Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Angst Du Jour and Wrath of O'Donbridge

Before I smother you lovely people with another heaping dollop of Angst Du Jour, I need to take a paragraph to thank everyone who commented on my last post. Your encouragement and cleverness and loyalty are so overwhelming... I am wholeheartedly grateful for each and every one of you. Gigantic e-hugs go out to: an anonymous commenter, Jack, another anonymous commenter, Ida, Jess, Cate, seurat2, Sarah, Katie, Robyn, Kate, Anila, Alice, Hope, taraupshall, Dinah, Katie, beangirl1389, Melody, to_thine_own_self, Ginny, Emily, Nicole, VTBurninator, Katie, Ravenclaw2313, Arletta, Sarah, Brianna, Sarah, Emily, Olivia, another anonymous commenter, BenCracknell, Caroline C, Susie, another anonymous commenter, dare2bxabigail, the apple that astonished paris, European Girl, Morgan Leman (email me at hayleyghoover@gmail to discuss meeting up!), ginger jones, RhianonLives, two more anonymous commenters, and Catherine.

There. Now that my all-consuming appreciation and love for you is out of the way, I can continue to bitch and moan. It's the second day of my third quarter of college, and I already have a nagging stress headache. My class schedule is a chaotic mess, and I'm not totally sure which courses I'm dropping, which I'm picking up, or what the heck I'm doing.

I left my first meeting of Geography in a good mood, because the professor is an adorable Appalachian man with a thick Forrest Gumpian accent, and he seems easy enough to enjoy. My only worry is that our entire grades are made up of three tests, each of equal worth. I'm terrible at taking tests. I could write a beautiful ten-page paper, no sweat, but when I'm asked to answer fifty multiple choice questions, I'm guaranteed to freak out and gnaw on my pen until ink explodes in my mouth and I drown in a puddle of failure. But there's no required textbook for the class, and the teacher told us a story about some girl losing a toe in a treadmill accident, so maybe it won't be so bad.

However, not even the cheeriest blood-and-toelessness story could have put my mind at ease enough to endure the wretched History course I mistakenly signed up for. It took place in the evening, which was my first mistake: I'm kind of like the elderly, in that I can barely stay awake after 5PM most days. I found myself having to bounce up and down and tap my fingernails just to keep my eyes open, and probably would have fallen face-first onto the desk and started snoring, had the professor not been suffering some form of Tourette's. While he ranted about Portugal and... ugh, whatever else it is he talked about (I couldn't really tell you), he seemed to be searching for any opportunity to scream the world "POWER!" mid-sentence. Yes. Imagine being me, exhausted from traveling and already past her nap time, slowly drifting off to white noise....

"Blah, blah blah blah; Portugal, blah-blah, blaaah..."

...and then hearing, "in pursuit of POWER!!!" and jolting upright and to full attention. This happened at least twelve times in two hours. Needless to say, I'm in the process of finding another class of equal difficulty but more coherence, which meets at a more reasonable time.

But if you think Pyscho Power Man was the worst of it-- like I did-- then you are wrong, wrong, wrong. Because nothing will ever compare to my first encounter with my Health teacher, O'Donbridge. I am calling her that because she is a hybrid of Dolores Umbridge and Rosie Donnell. Oh, how I wish I were kidding.

I was one of the first people to enter her lecture hall this morning. Without making eye contact, she shouted through the silence, "Sign in and take a seat! In the front! And yes, I always talk like this! I talk loud! GET USED TO IT!" Taken aback, I prepared to "get used to it" and opened my bag to retrieve a pen. I'd switched purses about an hour before. I, uh, didn't have a pen. Greeeat.

"Excuse me," I said, figuring I might as well try talking to her before writing her off completely. "I'm sorry, but do you have a pen I could borrow to sign in?"

O'Donbridge did her best impression of the Charles Manson mugshot smile, like she'd been waiting all morning for her first victim. "Okay," she said, handing one to me, and eyeing it as if she expected me to run away with it and sell it on the black market or something. I smiled as sweetly as possible, and tried to save face by saying, "You'd think I could remember a pen for a class! I guess I had an airhead moment--"

Then, in a tone of voice that usually accompanies kindergarten flashcards of one-digit numbers, she cut me off with, "Yes, you need pens for classes. Take a seat. I'll assign your place next week*."

I sat down in a suck-uppy chair in the front row, in hopes that I wouldn't be cast off as both irresponsible and easily intimidated, and tried to maintain a neutral-yet-interested facial expression while O'Donbridge went on for an hour about course requirements. To make a long story short, we practically have quizzes and papers due every single day. I have a heavier workload for HEALTH than I would in the History Class of Doom. Oh, and in between assigning us a first day test and announcing that we are required to purchase an EIGHTY-DOLLAR TEXTBOOK THE SIZE OF A COUPLE TISSUES TIED TOGETHER, WHICH CANNOT BE BOUGHT USED OR SOLD BACK AFTER THE QUARTER, O'Donbridge preached about how organization and responsibility are the most important skills in the entire world. And, of course, she said this while looking me square in the eye.

So. Yaaaay. I'm now almost as worked up from talking about O'Donbridge as I was in her presence, and that's saying something, because her blouse was see-through and I had to see her frumpy middle-aged bra the entire time. I... yeah. I'm going to go eat a bagel.

Chipotle burritos this year: 13
Subscribers: 26,228
Nail color: "Plum's the Word," Sally Hansen Salon Manicure**

*For those of you still in middle or high school, thinking, "Do teachers really still assign seats in college?" the answer is no. They do not. Unless they are mentally ill.
**Also not a picture of my hand, Jess.

P.S. Today is Mike's birthday. It'd be lovely if any of you would like to say something nice to him on twitter. He's pretty freaking awesome.


Anonymous said...

Oh, no! Do you have to take O'Donbridge's class?? (Also, is there any chance that she could find this? I don't know why she would be Googling her students, but...could be pretty horrendous if she did.)

Katty said...

hahah i cant believe they assign seats in university, that really does not bode well for my aspirations of never having to really go to lectures.
Maybe she thinks you're......*whispers* special? that could get you some kudos thought!
i realise that makes me sound kinda harsh, but its not actually lying, more just the art of unintentional misconstruing of situations.

annaface said...

I suppose you could turn the Health class experiences into a messed up Harry Potter fanfiction crossover in which you and Harry moan on and on about your horrible teachers. Though I'm guessing his story will be a little more dramatic, what with the permanent etching of words into a hand deal.

Morgan said...

Maybe you could just focus on the unique and awesome experience of actually meeting a cross between Rosie and Umbridge, because it is still SUPER cool. And weird. Also, be glad the pen didn't make your hand bleed because I was totally waiting for you to say it did!!!!!!!
Even though that sounds terrible it still makes me look forward to getting out of HS and movin' on the college. Woowoo!
You make me feel happier, Hayley.

Dinah said...

Isn't it nuts how you can have the most inspiring and lovely profs one moment and then be given horrendous monsters who revel in your pain the next?

If you still have time to switch I am whole-heartedly in that camp for the Umbridge-Health class. History MIGHT have a chance of getting better and seems like the lesser evil (pun very-much intended.)

I hope you can sort it out because I would hate for you to suffer through those torture sessions all term.

Speaking of which, how many terms do you have in a school year/how long are they? At my (Canadian) University we have 2 semesters that last 4 months. More terms sounds like...well, more work!

Much love to you muffin, and thanks for the shout-out!

Mike said...

Babe, the best course of action would have been to fart loudly through the whole class. I mean if your prof already dislikes you, might as well have some fun with it.

Cece said...

I got SO lucky this year teacher-wise. I've had two different English teachers, and as much as I loved the first, the second only got better. And all my other teachers are fantastic, except for Science, in which I swear he's certifibly insane, but that's only a downside sometimes.

I'm sorry to hear about your lame professors/classes, hopefully things'll get better :)

Jeannette said...

Damn, I would've scratched my name off the list and walked out if one of my professors talked to me like a child with the purpose of insulting me. How come you can't take a different class? :\

Alice said...

Your history teaches sounds like Mad Eye Moody but without fun magical powers

Roxanne said...

Wow....Haley I'm so sorry! I definitely know the feeling. Going into my senior year of college next semester, I've had my fair share of teachers like that...and some who even find joy out of embarrassing you...which is EXACTLY what O'Donbridge's class sounds like. I had one teacher who publicly humiliated me in front of my entire gym class because I was a little chubby. Yeah....jerk. Glad that's over. It'll get better, I promise! And if not...well...look on the positive side! Only 3 more years to go! (Hopefully) :)

VTBurninator said...

First rule of college, don't make contact with the natives (i.e. professors) until you find out two important things about their disposition, 1) their weakness and 2) their nemesis. Then proceed with caution, talk to them like you're an adult too and never let them see you cry, trip over your own feet or refer to them by a nickname they might figure out.

Case Study 1: Freshman Biology
Native Name: Dr. I-Can't-Remember-Her-Name
Nickname: The Boobless Wonder
Distinguishing Marks: An affinity for jumpers, long neck, turtle-like face and of course, concave chest
Weakness: Students that actually talked to her like a regular person/laugh at her jokes
Nemesis: Students that laughed and/or talked during lecture, sorostituties

Case Study 2: Undergraduate Student Advisor
Native Name: Dr. I-Wouldn’t-Tell-You-Her-Name-If-You-Paid-Me-Cause-I’d-Fear-For-My-Life
Nickname: Zaaa-M-Zee
Distinguishing Marks: Poofy hair, stern face, voice that you hear echo in your worst nightmares, undergraduate blood on her hands
Weakness: None, researcher’s failed attempts include interest in research, sucking up, laughing at jokes, extra effort, avoidance; Possibilities yet unexplored: sorostitutes
Nemesis: Athletes, slackers, over-achievers, undergrads in general

barefootfiona said...

Drop both the classes and do somethign else! GET OUTTA THERE WHILE YOU STILL CAN!

Christina said...

Sounds like it is time to drop the health class and switch for a new one. I do not think Geography will be too hard. I survived the one at my college and it is supposedly the hardest class here.

daiana12 said...

oofft that SUCKS!
I'm a high school junior and i'm excited for college because, you know, i like to learn, but at the same time...hearing things like this make me so nervous. I dont know what to do. I have no idea what college i wanna go to or what i wanna do. How did you decide?

Elizabeth... said...

Sounds like a very scary woman.
I'm very glad that I rarely have new lecturers, and any eccentric or specialist will only be around a few weeks. In Art it's the same great people as the standard teaching team.

Good luck with sorting your schedule out!

Ida said...

E-hug back at you.

As for O'Donbridge, put some cat plates up on her wall. Maybe it'll make her happier.

Arletta said...

Hey, that's me up there... cool. Wasn't expecting that. Good luck with getting a better schedule. Have you heard of It should help in weeding out the bad teachers.

to_thine_own_self said...

Ugh...sorry you have to put up with craptastic teachers, Hayley. That kind of thing always stinks =[

Nokorola said...

Another semester(trimester?) of great blog posts is in the works here.

Have a good day Hayley. :-)

Margaret said...

Hayleyyy! If it helps, I had the same experience when signing up for this quarter's classes. And it was stressful and annoying and a gigantic pain in the ass, but now I adore my schedule.'ll all work out! Also, you're pretty. The end! :)

Luna C. P. said...

We all have Umbridge-s, just remember no unforgiviable curses no matter how evil they may be.
Remeber your wizared swears... uhh... thats all the advice I have.
I think you'll be just fine in Mr. POWER's class.
* LE GASP, you should go into her class with like 50 million pens ( and a quill) but prolly not really because then she might send dementors to like burn up chipotle's ( which demontors can't actually do but...) Which would be the worst thing ever. DFTBA

Anonymous said...

I like you and you're writing.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry
You and your writing.
I'm having an airhead moment ;)

nicole. said...

I cannot help to laugh but also feel disgusted and scared at the same time while conjuring a mental image of O'Donbridge.

I do not envy you in the slightest right now. I just started spring quarter too and my classes look pretty promising. Gods of India, Dinosaurs, Greek Mythology. It's an eclectic mix but I like to keep things interesting. Except I could only get 12 units which is just maddening because I feel like I'm wasting my time. I guess it's time for a job!

seurat2 said...

Dump those classes as soon as possible. There's got to be something better than that torture. As for your fear of multiple choice exams, seriously? I can write essay answers too, but give me multiple choice any day.

Kat said...

What, two hours?? That's too long for a single class at any time period. But especially at night, omg.

Uh, why are you taking health? I didn't even know colleges (other than BYU) offered health.

Take something fun. Some of my best classes have been courses I randomly found that the German department offers in English. Also any kind of gender / sexuality studies-type course can be an interesting mini-culture shock...

Kris said...

Oh man, Hayley, that sucks =(

I hope you're able to drop the O'Donbridge class. I can't imagine a whole term having to put up with THAT. =/

xo, Kris

sparkletasia said...

That sounds horrible. I thought you ot rid of teachers treating you like a child once you got to Uni! Uhoh. If you can't switch out, than I'd say absolutely knock it out of the park and feel all smug at exceeding her expectations.

Haha, you History teacher sounds like a science one I had once. Some people really do just get a kick out of emphasising the oddest words!

Good luck :)

Kristen said...

After a semester of NO writing classes, (Damn counselors, what's a journalism major to do?!) I'm eager to meet the summer session's challenges head-on. Last term I had the most thoughtful comp professor imaginable, who recommended me to the creative writing professor, who is eager to have me as soon as my schedule allows.

And I feel you on the book situation. NEVER IN MY LIFE have I regretted shelling out precious cash to bring a new treasure for my bookcase home. (Maybe afterward, but never during the actually purchasing phase) But the prospect of buying books in the campus bookstore makes me want to cry. Literally. Cry. Big, fat, heartbreaking Alice in Wonderland tears. Finals in less than a month, and then I get to do it all over again. Yay for furthering your education.

Also: By the grace of all things holy, I managed an A on my psych midterm. Which brings my class average dangerously close to being an A as well. Dean's List, here I cooooome again.

Anonymous said...

oh yeah, be careful to keep your blog away from your teachers... because when they find out it circulates around the whole staff room. Been there! :D

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
reyi said...

I kind of feel you on the Health front: I have to take online health and I have more work for it than all my actual college classes and labs. [ridiculous....]

I feel like college classes that aren't the typical sciences or whatever is like playing roulette, you never know what you'll get from teacher to amounts of work, until you experience it. and every single one is different. (college is like a box of chocolates? nah, that's stretching it... :P )

A.J. James said...

Hayley I love your descriptions, and the O'donbridge image will remain strong in my memory for a long time to come. if only I could get the image of her middle-aged bra out of my head, I hope things work out. stay strong.

RhianonLives said...

I have a teacher that's just like O'Donbridge!!! I hate her :( She makes my life living hell!!!
But instead of giving you my sympathy, I'm just going to tell you how disappointed I am in you, because ME, your loveliest most sweetest subscriber, am from Portugal :D And I think if you listened to what your teacher was saying (aside from the POWER bits) you might find it interesting. We're interesting people! For example, did you know that when Portugal had a revolution to break out of dictatorship, it happened without one single gunshot? And it was a military-based dictatorship! :3 ok, so maybe it's not so interesting xD anyway, at least now you can say you know someone in Portugal.

kira902k said...

:O You didn't mention my name when you thanked the commentors at the beginning!
Ah vell. Probably an accident :)

Ugh, I have a teacher EXACTLY like Umbridge as well. She even looks like a toad. Her sickly sweetness is so aggravating.
So yeah, I know how you feel.
At least your Geography teacher is all right? That's a class that would really suck with a bad teacher.

Happy Passover!


Blackcherries said...

Ugh I know how teachers can be crazy in College. I have a teacher that likes to take out her anger and frustration on me, just because I'm always in class (while the rest of my classmates are always tardy). At least there isn't an opportunity for her to watch you change for sports, which my high school teacher did in my 9th grade. She was... nuts.
Good luck Hayley, just remember that Umbridge got comeuppance and so shall O'Donbridge. Maybe not by mad centaurs, but you can always imagine that to pass the time in her class!

Anonymous said...

It makes me so annoyed when history teachers are bad, because I am a history major and with a professor that I absolutely adore (young-ish, interesting, full of geek-culture references, and adorably nerdy - AND a prof of medieval european history, my favorite kind), the thought of bad classes fills me with rage. People dislike history enough without more bad teachers adding to it. Admittedly bad teachers are the problem - a good history class is as much about reading and analyzing literature and talking about the philosophies of the time as it is about dates, facts, and events.


I have a class from 7-10 PM on Tuesday nights. I like it, but I know what you mean about old-lady-hood; by dinnertime I'm about ready to go to bed.

Lorena said...

I'm happy that you could pick up "Portugal" from all the blabbing. A shout out, please? :) Well, I guess that already was a shout out.

Anonymous said...

I hate the first day of class. Wait, why do you have new classes now?
Reading about your classes made me feel really bad about mine, too. I'm only taking one this semester, because I'm so sick of school! And because this is my fifth year, and I've been here so long. And because when I think about God and Margo Roth Spiegelman, school doesn't seem so important. But, Hayley, I admire your gumption. Really, you are an inspiration in so many ways.

janitorbud said...

Finally I have the same nail polish as you! It's not on my nails unfortunately. I'm still happy though because when I got it, my friends were like "you like that color?!" and made me feel bad. It's pretty!

Another State of Mind said...

aww man Hayley i'm sorry about O'Donbridge.. maybe she'll get better throughout the quarter? keep your hopes up Hayley we're all here for you!

eibbore said...

It's sounds like if things don't get better you may have to get out of O'Donbridge's class stat. Scary scary woman. Hope the rest of the semester goes well.

Anonymous said...

O'Donbridge. That is fucking genius. Hayley, your sense of self and humor help make you such an exceptional writer, and I just love reading your blog for whatever witty insights you put out there.
aka the best/worst hybrid of two people on the internet!

Catherine said...

Hearing stories like this makes be happy that all of my tutors/lecturers are fairly nice and seem to realise that we're all adults and that we couldn't care less what they think as long as they provide us with the knowledge to pass the unit.

One question tho. Why do you have to do a health class when you're a Creative Writing major?

Elisabeth said...

Wow, I'm so lucky to have never had a lecturer from hell. The worst I had was a guy from Greenland who was either a hobbit or a dwarf, who just gave really boring lectures. But it wasn't even his fault - it was the subject.

I hope you can transfer out of the worst classes!

Charlie Woo said...

Hey, one of the things I hated most about my first year at university, was that no lecturers knew or gave a damn about who I was. To them I was just a number. So, if it helps at all, at least she probably knows who you are now!!

Ok... That doesn't help at all! One of my favourite lecturers only learnt my name because I handed in an essay with the bibliography missing. When he asked me where it was, I looked so confused he just started laughing.

I suppose it is better to stand out, even for doing moronic things, than it is to fade into the background.

Charlie Woo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Dreamers said...

I don't have a Twitter, so I'll wish him a happy birthday right here :D

Happy Birthday!!!

So glad to be out of High School, but now I'm in the limbo of deciding what to do with my life, considering I can't get a job or afford college. Hooray for internet blogs keeping me busy!

Tom said...

You're doing BEDA again!?!? Exciting. Yours was one of the four or so blogs/vlogs I followed last year. I'm doing VEDA. It will in all likelyhood kill me. :D Funfunfun yay.

*was too lazy to comment two days ago* I feel like you should stay in O'Donbridge's class just for the sake of the wonderfully hilarious bloggerings she will no doubt inspire (or for the sake of the young adult novel you can one day put her in).

annaliseoneil said...

I am SO sorry about you're horrible luck this quarter. Goodness gracious, I can't even imagine having assigned seats in university and I hate that she's already judged you. You're just going to have to show O'Donbridge who's boss with your skillz? Yeah!

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