* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where you can always get the 411 on your professors. This week's TA's are Jess Chace and Emma Larson, the latter making her first appearance here.

Ratemyprofessor.com Reviews Of Famous And Historical Professors

By: Jess Chace

Class: Transcendental Philosophy
Department: Religion
Course Level: Sotapanna
Teacher: Buddha

I took Professor Buddha’s Introduction to Transcendental Philosophy with the hope that I would uncover a deeper understanding of the human experience. What I got instead was a hospital bill for when I had to get my ACL surgically reattached after sitting in the lotus position for 48 hours during our final exam.

Bodhisattva University health plan only covered 80%.

Class: Animal Behavior 101
Department: Government
Course Level: Introductory
Teacher: Merlin

I’m not a fan of the university distribution requirements. Shape-shifting may have been helpful for knights back in the Celtic era, but things have changed. Spending a day as an ant will hardly teach me how to practice courtly love. All the hard magic types seem to assume that there’s a concrete answer to these questions of self-identity, as if all I have to do to figure out who I am is pull a sword out of a stone. There should be more courses like my philosophy class, where we spend our time discussing important questions, like whether a round table has a head.

As for Professor Merlin: he’s definitely a product of a different era. He’s still rocking the facial hair, shining robes, pacifist thing. He says he’s a child of the sixties, but everyone else describes the 460s as the Dark Ages, when people only wore dark colors. Also, his tests always seem to cover the material we’re supposed to learn in the next lecture, rather than what we’ve already done.

Honestly, the best part of this class was Nimue, the hot TA. Better hope she’s still around next year, although rumor has it she and Merlin have shacked up together. Gross.

Class: Race, Class and Gender in a Post-Democratic Era
Department: Philosophy
Course Level: Tripartite
Teacher: Socrates

Froze my ass off in that class — lecture hall was a cave.

Class: Celestial Bodies Not According to the Catholic Church
Department: Astronomy
Course Level: Intermediate
Teacher: Galileo Galilei

Although Galileo warned us not to adopt his theories lest we, too, be convicted of heresy by the Catholic Church and sentenced to a life of solitary confinement, those of us who are seriously considering academia as a career don’t really see these two paths as being altogether so different.

*One small note to the future female students of Galileo’s class. I sometimes wondered whether Galileo was using that telescope for some purpose other than gazing at Jupiter’s moons — Justina’s, maybe?

Class: Governing Galactic Systems
Department: Political Science
Course Level: Graduate
Teacher: Emperor Palpatine

I know that in terms of surreptitiously reorganizing a democratic coalition into an evil-ruling dictatorship, staging a coup, and subjugating entire sovereign nations to serve the whims of one’s nefarious pursuits, everyone expects Palpatine to be a shoo-in for the imperial throne. And yes, I understand, these things tend to be political. But the guy hasn’t had any paradigm-shifting theories since, like, a long time ago, and which are likely published in an obscure literary journal, housed in some library far FAR away…

Moreover, this guy CANNOT take any criticism. Just the other day, he came into my command center wanting to workshop strategies for the expansion of Dark Side hegemony, but when I problematized some aspects of his thinking, he gave me this look that just crushed me. I don’t think I’ll ever speak up in class again.

Class: The Western Canon
Department: Humanities
Course Level: Advanced
Teacher: Harold Bloom

If you are the average, white, prep-school-educated private college student, DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS. It’s just an excuse for Professor Bloom to showcase his photographic memory. If, however, you’re a minority, don’t worry about that — you won’t get in. According to Professor Bloom, minorities have never written anything worthy of inclusion in the Western Canon. Interestingly, women are allowed in the class, which is odd, since he says they’ve never written anything worth reading either. Professor Bloom is a big fan of Henry IV, but my only takeaway from the class was a Falstaffian drinking habit — his theories of poetry gave me so much anxiety that I was under the influence all semester.

Class: 001
Department: English
Course Level: Prerequisite for major (all)
Teacher: Annie Sullivan

Water water water water water

* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we like to begin the New Year with rousing speeches from fictional anthropomorphic characters. Speechwriter Jess Chace kneads a convincing narrative in her first piece for us. She also had a clever piece at McSweeney's recently, "Classes from Princeton's 2013-2014 Course Catalog." We've put the link below.

The Muffin Man’s Final Speech

By: Jess Chace

I’m sorry to disturb you — I don’t mean to be a bother. I realize that at this hour of the day, some of you are not even fully awake yet, and may God help you if mine is the first face you should see. But considering you have been standing here for how long now — two hours? three? — it has become clear to me that you might crave something other than a deep-fried delicacy, which you could get for a dollar right around the corner there in under a minute. I am not here to judge you. In fact, I’d like to help you, if you’d permit me these few small words.

We all know New York’s culinary landscape is storied and fecund. For years, it has brimmed with a surfeit of toothsome morsels: cupcakes and cookies, macaroons and macarons. We are the sons and daughters of a free market spurred by competition, and that is what has made our lives rich and full. Another baker’s success does not detract from my own, nor do I wish to profit from another man’s plight.

But for too many months now, Dominique Ansel has inveigled us into suffering long lines and extortionate prices. In filling our stomachs with cronuts, we have been lulled into a doughy haze of unfeeling and unthinking. We eat, but we are not full. We pay, but we are not protected.

And it is in so doing that we are made complicit in these interlocking systems of oppression. When we pay his prices, we affirm their validity. When we accept his two-cronut limit per person, we fuel his monopoly. Our greed for social currency has divested us from the things that truly enrich us, and we have let our minds shrink from reason and our hearts sink with hydrogenated fat.

But I say, do not let yourselves be browbeaten and Bloomberged into one’s man prescriptive for how to live your lives — telling you when to wait and what to pay and how to eat! You are not lemmings! You are not puppets! You are consumers! You are a free people with the love of American capitalism in your hearts. Purchasing power shall be dictated not by one man with an invisible hand or even a few select men with conspicuous hands, but a whole economy of men — by you, the people!

Your wallets are the source of our nation’s strength — use them for good! Cast not your vote for tyranny! Vote for liberty! And in the name of confectionery, let us all unite!