Sunday, May 13, 2007

the Almost 75 Year Old Irresistible Force

So yesterday at Graduation I barely stepped out of the auditorium and who should I run into but one of my professors. His name is Fr. Damien Dietlien OSB. He is 74 years old and is an Old Testament Scholar who has forgotten more scripture than most knowledgeable people will ever know in their lifetimes. He amazes me with his command of languages and nuances of textual criticism and he is constantly reading the newest literature, so he always knows what is going on.

Anyway, Damo (which is what we all affectionately call him) asked me if I was planning on taking his Through Their Eyes - Women in the Old Testament Seminar in the fall semester. I informed him that sadly I was scheduled to take my final in the fall, and if I tried to take his course and my final in the same semester I was certain that my head would surely explode. He is notorious for piling on the reading in his courses (hundreds and hundreds of pages a week) on top of that for each articles or book chapter that you read you have to submit a 100 word annotation. Just doing the work for his class will give you nightmares. Trying to do that work and complete a comprehensive MA final exam would be cruel and unusual punishment.

He informed me, with a Cheshire cat grin, that he thought his class would surely help me on my final exam. I said I wasn't so sure and left it at that.

Later at the reception he took up the discussion again and said that he really thought that I needed to take his class. He told me that he would do everything in his power to make sure that I wasn't "overburdened, and that so long as I was willing to do a presentation to the class, he would allow me some leeway on when I submitted my annotations, which I suppose means that he would give me as many extensions as they school would allow him to give before he had to give me a grade.

Then later, when we were at my friends barbecue, he said "So, I'll send you the book list and syllabus for the class so you can order the books for next fall."

I mean, in a case like this, when a professor like Damo who only allows 16 people into his class to begin with personally asks you to take his class and then won't take no for an answer, what is a girl to do. This is akin to getting a papal summons (only I think I would take this one more seriously).

So, I have decided that I am going to find out if I can audit his class, that way I can sit in on the discussions, and do a presentation but I don't have to worry about turning in the annotations or getting a grade since I don't need the credit. If I can audit that will be awesome. If I can't audit, I guess I will pray about what to do, and then register for the class for credit and fall upon the mercy of Damo as I try to do the work and my final at the same time.

I must be crazy, or Damo is a darn good salesman. He could sell ice water to eskimo's

No comments: