The Resurrection of Professor Snively and Her “Infinite Improbability Drive”

Posted in Diary of a Directrix
August 3rd, 2010 by Devi Snively (The Directrix)

imagesMy life has been filled with an uncanny amount of, well, uncanniness quite frankly.  Despite my fairly vast travels, the world seems so infinitely tiny at times, rather frighteningly so.  This latest episode, however, has me convinced that perhaps it’s not the universe, maybe it’s just me.  Or do things like this happen to everyone?

art schoolIt all began with a small coincidence.  Last Monday I was just coming to the sad realization that I may need to seek some supplemental income prior to shooting our feature next summer and lamented aloud how I really missed teaching.  Moments later, I checked my e-mail to find out a friend at a local arts college learned of an immediate opening to take over, of all things, a horror film studies course (!) and might I be interested?

Seriously?  And get this, my course at Notre Dame had been called “Cultures of Fear:  The Horror Film.”  This one was called “Cultures of Fear and Horror.” Okay, that’s some serious serendipity, right?  But wait, if you act now we’ll include a heaping dose of serious mind-boggling irony at no additional cost…

0So, I go in for an interview and it seems to be going great.  The college is my kind of place, a small performing arts institution with great course offerings and a delightfully familiar energy.  Walking through the halls I got this sudden overwhelming urge to break out into spontaneous grand jetés and pirouettes like they did in the opening for the TV show Fame, but somehow managed to refrain.  The Dean is super cool (a former New Yorker so we spoke the same language) and the class – well, it sounded like I was a perfect fit to teach it, as if I’d designed it myself.

After the portion of the interview where I was asked questions, shared my resume, past syllabi, teaching philosophy and so forth, it was my turn to do some asking.  The first thing I requested was a copy of the syllabus for the class I would be taking over mid-semester.  I glanced it over and at first I was relieved – I was definitely qualified to teach this course.  Then my heart sank a little realizing,  “Wow, this is almost identical to the course into which I thought I’d put so much innovation and original thought.  Clearly, my ideas weren’t special at all, except…wait just one minute…”

syllabus plagiarismI looked to the Dean and said, “This is my syllabus.”

He nodded, pleased, “Right?  They’re really similar, aren’t they?”

Then I explained, “No I mean, this is MY syllabus.  Verbatim – down to the font, the format, even that day when I wrote “TBA” because I didn’t know if a guest lecturer would be coming or not.”

A_tribute._Dont_forget_your_towel-84of9d-dI couldn’t believe it.  Of all the gin joints in all the world…  What were the chances that I would be called in to a job interview to teach a class that had been designed by me without my knowledge?

Yes, this is my life.  Another bizarre coincidence that makes me wonder if I am on a lost spaceship without a towel, or perhaps an unsuspecting character in some Truman Show-esque experiment?

Honestly, you can tell me – do these  sorts of things constantly seem to happen to other people as well?  I’d really like to know.

professor devi snivelyThe good news is I got the job – yay!  And I once again get to don my professorial cap and go back to school as of next week!  Regardless of whatever bizarre forces may be at work, I am beside myself with joy and gratitude.   To quote the Rolling Stones yet again – sometimes you get what you need (and want, too, in this case.  Better go practice being professorial now!)

2 Responses to “The Resurrection of Professor Snively and Her “Infinite Improbability Drive””

  1. [...] first semester at the Academy was quite a whirlwind.  Friends teasingly referred to me as “Mr. Chips,” “To [...]

  2. Shaaron says:

    Yes, I had a similar situation when a student came in to discuss waiving classes. I asked for they syllabi and on one saw the same thing, My class! Worded exactly as I had written it for AAU! You can guess if I gave the waiver or not!

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