Philosophy was never a part of my undergraduate work. When I had to choose electives outside of my major (physiology) and minor (journalism), I opted for subjects like geology (which resulted in my only C in college) and ballroom dancing (which was fabulous). I intentionally steered clear of philosophy for two reasons: 1) It seemed like a bunch of drivel, and 2) Dr. Bombardi was a raving lunatic. I’d seen it firsthand.
On the top floor of the James Union Building was the Philosophy department. It was also where the student newspaper offices were and where I spent at least half of my college experience. It didn’t matter whether or not we were mid-meeting, mid-deadline, or mid-goofing off; we always knew when Dr. Bombardi was teaching. We could hear him from down the hall and around the corner. His voice echoed, particularly when he yelled. His classroom, which included one wall of windows peering into the hallway, was on the way to the bathroom, and more often than not I’d peek through those windows only to find him waving his arms in the air, standing on desks, and jumping around the room with such animation that his salt-and-pepper beard waved around like a flag. His teaching style either captivated his students or it scared them, or both. Either way, it wasn’t my style and I didn’t understand how anyone could get that excited talking about the mind-tripping topics of philosophy.
Fast forward to 2013. I’m pursuing a Masters in Humanities and my first assignments have included reading Plato, Aristotle, and Plotinus. Where is Dr. Bombardi when I need him? Right about now I’d love for him to stand on my dining room table, wave his arms around, and act out what exactly Plotinus is trying to tell me, because I don’t get it.
(One of the professors posted this cartoon on our discussion board.)
On a positive note, I love the online learning platform. Not only can I do my work in pajamas, but I’ve always been better at typing out my thoughts rather than saying them on the fly in a classroom. Three cheers for editing!
Also on a positive note, I need to wrap up a few assignments today in anticipation of our wonderful houseguests who show up tomorrow. Three cheers for the Valovcin family!