As a Christmas/New Year’s/Getting-In-To-Grad-School gift to myself back in December, I got a Pentax Spotmatic film camera off of Le Bon Coin and I absolutely adore it. Here are a few pictures from around the region, namely Pezenas (my town), Castelnau-Le-Lez, Mèze, and Montpellier. (These are pictures of the pictures taken by my digital camera woops).
A quick poem I wrote this afternoon while trying not to get peach juice on my computer.
My cupboard is stocked with canned fruit
waiting to fall forward
into lids peels back,
fork tongs stuck in
uncondensing sweetness out.
in this battle against
the unrequited Love at the heart
of this chore called living.
I have never been hunting
or planted an orchard.
Never warmed my hand beneath
the feathers of a hen nestled
against her eggs to take
what I need, or
sewed myself to water
by the stitch of fishing lure.
these hands have always eaten
the legs propping them up, fingers gnashing
around the curved edges of cans piled high
as me, bringing cheeks to the knife-sharp
corners of metal ripped open,
praying that the edging caresses won’t rip
back, and get iron-rich blood as sticky as juice—
but not quite as sweet—
Topics in Aesthetic and Humanistic Inquiry—Real World Expressionisms:
How the fuck to be an Adult?
Section 1, Course #6408
3 credit hours
Professor: To be determined
Contact Information: See weeks seven/eight in course schedule
All first semester freshmen
How, exactly, does one “grow the fuck up?” This phrase has come to permeate contemporary culture (and, perhaps, every culture preceding this one dating back to whenever humans went the route of not just being born knowing how to walk like, say, a motherfucking deer would) through its malicious ability to effectively punctuate the end of whatever argument in which it is employed. I’m breaking up with you. You killed my cat. You didn’t pay your bills. You let Grandpa go to the grocery store unsupervised and now all we have to eat are these tiny sausages that make him feel like he’s having tea with the queen, you fucking child. And yet the very commonality of this phrase has dulled its meaning to the point of cliché and, subsequently, led to a lack of clarity that leaves us to wonder what exactly is being insinuated by the vague implications of “growing up.”
This course, Humanities 101 “How the fuck to be an Adult?,” will teach the basics of what the fuck it means to grow up and how the fuck to do it yourself. This class will focus on how to successfully complete the everyday banalities of adulthood that are not sexy enough or are perhaps just too useful to be taught in a normal public school environment. The structure of this class consists of weekly readings and written responses that accompany required in-class discussion. You will learn how to read, write, and discuss texts and topics critically, as well as how to emotionally support your peers in the designated “cry and hug” periods allocated at the end of each class.
Methods of Assessment:
Grading will be based on the following:
- 40% of total grade: papers and/or creative projects totaling 15-35 pages of writing;
- 15% of total grade: one researched essay totaling 8-12 pages;
- 5% of total grade: one 2-5 page annotated bibliography on a topic, book, or issue related to the course;
- 10% of total grade: oral reports, debates, group presentations;
- 15% of total grade: participation. This portion of your grade will include some or all of the following: class attendance, active and informed class discussions, ability to express emotion in a healthy, but definitely noticeable, in-class manner, individual hugs, group hugs, back-pats, “I feel you, man”s, and human pyramids;
- 15% of total grade: one portfolio documenting various aspects of an average week in your life at the conclusion of the class, including but not limited to finances, meals, schedules, relationships that have lost their luster, small talk, and daydreams, all working in tandem to create a general sense of both success and ennui;
- Total: 100%
Subject to Change
Weeks One and Two:
- How to pay taxes
- How to take out loans
- How to make a budget
- How to get a mortgage
- How to get a good price from the devil for your achin’ soul
- Ice breakers
- Power Points
- Spread Sheets (with pictures)
- Negotiate the price of your soul with said devil. Make sure to bring in said price to class for discussion and comparison. Habituate yourself to said comparison, as this is a dominating factor in choice-making in the oncoming adult world.
Weeks Three and Four:
- How to boil water
- How to boil pasta
- How to heat pasta sauce
- How to uncork wine
- Boiling water
- Boiling pasta
- Heating pasta sauce
- Don’t drink in class, you dumbass
- Invite your parents over for dinner and treat them to your newfound cooking delights. Record their reactions to the meal. Bring in for discussion/comparison.
Weeks Five and Six:
- How to do the dishes
- How to do laundry
- How to clean a kitchen
- How to clean a bathroom
- How to clean everything else
- How to manipulate roommates/significant others/family members/passers-by on the street to clean your residence for you
- Power Points
- Spread Sheets (sans pictures)
- Clean your dorm, you Lazy Freshman. You have mushrooms growing in the corner of your bathroom and you can’t ignore that shit forever. It is not healthy, and you are embarrassing your parents, which you should, also, habituate yourself to by the way. Remember the pasta incident last week? Remember that sound your mother made when she looked at what you made, like she wanted to be proud but it got caught up in disappointment’s arms and could only squeeze out so much? Remember that that sound will haunt you in your sleep for the rest of your life. This, like competition, will constitute a significant aspect of your coming adult life.
- Whichever students get passers-by to clean their dorms for them will get the “Tom Sawyer Award,” which is, actually, chocolate.
Weeks Seven and Eight:
- How to conduct charming small talk
- How to fake a smile/laugh
- How to talk on the phone
- How to write an effective email
- How to find contact information online and through the yellow pages
- How to tell your grandpa that he can’t live off of tiny sausages forever despite the whole royalty thing, considering
- They are, in fact, tiny and, therefore, not enough calories to subsist on alone, and
- He already has high cholesterol for crying out loud, and doesn’t he want to meet the grandkids someday? You’re not going to have them for nothing.
- How to effectively/ineffectively navigate significant others from initial flirting/honeymooning to the banal process of “grooving” and “being comfortable,” and, for when comfort has finally stifled all will for excitement and living, vocabulary for how to end things in an adult-like manner that will give you the proper high-ground for calling the other out on “growing the fuck up” and the propagation of this contemporary cultural cliché to help you through the break up. How to navigate the conversation of children in order to provide Grandpa with those grandkids he keeps asking about, assuming that the tiny sausages don’t get to him first.
- Talking to each other
- The Weather
- Game: “It’s not you, it’s me”
- Conduct a successful social interaction. Record. Bring in for comparison.
Weeks Nine and Ten:
- How to vote
- How to read the news
- How to protest and/or be complacent
- How to keep a responsible social media presence representing your views
- Power Points (with pictures)
- Spreadsheets (without pictures)
Weeks Eleven and Twelve:
Group presentations on The American Dream and how to individually interpret it for your personal goals as well as the contemporary socio-economic standpoint of America right now.
Thanksgiving lasts all week here, motherfucker. Go boil some pasta.
Weeks Fourteen and Fifteen:
- Critical reflection on topics covered in this class, including both original research and the topics’ place in your everyday life on a personal level;
- Documentation of your average week, exhibiting the tools covered over the course of HUM101;
- Letter from your parents about what they think;
- Letter from your peers about how they feel compared to you;
- Letter of thanks to your professor;
- Final evaluation of the phrase “growing the fuck up,” and how you feel you fit into its narrative after HUM101 in conjunction with your first semester of college. Please answer: How much have you grown from the class itself? How much have you grown from personal experience? Which is more painful? Which is more effective?