Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dear Professor _______ de Coverly, I Want My Money Back.

as long as I'm writing "Are you fucking serious?!"-type love letters to the world today...

By the calculations of my esteemed friend Alex, you owe me anywhere between $143 and $163 for Tuesday's 80-minute class, which is the chunk of my parents', grandparents' and long-dead relatives' money I spent to attend it. I did so, to be rather specific and pedantic, because of 1) the knowledge I hoped to gain from it and 2) the privilege of learning from a Professor with a doctorate, who is presumably more qualified to teach me about Islam than I, or any other random student, am. 

Why, in a confounding perturbation of normal student-college relations, do you owe me money? Well, I'm so glad you asked. Yesterday, for our fourth-to-last class of the entire semester, I walked in and you told me we would watch a 52-minute on the hajj, or the once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca that all good Muslims are encouraged/required to make. You then told me, along with the rest of the class, that afterwards we were going to watch an episode of "Little Mosque on the Prairie" after that, which is an Islam-centered Canadian sitcom starring Zaib Shaikh and Carlo Rota. Neither of these cinematic adventures has any information with a chance in hell of being on the final exam. You didn't even ask us to take notes. 

I mean, they were decent movies; the sitcom was genuinely funny, for the first time in the four or five we've watched one of these, and the hajj documentary was breathtaking when it did the high shots and showed what must've been a hundred thousand white-clad worshippers bowing to their knees all at once, or the horizon-to-horizon expanse of tents that the Saudi Arabian government put up for the benefit of the worshippers. That was awesome. But as far as learning goes...

I want my money back. 

Here, I'll even be charitable. I'll deduct the amount that it would have taken for me to go to the video store and rent these fucking things so I wouldn't have to take up valuable class time watching them. Oh, what's that you say? They're available from the Woo Media Library, and the documentary is even available online? Let's see, that comes to... $0. We're still $163 short. 

Look, this is a religion class. This religion is coming up on having been around for fourteen hundred years. There is an incredible amount of theology and history and associated cultural histories that we could talk about, and indeed haven't gotten to yet. We've only given a cursory glance to the rise of Islam in Indonesia and India, for example, and we've spent little time on the issues that take up modern-day sufis, like the Islamic opinions on gay rights or genetically modified food (to name only two things). We've also spent little time on the military conquests of Islam and its relationship with the Western world. There is a massive number of topics we could've spent this class learning about... 

...and we spent it with Little Mosque on the Prairie. 



Grace said...

Oh, grow up and enjoy having a nice quiet movie day.

Andy said...

Another county heard from.

Post a Comment