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First day of Graduate School

June 8th, 2009

Today I began my first day of class as a graduate student. I am currently enrolled in a “Master of Arts in Teaching” degree. Don’t ask.

As typical for the first day of any course the instructor started with an icebreaker activity. It went like this, each student was supposed to share two things. First, his teaching emphasis (English, Art, Science, etc) and second, something unique about himself.

Since I arrived to class ten minutes late I missed the responses of students with last names between A through L.

Yeah, I arrived late. Granted, it’s bad manners to arrive late, especially on the very first day. But what can I say? How am I supposed to have my alarm clock calibrated the first day? Besides, it was as I suspected, I didn’t miss anything important.

I digress, back to the icebreaker. When people are put on the spot one never knows what they will say. For her unique attribute, one girl suggested she was most likely the only person in the class who had double vision in both eyes. I figured she was probably right.

I sympathized with her as I too have double vision, just not in both eyes. In my case each eye registers one image but because my brain doesn’t overlap them correctly I end up seeing two images. Luckily for me I’m able to mentally push the “cut line” over toward my peripheral and thus just use one eye (single vision) on whatever I want to focus on. Wierd, huh?

But our instructor, an elderly woman named Judy, gushed in a shocked voice, “So you see two of me?”

Now, admittedly, I’m not the brightest bulb going but by my reckoning if someone had double vision in both eyes they would see four of everything, not two. To my relief the girl quickly corrected our teacher, “No, not two of you. I see eight of you.”

Somewhere deep in my subconscious a fuse blew. Wouldn’t that be two-eyed quadruple vision? And you’re sitting on the back row!? Maybe distance helped her get it all sorted out.

To substantiate her claim she added, “It’s been medically tested and proven.”

“I wonder how they test that,” I thought. I visualized her eye doctor holding up ten fingers and asking, “How many am I holding up?” Long pause. “Eighty?”

I was glad she was already off the road when I had been driving to class. Mental note to self, arriving late could save my life.

Then it was the turn of the thin young man to my left who was sporting an Abraham Lincoln-like beard. Settling back deep in his chair he started wagging out an interesting address,

     “Well, I have been told I have a fine balance between
      the right and left sided hemispheres of my brain.  I 
      believe this is collaborated by the evidence that I have
      an electrical engineering degree yet am also an amateur 
      painter and song-writer.  I also study philosophy.  In fact, 
      (here he chuckled quietly to himself) let me tell you that 
      as an undergraduate student my advisor had to pull me 
      out of several philosophy classes because I was taking 
      them too seriously.”  

Abruptly, he finished. My concrete-sequential-grey-matter struggled to decide which of the two ice-breaker questions he had answered. Probably the second. Was his unique attribute his brain? Well, one thing was unique: the linkage ‘twixt his brain and mouth.

Photo Credit: Q Anya

One Response to “First day of Graduate School”

  1. Kate Messier Says:

    Great story…enjoyed the last remark of the linkage, “twixt his brain and mouth.” That is my granddaughter, Alanna in the picture you chose…how interesting. She was at my home playing with 2 pairs of glasses from a toy doctors kit. Her aunt took the picture…just thought I would share that with you. Kate 6/12/09

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