I’m an honors student, which means I am part of the Honors Program at UK. Which means I have to take an Honors class or an honors section of a class every semester. This semester I have “Mirrors of the Universe”, a course where we read epic poetry and various other classic literature and discuss what we have read and how it applies to life today. We have two papers assigned for the entire semester, and the first one was due today.
First off, I have to say that I love my professor. He’s 80 something years old, Italian, and the sweetest human being alive. But he also has some trouble understanding us, and there is a bit of a communication barrier between the class and the professor.
Secondly, we were practically given carte blanche on this assignment. We had to write 3-4 pages, with a bibliography if needed, about something that we read, discussed, or thought about in relation to this class. That was it. That was our assignment. Now, personally, I generally prefer a bit more structure to my writing assignments, but this really excited me. I had several topics we had touched on in class that I knew I could write a decent paper on.
The topic I ended up picking was love. Yeah, yeah, I know. Love. How clique. The basic idea(s) behind my paper was comparing and contrasting the definition of love in The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, and the modern, American perception of love. Not physical love. Oh no, Little Miss I-used-to-be-homeschooled-and-I’m-so-sheltered would never even DREAM of writing such a paper. For instance, I wrote about how Romeo and Juliet is often misinterpreted as a romance when it’s really either a tragedy or comedy, and has elements of both.
Well, I bet you can see where this is going. Today in class we went around the table (there are 18 people in my honors class) and described our papers. I got off to a bad start. I started to say my name (because Guido, my professor, hasn’t managed to memorize all our names yet), but didn’t get farther than “My name is-” when Guido interrupted me and asked “Are you sad?”
What?? I was actually marginally excited to be talking about my paper. I liked what I had written, and I like talking. So talking about what I had written was not a bad prospect. But apparently, I look sad when I’m trying to say what my name is. So before I even begin to discuss my paper, my face is bright red.
Then I actually begin to discuss my topic. Guido listens for a few minutes and then breaks in. “So what your saying is that you’re comparing physical love in the past and modern physical love? What do you say the differences are?” ….
My face turns BRIGHT RED. The entire class is giggling by now, and I start stammering about how that was not quite what I had been talking about. “But you said comparing love in the past and modern love, right? What differences did you find?” Again, I try to explain how love is seen as an obsessive passion in the modern world, and again, he cuts in. “You mean sex.”
“What?!” I’m pretty sure I squeaked. Actually, I’m positive, because one of my classmates leaned over and very audibly replied, “Nice squeak, Kierranne.” That helped. So by now, my face, neck, and ears are tomato red, I’m squeaking when I try to talk, the entire class is laughing, and Guido is looking on contentedly, like, “Isn’t this a great discussion we are having?“
The most embarrassing class of my entire life.
Got to love Honors class.