For some reason, every university on the planet decided that all students need to take an art credit. This lack of foresight is made even worse by the fact that none of them offer a course on tasteful nudes. That means you’ll be spending a semester learning about the intricacies of stage lighting or early 1900s East Andorran Surrealist painters instead of how to manage employees or design the first manned spacecraft to Mars. It’s absolutely useless information that also teaches you so little about art, it won’t even help you get a hummer from babes with pixie cuts — the only possible benefit taking such a class might have. At best, something you learned in it might pop up on Jeopardy! or in a crossword puzzle. At worst, you end up enjoying it and become one of those artsy types. Not worth the risk.
Of course, essential knowledge like which thickness of paint brush works best for landscapes can’t be taught by an actual PhD. You’ll be “learning” it from a guy who’s fresh out of undergrad and trekking down a path to perpetual unemployment. We’ll call that dope Dave the TA.
Dave’s a bespectacled schmuck who’s just trying to further his education. Instead of going to Paris or Rome, though, he ended up having to teach hungover morons like you. Dave’s not old enough to have any real authority, but still young enough to be a little proud. The guy did get a four year degree, after all, and he even managed to touch a few boobs along the way. To his eventual dread, all those experiences didn’t prepare him for every TA’s nightmare — the procrastinating upperclassman. Unlike those jamokes who packed every easy class into their early years, these guys knew that senior year was really the time for drinking and carrying on. Unfortunately for Davey boy, this decision made their lives meet in a way that will crush his dreams forever.
Let’s preface by saying it’s not about blatantly mocking this asshole for his neckbeard and K-Mart slacks; that move is for folks who peaked in high school, failed insult comics, and other flat-out terrible humans. Instead, it’s about slowly chipping away at his will to teach with disinterest and a lack of real effort. Anyone with some knowledge of mind games knows that a thousand paper cuts hurt worse than one punch to the dick. Additionally, Dave does have the authority to fail students who call him a bitch in public. A student’s decision to monitor the ESPN App and take full advantage of the attendance policy isn’t going to make him ask them to leave, but it sends the message that the Renaissance is low on their list of interests. They’ll still pull an A without trying, because it’s a fucking art credit, but that’s not the point. Guys like Dave live for positive reinforcement and engaging with undergrads. Not giving him that pat on the head will have the clown worn down and mixing Jack in with his coffee by midterms.
Of course, there will come a time when the class’s collective disregard for this guy’s field of study will come to a climax. Dave has a passion for Middle Woodland Period pottery and Roman architecture, but the fact that no one in this class shares it with him has poor Dave on edge. As he goes on and on about how paddle stamping was both aesthetically pleasing and structurally significant, everyone’s focus on Snapchatting pictures where their scrotum is hanging out the bottom of their shorts and captioning it “ew i sat in gum” will break him. At this moment, when his fragile psyche finally snaps and he pleads with the class to open their mind to pots, your overly-loud, 420-friendly whisper to Stacy Sweatermeat will be the last straw. There won’t be a tantrum, yelling, or even gesturing. Just a big laugh from your peers and the image of a defeated young man in a turtleneck standing before you. Congratulations, buddy, you just set another art history major on the path to managing a Hobby Lobby. For the sake of American education, we can only hope it makes an impression on the people who craft our curriculums..
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