Tonight I attended the most boring class in the history of the planet Earth. For the last several weeks in Information Architecture, we have had to find journal articles on a particular topic and then make a brief summary to the class. It seems like a fairly no nonsense, cakewalk assignment, especially considering that this is allegedly graduate school. Some people manage to fuck it up in strange ways, like the guy who used an article from (I've never seen the citation "Bay, Willow" before - it looks rather bizarre.) Yet it has gone off fairly smoothly so far.

Until tonight.

In tonight's class, the ordeal stretched out to OVER TWO HOURS. That's right, two hours of people droning on practically reading their articles. Never mind that part of the assignment is to post a citation on the class online discussion board so we can read (or at least skim) everyone's article. Yet people droned on and on and on and on. They insisted on using the Proxima for visual aids and one woman even read an outline she had prepared and stood in front of the class going over it point by point. Even towards the end of hour two, when Dr. T kept trying to cut people off and encourage them to wrap it up, they grasped and clawed for more time, droning on and writing more comments on the marker board.

As Tara said, "These people have forgotten that I can read!" We got pretty punchy as the hours dragged on, writing notes back and forth to one another with comments like

"Please kill me."

"I must have bored someone to death in another life to deserve this."

And "Do you have something sharp I can stick into my eye?", at which point Tara offered me the use of her Hello Kitty pen.

Tara even used the internet to discover which circle of Hell we had been trapped in - the fourth, condemned to an eternity of useless labor. The highlight must have been the guy who used the projector to display a graphic of a circle containing words like "design" and "develop" with a big arrow pointing to another circle containing THE SAME FUCKING WORDS. There are few things in this life I hate more than useless graphs, charts, and Venn diagrams that idiots use to make their articles seem more impressive and scientific, and this may be the most egregious example of that trend. So on my legal pad I drew a parody graph, a circle with the words "stupidity" and "class presentation" and a big arrow pointing to the word "boredom".

At the end of the class, even Dr. T, an easygoing, jovial fellow, was forced to comment on this disturbing trend and instituted a three minute time limit for future classes. I would have skipped damn near the rest of the semester had he not done so.

Returning to school has overall been an incredibly positive experience, yet it's times like these that make me rethink this program. If these are the kinds of people that I'll be working with, I might want to rethink my choice of profession. At least I can take consolation in the fact that most of these people will be working in public libraries or school media centers.