Yesterday for me was the last day of classes for the Fall Quarter 2006.
I have been teaching since 1976, so I have had a lot of last days of classes. But I am still no good at “closure.” Of all the idiot words running around I like “closure.” But I am no good at it.
Maybe I should bring cookies or bake a cake or barbeque for the last day of class like some of my colleagues do. I think about it but never do. So maybe I am no good at closure because I don’t care enough to want to do anything about it.
But I thought I had something that might make the last meeting a little less lame than usual. We sit there usually, and I ask questions about the last paper and ask them if they have questions about the last paper. The students look all pale and worn out. I suppose I could give them a quiz to perk them up.
But I had them write their last paper on “Fight Club” because the “theme” for these particular classes had been the consumer society. I have very mixed feelings about “Fight Club.” But it’s all I could think to use at the time. I don’t know if it’s a complex film or with that twist at the end just takes an ironic distance towards itself and so undercuts itself entire.
But that’s another question. We all had more or less decided on the basis of a few readings that the movie wasn’t just about the consumer society but had something to do also with being masculine or not in the modern world. I apologized to the young women in the class for a movie so masculine in its emphasis but they didn’t seem to mind. One even said it was her favorite movie. She is real bright too but having a very hard time trying to be pre-med—all that biology and chemistry.
But I think, while I am reading the LA Times at breakfast, here’s something that might enliven the last session. They have a column on another nut form of religion making the rounds. As the article indicates fewer and fewer men seem to be attending church; the majority of church goers are women. So the evangelical freaks to get more warm bodies in their pews have decided that modern Christianity is emasculating or de-balling, and are trying to lure more men by preaching a new “rugged” Christianity.
Christ was really a rabble rouseer, a guy who hung out with his homies doing drugs on the street corner and spent lots of time out in the desert living off the land like a real ape man. Christ as Ripped. Christ the body builder. And when he was up there on the cross, he really toughed it out. I asked my students if one of them could photo shop for me an image of Christ on the Cross but really, really buffed up.
But I say this whole thing is about controlling women and quote one of the rules of one of these churches: Rule No. 1: "Learn to work the toilet seat. You’re a big girl. If it’s up, put it down." But a couple of the young women say that women should learn to “work the tiolet seat.”
I can’t win for losing. The class ended, as far as I was concerned, having achieved a total lack of closure.