Thursday, October 07, 2004

Writer's symposium

A symposium at Palm Beach Community College is antithetical to everything a symposium should stand for. In ancient Greece, a symposium was a gathering for drinking, music, and learned discussion. I provided the drink and food, which consisted of a vanilla cake and bottle of Coke. The professor was derelict in bringing the music, and PBCC is typically devoid of any intellectual discussion.

Each of the students picked a poet and wrote a reflection paper on the readings. My group consisted of members who read Tennyson’s “In Memoriam”. The poem itself was rather bizarre. It told of a man, after 17 years, still grieving over the death of his confidant. One participant went so far as to suggest they were homosexual lovers. Frankly, I read maybe 20 pages of the required 50. Most of my analysis was taken off various Internet sites. For the final draft, I will narrow it down to my own commentary.

This gives me a chance to delve deeper into my English Literature course. I wanted an easy class and a way to finally earn my A.A. degree. This is the last step in that endeavor. The professor, Edwin Peck, is a very fine man. I took both English Composition courses with Mr. Peck. I began talking to him more in the second semester last term. I learned that he, like I, was a supporter of Dr. Dean. He expresses disappointment in the fact that George W. Bush has led our country astray. Henceforth, he’s been lenient in allowing me to miss class for political functions. On the first day of the term, I was fortunate enough to meet Howard Dean himself. I was absent a few weeks later when Sen. Kerry came to West Palm Beach’s Convention Center. I’m sure he would have let me see Sen. Edwards on Wednesday had I so desired. I always enjoy Peck’s commentary during class. He doesn’t always explicitly say it, but you can hear the liberal undertones to his addresses.

There is this girl Jennifer that sits next to me in class. I wrote briefly about her back in the beginning of the term. We worked together yesterday in that orgy of a symposium. Perhaps “orgy” is too strong a term. In actuality, it was a four-person collaboration. Jason Boczar, of Dwyer High School fame, was also in our group. Nevertheless, I knew that she was active in student government. While we were going over the papers, I heard her talk about journalistic editing. Being a Communication major myself, I inquired about her comments. She’s Journalism major as well. The talk quickly digressed from the matter at hand and focused on writing. She talked about a class she had taken with legendary South Florida columnist Frank Cerabino. She asked if anybody had ever seen or worked with him. I mentioned our perfunctory challenge in the 2002 Palm Beach Post journalism awards. The year before that, instructor Ms. Blackmon sat next to Cerabino during the luncheon. The impression I got was that Jennifer did not think too highly of Cerabino.

Jennifer isn’t like most of the student body of PBCC. Many at PBCC are rather whorish in their attire and lack suitable knowledge about anything other than sex, drugs, and hip-hop music. Her dress is more conservative, reminding me of a day long ago. I would categorize her as pretty or the stereotypical hot chick of today, but she’s cute in her own way. I try to be as friendly and outgoing as possible. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to start off with a shot of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum at the early hour of 10:30 a.m. To paraphrase a line from a friend, “I don’t know if you can go to class drunk, but I’m trying”. I think it might not be a bad idea. I could disguise the slight buzz with a junior mint, while at the same time feeling more relaxed and festive. After slight introspection, that might not be the best idea.

I keep on getting off-track. The purpose of my post was to get to the 4th graph. Most of the earlier stuff was simply a segue to that. She’s the type of girl that would be more in my league, so-to-speak. I may not be able to win a Presidential or Congressional election, but I’d stand a better chance running for SGA President or local town council.

I often times think that I could use a “Strategies for Success” class in interpersonal relationships. I remember back to the lessons learned in my 9th Grade year when I took Ms. King’s strategies course. I used to think that there were some illicit dealings going on. When I’d come back from lunch, we’d notice the lights being turned off. She’d open up the door and two thugs emerged. You can guess what we speculated about.

The larger point still remains. I’ll touch on it more in further postings. The hardest stage for people like myself, and probably many others, is the process of ingratiating oneself. There’s a bridge between workplace interaction and more advanced social settings. In some situations, it may be hopeless. Despite your wishes, there must be an element of reciprocity. That’s not always evident until you make a total fool of yourself. Nevertheless, those chances sometimes have to be taken.

Overall, the writer’s symposium was a fun experience. We ran out of time, so I didn’t have to read my paper aloud. I learned some new things and met some interesting people. In the end, the discussion was learned despite my initial reservations.



Blogger Eric Cioffoletti said...

She sounds nice. Ask her out. Look for body language though to see if she likes you. If you notice a lot of eye contact and stuff, you might be in luck.

Try to find some way to talk to her after class. This is key. I've asked this one girl out during class once (or actually right before it) and it was VERY awkward. Feel her out and see if she has a boyfriend and see if you think she likes you. Good luck!

Also, sounds like the symposium is a bunch of shit. No offense.

October 7, 2004 at 10:45 PM  
Blogger tsias said...

No offense. The symposium wasn't PBCC's finest hour. The teacher has good intentions. However, the students generally can't pull through.

I'll ask you to clarify/expand on your comments when I'm up in Orlando this weekend. I'd be interested to hear how your proposition went.


October 8, 2004 at 1:21 AM  

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