Dear Dad, this post is dedicated to you, so that you see that I didn’t hate college entirely, just large portions of it, primarily having to do with professors inserting their opinions where they didn’t belong…and roommates.
I was watching tv tonight, when Good Will Hunting came on. I don’t know that I have ever seen the movie in its entirety, in one sitting, but I know it well enough to know that my favorite part was coming up, just as I flipped it on.
See, I hated my classes at college. I found none of them interesting and the ones that had interesting topics were tainted with politically sharp-tongued professors whose opinions sucked the interest right out of the content. And, it was common knowledge that many professors had it written into their contract that, as long as they were teaching at UCSD, there would be no football team. So naturally, you can see where we might disagree.
But when I was a freshman in college, I had to take a history class. It was a dreaded 9am on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays. Clearly it was my freshman year, what kind of second year student schedules a Friday class?? Let alone a 9am! I chose this history class mostly because I wasn’t allowed to take any of the good comm classes yet and also because history fulfilled one of my general ed requirements and, well, I didn’t mind history, as long as it was American history, which this was. It was Colonial America and the Economy, with Professor Daniel Vickers. He is really the only professor whose name I remember, except for my Warren Writing grad student teacher, whose name was Liberty though it’s doubtful that’s what it says on her birth certificate. I remember thinking how unappealing it was that she wore tank tops with no bra to class and didn’t shave her arm pits. Anyway, Professor Vickers was the one professor whose class I enjoyed. Almost enough to make me send him a card telling him so, except for the fact that I don’t do anything that I think he would be interested to hear about to include in the card.
Professor Vickers was the one professor whose class I never missed ahem, I mean, I went to all of my classes, Dad. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I took copious notes and enjoyed the essays I had to write. It was in his class that I got some of my best grades in college. He was a good teacher–one who didn’t try to assert his political beliefs into lectures like all the rest of them at UCSD. After all, it’s tricky to get political when you’re still talking about the Whigs and the Grand Old Party and the Democrat-Republicans don’t even have the ass as their symbol yet (special thanks to Andrew Jackson for choosing that one, btw)
One day, as we we’re all sitting in section, (that’d be the class I had once a week to break down the 3x week lectures in a smaller group) my section leader, a grad student named Kim, who, as far as I could tell did wear a bra to class and did shave her armpits, told us a bit of trivia about my professor: he was cited in Good Will Hunting.
Well, I thought that was just swell. I mean, I was reading something to which Matt Damon refers in a movie. He reads Vickers, and I read Vickers…I mean, it’s like we’re practically friends now.
And the part of the movie happens to be a key scene in which many people, whether having seen the movie or not, are familiar.
Thus the below. You can scroll to about the 2:50 mark, I didn’t have time to find a smaller clip. Just listen for the part where Matt Damon references “Vickers” pronounced in Damon’s Boston accent like “Vick-ehs”. But the clip as a whole is worth a giggle anyway.
So in conclusion, I wound up taking Professor Vickers classes again and I think if I would have been smart enough to take the time, I probably could have gotten a history minor. Instead, I took two more of his classes throughout my college career and am left with the fact that I think about that trivia every time I think about Good Will Hunting.
How do you like ‘dem apples?