Written by Zach Siddiqui, Humour Editor
Students enrolled in ENGL 190: Misc. Studies in Literature are abuzz with anticipation as they await this Thursday: the next weekly online Canvas discussion, which once again will have absolutely no connection to the actual course material.
Barry Shell, the student assigned to start a discussion post this week, is happy to triple his classmates’ opportunities to learn about Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake.
“There’s what you thought this week’s reading was about,” Shell explained, “and then there’s what I thought the reading was about, which was totally different and way more interesting. And then my discussion question will be unrelated to both of those!” This threefold sequence is also known to many students, and the medical community, as the “triad of death.”
The unpredictability of it all keeps the blood flowing, says Polly Selmie, another student in the class.
“I’m just so hyped for yet another week of posting 500-word responses to literary concepts I’m pretty sure he just made up while listening to Wallows songs on repeat,” she wrote to The Peak in an email interview.
Lacey Teamsure, the professor of ENGL 390, has traditionally left these discussions to develop on their own. The goal of university education, says Teamsure, is to get students critically thinking — and sometimes that means criticizing the readings enough to realize that it’s best to just ignore them and write your own narrative.
At press time, most students still had no idea how to respond to last week’s questions about whether A&W’s Beyond Meat burger counted as “artificial life.” A select few were scrabbling for participation marks by purposely not participating in the class at all, in preparation to frame their questions and complaints during the next Zoom conference as “engagement.”