IMR: 1999: January: 21 — Thursday, 10:04 a.m.
Webster Hall, University of Hawai`i–Manoa, Hawai`i

[ Political Science 310 ] I'm hacking away in Bwy's class. I don't feel too self conscious, since there's another student with a laptop plugged in back here. (Though I doubt she's designing web pages.)

This professor is such a trip. His antics come so fast and furious he can slip in concepts like 'spurious correlations' and 'curvilinear regression lines' without anyone noticing.

Eep. You know, there's no discreet way to pull out a QuickCam in class.

The guy next to me, Dio, who's also in my specialized reporting class, just spotted the preview window on my screen and leaned over to get a look. When my reflexes kicked in and I tried to shoo him away, I nearly poked his eye out. (I would've, too, if it wasn't for his glasses.)

How embarrassing.

Well, he's still offering me some seasoned nuts, so he can't be too upset.

Today's course material, apart from the usual set of handwritten homework solutions, includes a recent Newsweek piece on Linux versus Microsoft. He's tying it to a comparison between capitalism and Marxism. Or is it socialism? Whatever it is, at least it's keeping me awake.

This guy in front of me thinks the 'open source' movement is a conspiracy, that Linus Torvalds will turn around someday, assert copyright, and make a killing off everyone else's work. Fascinating. Too bad that's completely irrelevant to Bwy's illustration.

Aw hell. The other photocopied handout is an article from yesterday's Ka Leo. I was hoping I could make it a full three months without having looked at that limp carcass of a newspaper.

It's a piece by one Charles Reyes on Marxism. How convenient. Twelve inches essentially saying college professors will simply never get it because of their liberal bias. Bwy's just loving this guy, given that our assignments to date have been isolating indicators of various social and political systems.

Hmm. You know, I think history does repeat itself. I think one of the first columns I ever read in Ka Leo -- and this was back in 1992, when I was a squeaky little freshman with dreams of screenwriting -- had essentially the same point. Though as I recall that earlier piece was so long it jumped twice, and used the word "liberal" so often it was starting to look funny.

I'm beginning to get the feeling this particular conspiracy theory is about as old as the urban legend about dead roommates and free grades. Or the "aren't you glad you didn't turn on the lights" story.

I always liked that one.

Got last week's exercise back. We started with capitalism. Scored ten out of ten, "simply superior!" Apparently he only gave out two such grades, and this in a class of nearly 60 students.

Yeah, well... wait 'til we actually start working with math. Then it will be only too obvious I can't even handle grade-school multiplication tables past six.

End of class.

© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 21 January 1999 · Last Modified: 26 January 1999