Psychology 101

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Two Rivers

Chapter 1 (v.1) - First Day

Submitted: January 12, 2018

Reads: 381

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Submitted: January 12, 2018



Professor Ryan looked over his class.  He was an adjunct professor at Titan Community College in New York City.  These were kids that weren’t going anywhere academically.  Psych 101, a required course for some major at some other colleges, which probably none of these students would ever finish.

He looked at the 12 students scattered in the class housed in this ancient high school, recycled into a junior college, seven guys and five girls.  They were a motley crew at best.  Some were texting on their cell phones.  Some had notebooks and pencils, most didn’t.  Their clothes looked like they going out to wash the car or play Frisbee in the park. 

He walked to the board wrote his name: Ryan.  “That’s my name. You can call me Mr. Ryan, Professor Ryan, or Doctor Ryan.  Whatever works for you, I’m easy.”

He turned back to the board.  He was determined to make this year different.  He wrote above his name in all capitals: LOCK.

He turned back around, dusting off the chalk from his hands.  “Okay, we’re get started by taking roll and introducing and ourselves.” 

Finally, after that was over he asked, “When I was in Psychology 101 our professor sent us out with tape recorders and we had to confront people and asked them to say something, anything at all, why do you think he did that?”

A fellow in the back raised his hand.  “Joe in the back row, wearing a yellow shirt,” Ryan acknowledged.  Professor Ryan also noticed the words on the front of Joe’s shirt: “Suck on This!”

“Is this part of our grade?” Joe asked.

“Yes, everything is part of your grade because you are learning.  So, how would you have responded?” 

“I would have told the guy with the tape recorder to kiss my ass,” Joe said.

“Well, that might have been one response.”

The girl in the blue blouse and torn jeans half-way down to the front raised her hand.  “Hi, my name is Cindy, and I think the professor wanted the students to face their fears in confronting people.  I know I have a fear of confronting people.”

“That’s a good point.  Fear is an emotion we all deal with in psychology,” Professor Ryan affirmed.  “Anyone else?”

“Yeah, I’m going way out on a limb here…”

“And your name is…Bud?” Dr. Ryan asked checking his improvised seating chart.

“Yeah, I think the professor was bored with the same old stuff all those years.  His brain was atrophying.”

Dr. Ryan smiled at the floor, and then turned and underlined the word on the board: LOCK.  Remember this word.  You’ll see it again.  Also, see how it applies to your project.

He wrote on the board:  two exams each 25% of your grade, below that he wrote project will be 50% of your grade.  Total of those three will be your semester grade.” 

Joe raised his hand.  “What’s the project?”

“I’m getting to that,” Professor Ryan exclaimed.  “Okay, each will take a sign out to the streets of New York.  The customary sign would probably read: “Will Work for Food.”

“Okay, I’m out of here!”  Joe said, scuffing his desk on the floor getting up to leave.  “I ain’t begging to get a grade!”

As he reached the door, the Ryan asked him, “Even if you could make a $100 a day on the right corner.”

“Those guys don’t make no $100 a day!” Joe said sitting down again.

“How do you know unless you try?” the professor said.

A blonde girl in the front row wearing an all pink running outfit with matching running shoes said, “I’m a female…”

One of the guys commented, “Yeah we can tell!”

“Okay, keep it down guys,” Professor Ryan reprimanded.

“Anyway, I don’t feel comfortable going out alone and standing on the streets of New York.”

“And, your name is Linda?” Dr. Ryan asked.  “So,” Professor Ryan went on, “there will provisions for other venues.  Here are some suggestions for your signs.”  He wrote on the board:  Will write a mini-novel for food, Will play music for food, Will play paint a picture for food, Will dance for food.  “You can do anything legal for food as an individual or as a group.  It is up to you.  But you must do it for food.”

“I’m putting my sign up work for food, but I’m not doing anything else.  They either give me money or forget it!” Joe said.

Professor Ryan smiled.  “That’s entirely up to you, Joe.”  He addressed the whole class again.  The project will run the whole semester.  At the end of the semester, you will write a paper or give an oral report as an individual or as a group depending on how you worked the project.” 

The guy in the corner dressed in all black.  “So, what does that LOCK mean you wrote on the board?” he asked.

Professor Ryan looked at the board as if surprised it was still there.  “You tell me…uh, Bob?”

“Yeah,” Bob responded not too enthusiastically.

“Okay, before we meet next week, get together and determined what you are going to do, as a group or individually.  I’ll record it and then you’ll have the semester to accomplish it.  See you next week.”  Professor Ryan started gathering his books together.

Linda the girl in pink came up to him.  “I wonder if I could be excused from the project.”

“And why’s that?” he asked.

“Well, I have I practice my cello, and I need all my time for that.” 

“And you can’t spare one day playing with a group on the street?” 

“It’s humiliating,” she nearly screamed. 

“Well, figure it out,” he said and left. 

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