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My Professor Is Mad! I Didn’t Do the Reading Because I Was Busy Finding the Truth

Credit: Carey Salvin

It’s just the type of thing that gives me pause. I thought they were supposed to encourage us, inspire us, and embolden us. But like… that wasn’t the case.

Imagine it’s Thursday afternoon and you’re walking into a class that shall go unnamed. Let’s just call it “What Does One Mean When One Says Something”. It’s a philosophy class – one of which I’ve never taken before. 

Our assignment the night prior was to read about some sort of semantical bullshit. Take heed Mr. Doctor Professor Philosophy, I’m no semanticist. The gist I got from the article (I meant Chat GPT) was that even if we understand what someone is saying, that doesn’t actually mean that we understand it. 

For example, you can walk around a college campus and see buildings and students and they’re crying and stressed and people are trying to get you to join their clubs or donate to the refugees or sign their petition and there are scooters and rats and etc. But whatever. It’s obviously a university, but if you cannot see what we call a “university”, does it even exist??

So when Chat GPT told me that, I decided to go and find out for myself. Does the “University” of Pennsylvania even exist? I spent the morning – and midday – on a truth-finding expedition. My first stop: the office of Liz Magill. I asked her if the University of Pennsylvania even exists, and she said “Yes, of course! Don’t you see the fantastic endowment we have built up, the smiling students on Locust Walk, and the thought-provoking events we hold?”. I told her that I’d never really seen any of those things. So she told me to go talk to Amy Gutmann. 

Off I pop to the Newark Liberty Airport (I wanted a direct flight). Vroom vroom goes the plane, and knock knock go I on Amy’s door. Asking the same question, she replies, “Carey, ja, vielen dank für deine Frage! Aber ich kann es nicht beantworten. Da müssen Sie Benjamin Franklin fragen.”

I said, “Thanks Amy, but now I must travel to the North Pole to ask Santa for a time machine”. And hey, I was so polite that he gave me one! His elves then operated the craft for me as I traveled back to when Benny founded this “university”. 

After inquiring the exact same inquiry as I did prior, Mr. Frank-The-Tank finally gave me an answer. His answer: “Whatever class is making you think this hard is not worth taking anymore. You should probably drop that class… it seems mad as a hatter”. That was all I needed to hear. That guy knows what he’s talking about!

SO THEN I got back in the time machine, went home to Williams Hall, and was just in time for class to start. I planned to go in there and tell everyone of my discoveries. But then I realized I have to take this class for my major so I just put my head down and “took notes” (texted my friends about the crazy ass day I had).