Have lunch with your professor: student engagement in Cultural Studies

MichaelMorse1Cultural Studies Prof. Michael Morse and I recently had lunch. We had joked about writing a bad review of the lunch for the paper.

I decided that the idea was funny enough to actually put into existence. I strive to use the most indulgent tone as possible here, as to emulate what not to do in Michael Morse’s classes.

What is below is mostly satirical…Mostly.

Michael Morse is a cultural studies professor that works at Trent University on a class-by-class basis. I am currently enrolled in his Music and Society class.

Michael Morse, however, is not just a teacher, but also a chef of sorts. Those that are lucky enough to spark his interest academically may also get the pleasure of being invited over to his house for a meal and conversation.

Almost like a bed n’ breakfast, Morse runs a ‘lunch n’ chat,’ but only on a purely invitational basis. This establishment of his is not open to the public.

One has to work their way into his good books, and only then will you get to experience the ‘Michael Morse’ experience. I, fortunately, had the privilege to do so. Or so at least, I thought.

The lunch started unusually. I met him at Traill College; slowly sneaking into the back of the class I missed. As the class ended, I approached Morse. He seemed happy to see me, as I explained the reasons for my absence. He waved my apologies away, and asked if I was hungry. The response was yes, answered out of both truth and politeness.

We shuffled out of the room and out of Traill College’s Scott House. We walked towards Reid Street, chatting procedurally. He moved quickly for a man of my age, reminding me that I move slowly for a man of mine.

As we crossed Reid Street and approached his residence, the sun bounced off of the rain on the ground. He opened his back door and the smell of dust and coffee hit my nose. His house, although not in disarray, was not in order either. The atmosphere, to put it bluntly, was subpar.

I sat down gently at the kitchen table, as Michael began to prepare lunch. He said that the lunch would be simple, as he pulled a Lipton chicken noodle soup package from his cupboard. We began to chat about this and that. Subjects such as: music, work, and politics floated to the surface of our conversation.

The soup bubbled gently on the stove. He periodically stirred the soup and lectured me about this and that.

It was then that I began to see the point of this lunch. Its function wasn’t social or intellectual, but rather one of dominance. He aimed to force me into an existential crisis, because as Sartre said, “Hell is other people.”

Michael wanted to show me this. The peak of this came when he served the food. A bright yellow slather of soup sat in front of me, with a plate of unsalted saltine crackers slightly behind it. A bottle of diet cranberry juice was brought out of the fridge and presented in the form of two husky, crystal glasses.

The rest of the lunch went over fine. It wasn’t like this lunch was directly and antagonistically awkward, but rather persisted mostly in mediocrity.

The soup was fine. The crackers were fine. The conversation was fine. Nothing spectacular happened, but just enough happened to keep me around. If purgatory were a place, this would be it.

All of this aside, I would like to present an alternative viewpoint.

I think the inadequacies of the lunch may stem from a slight discretion on my part. I had previously rescheduled our first meeting on the account of some personal issues. It seems that Michael may have taken this as an insult, and proceeded to break down my morale, through serving upon serving of diet cranberry juice and bad crackers, which, although not great, could not directly be attributed to him.

However, I firmly believe I can return to his good graces, something that I will continually strive for. Michael has made his point, and I hope I have done the same.

I hope to ‘lunch n’ chat’ with him once again in order to provide a more accurate account of Michael Morse’s abilities, not only in cooking, but also in life.

About Tyler Majer 70 Articles
Tyler works out of Peterborough, Ontario, and reluctantly attends Trent University. He loathes deeply, while drinking often. The cigarettes will soon consume his life. Read his poetry while you still can at https://aforeword.com/tag/tyler-majer/ while reading his journalistic work at this very site. I would say that he would be appreciative, but that may not be the truth.