Rewind to my sophomore year at Temple University.
Philosophy Intellectual Heritage class.
This was probably one of my most memorable classes throughout my seventeen years of schooling. The professor was one of the strangest individuals I’d ever met, and every single class was an adventure into the weird. My high school and college sweetheart even sat directly behind me. To start each class, in order to “take attendance”, we played an oddball sort of name game where the subject would change each time. The theme I most easily recall is “Choose your favorite way to die.” Bizarre as it sounds, as our names were called, we would let the class know what our preferred method of expiration would be. Mine involved Viagra and is entirely inappropriate for this forum.
We even spent an entire class dissecting Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. There were even scribblings on the whiteboard to illustrate how poor of a film it was. He seemed to have a particularly fiery hatred for it on that day. I suppose we should have been discussing Sartre instead.
But this is all besides the point.
The class that truly stands out in my mind is when he assigned me a much higher calling. It was the last class before Spring Break, and the topic of our funky roll call game was “What are your plans for Spring Break?” Back then, this answer was easy as pie – play Halo (Halo 2 to be exact), lots of it. Of course, all of the rich kids in the class thought this was ridiculous; you’re supposed to have your parents send you to Miami or Cabo, right? Well, I was poor, and Halo made me happy.
Upon my answer, he sat in his chair with a strange upward and contemplative stare as if a philosophical bomb was about to drop. He began explaining that he’s surprised nobody else planned to spend their free time as Master Chief and went on to discuss whether or not my passion for playing Halo could be directly attributed to a predetermined role in a potential alien attack on planet Earth. A 10-minute monologue analyzing my potential ensued.
I never thought about it like that. Perhaps, if Earth is ambushed by some form of alien race, such as the Covenant from Halo, I will end up serving as a John Connor type – the one who will lead the people of Earth on an ultimate defensive against invading bastards. And win.
It could happen.
Sure, I’ll need more than my Springfield XD-M 9mm 5.25″ pistol and Savage .223 bolt action rifle. But if stuff goes down, looting an armory and loading my Honda CR-V to capacity with ACRs and SCARs while Springsteen’s ‘Death To My Hometown’ plays from roof-mounted speakers is clearly the first thing on my list. Anyway, it’s not all about calibers and twist rates. My intangibles would most likely be the real pudding of this saga – leadership among fearful folks, willingness to sacrifice, negotiation skills, etc. (really, I can’t prove any of these things yet). If Will Smith can punch an alien square in the face, so can I.
And so, teachers are awesome, and that strange professor can ride in my anti-alien Honda CR-V any time.
This post actually got fact-checked via Twitter, and the class was “Intellectual Heritage”. It was a Temple thing. :)