I write the software for Geneffects and tend bar at the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, NC.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Stealing Class

An advantage of living in a college town and maintaining an evening work schedule is that, if you desire, a few nice emails to some professors will essentially get you a free education. Most professors are more than willing - excited even - to have someone who is not an actual student in their classroom. I think this is typically due to the fact that people "sitting in" genuinely want to be there and turn out to be ideal students.

This semester, as prep for some as-yet-to-be-pursued bioinformatics degree, I am sitting in on BIO 050 - Genetics. The class is set in "SC 0103." After a quick search I find a campus map and see that the only possible "SC" is the Stone Center. I had never heard of this building, but it made perfect sense as its location is near the biology/botany buildings. I pull up on my bike 10 minutes before class and my confidence is shattered like a frozen banana. Marked prominently on the building's edifice is "Stone Center - Black Heritage Resource Center". Oh... shit. I have no idea where I am or where I need to be. I pull it together and head inside to ask advice. Ian, the young man at the desk, is befuddled. "Genetics class? Man, what?" I convince him that, yes, I am in fact retarded, but maybe he could get on that computer of his and help me out. We discover that - lo and behold! - the class is being hosted at the Black Heritage Resource Center and I'm actually 30 minutes early! (I seem to be pretty bad with times these days... I missed the GRE when I replaced a "5th" with a "9th" in my brain. I stood up a friend when I simply forgot it was Tuesday.)

Now, I've been out of the academic game for a while and the mental acuity is a little less... acute. I had some trepidation that the material presented would be above my head and everyone else would be nodding with comprehension. This, it turns out, was not the case. The prof put up a generic cat and dog style comic and asked how on earth this could relate to genetics. My fears were quickly assuaged when some kid in the front row suggested that, "dogs and cats are different, and there's a reason... maybe?"

I have good feelings about this semester. I like the professor's dry sense of humor. "I apologize for specifying molecular size with Angstroms... I understand that kids these days are using nanometers." If I can keep the 4AM betimes on Mondays and Tuesdays to a min I should be fine.


Post a Comment

<< Home



[Main Page] [MuSing] [iMeMiner] [IndexFinger]
Copyright 2005, Geneffects. All rights reserved