I was finishing up my GURs fall quarter and I had space for another class. I decided to take a beginning acting class because it seemed easy enough; I’d get my A, boost my GPA a bit, and get ahead on credits. I should’ve known better. It was a theater class. The professor, the chair for the Theater and Music department, used to perform on Broadway or something and sang as well as acted. She was snobby and brash and often displeased with our class. I’ve never had a professor get so butt-hurt about assignments and class.
Her snide comments probably hurt the sensitive theater kids who really wanted to do acting with their lives. For instance, when we were picking our final scenes, a bunch of groups picked scenes out of Barefoot in the Park, and she said, “Oh, this is a popular one. We’ll be seeing lots of scenes from this. Hopefully they’re not all the same.”
If she was going to be a brat about it, she should’ve assigned us different scenes to begin with and stop griping about it.
My scene was from The Owl and the Pussycat. I was a prostitute.
When we did monologues we had to have it memorized and apparently this was very serious business. This poor guy Ali, who was planning on having a theater minor or major, changed his monologue the day before and it wasn’t memorized. He was reading his lines and suddenly the professor cut him off and said, “Thank you, Ali. You can have a seat. We won’t be watching you do a cold read. Who’s next?”
Let me tell you, the kid looked hella sad. Even though his monologue needed to be memorized, the professor didn’t have to break the kid down—I thought the fool was going to cry—just because he didn’t do her assignment. Maybe it wasn’t personal; maybe he had other midterms or something.
What really made me mad was my grade for the monologue. When the professor gave us our rubrics at the beginning of the assignment and talked about the grading she made it seem as though dressing up was optional. When I got my rubric back, I lost 15 points for not being dressed in costume and most of her comments were talking about how I was inappropriately dressed and how I wasn’t prepared. If it was so important to be in costume she should’ve said so up front instead of deducting a bunch of points after the fact.
I couldn’t wait to get out of the class. I can’t stand that woman and I’m super pissed at the B-. Worst grade I got that quarter and it was supposed to be a damn filler.
Ajane’ Burnley is a junior at Western Washington University. Her 20th birthday was on Easter this year and she bought a yellow North Face vest. She knows sleeping in class is a waste of tuition but sometimes the Econ professor talks too much. Writing is one of the things she enjoys most, and she should make more time to write that science fiction novel. It features a young Black female heroine, because she says so.