Fairhair in the Classroom

I’ve done a damn fine job of avoiding school entirely the last few years but I still think about it now and again. Sometimes I just happen to be walking down the street or doing some other life-defining activity when, without any real visual or auditory signal, I suddenly remember to myself, “Goddamn, school sucked.”

Some people get all hot and bothered for school, and I’ll consent there were some good things about it, such as friends, recess, and nap time (when you were a little kid), or just friends and nap time (when you were a big kid). College was better than primary/secondary school because you could pretty much do whatever you wanted whenever you wanted to do it, including not going to class and not doing your homework, and for the most part, no one really cared, except for overly sensitive thought-patrollers and pompous, totalitarian professors. 

My architecture professor was particularly vile. She once spitefully asked me, “What are you, schizo?” and proceeded to be a total totalitarian bitch all because I had meekly approached her regarding a scheduling conflict that I had with her ill-conceived, extremely short-notice, outside-of-class-hours video-watching-session. Valhalla forbid! Sin of all sins to miss this not-once-in-a-lifetime VHS borefest and watch the damn thing later by myself! March me off the gallows pole and leave me to the carrion crows for I truly deserve no less.

I’m sure my example is not all that unique. Most of us have encountered this type of classroom totalitarianism and know that it primarily afflicts those teachers who feel ashamed from their failure to live up to what they incorrectly perceive to be their full potential. 

It’s just another sad sign of how much things have changed in the last thousand years. In the Viking days the totalitarianism typically arose from a warmongering desire to conquer pretty much all of everything. This bred hostility and led to much gruesome slaughter and nowadays makes for excellent bedtime reading/storytelling. 

According to the sagas, Norwegians responded to King Harald Fairhair’s iron-fisted regime by fleeing to Iceland. If only we could flee such bullshit in school, in a way that doesn’t involve dropping out and hiding from the man. Just imagine how great it would feel to stand up and walk out of the classroom with your mates, sail off in some fierce-looking boats, and start a new colony on a faraway North Atlantic island the next time some washed-up teacher gets too high and mighty on you. Sure as hell would beat loitering around in the school parking lot.


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