on target either I should not worry. Regardless, it has been great to be back and I am so excited to be preparing to finish up.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays I have two consecutive classes to go to and that seems like an eternity. It strikes me that I feel this way and I haven’t even really done anything and the classes should be fun. I’m such a lazy ass. My first class of the week is one with Professor Kate Graney. She is the head of the government department and extremely enthusiastic about what she teaches. Her high voice gets higher and higher as she becomes more excited and always releases that energy with a quick laugh. She has black curly hair that seems to suit the mildly crazy professor set really well. She never stops smiling; even when she is trying to be serious. On Monday, our first class, she paced back and forth wildly in front of the class, trying to get us enthusiastic about Human Rights. I think I’ll keep a quote log for her.

On Tuesday I opened my mail and found a Scope Magazine. In it was Professor David Karp talking about his experiences with ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution). In between columns of text, was his tall lanky form holding scales and looking like he always does. Looking like he always does has a lot to do with his gaunt features contrasted with his fairly affable countenance—a smile, big ears, and earnest eyes that are always listening. His voice is soft and cracks a little when he laughs. He is someone who has spent enormous amounts of time trying to help people talk to each other, and sometimes he seems a bit uncomfortable talking about himself.

I then proceeded to my econ class with Jeorg Bibow. He is not what I was expecting. My experience with econ professors has been short kind of pudgy foreign men who have a bit of the wild professor’s air to them. Jeorg is a well composed German, thin and tall, with a full head of gray hair that has been cut into a stylishly short do. He speaks at a rate unconventional for someone so excited about his work—slowly. His soft tenor accent combined with his rigid powerpoints could be this semester’s lullaby. If he weren’t a professor, I would assume he played a critical supporting role in an action film as the slightly older/retired superspy.

Then I went to the Middle East. Sumita Pahwa kept me engaged even though I sat by the window and froze my ass off. It is cold in Ladd 106. Do not sit by the window. Pahwa is like the Middle East or South Asian expert that they bring onto our 24 hour news shows. She expertly explains precisely what she is thinking; gives a sharp commentary and moves on. I was afraid to ask questions because her train of thought was so clear that I could almost see it coming at me. I didn’t want to stop it on account of my ignorance.