Last week I attended my first preceptorial ever. It’s not that I hadn’t wanted to go to one before this semester, but rather I was systematically shut out of every cheese-tasting, Barnes Foundation-going, ceramics-learning preceptorial imaginable for the past six semesters. So when I got into Food Cart Culture this fall (off the waitlist, no less), I was excited. A class about food carts, without exams or grades, surrounded by other cart obsessees? Awesome. Only it wasn’t.
It started off well enough, as we all waited in line at Hemo’s. We each got a sandwich (thanks SCUE!), but were given no tour of the truck or explanation of the cooking process. Weird, but whatever — we had an hour left to learn about how food carts do what they do. But that’s when the real disappointment came.
The professor who led the session literally spent the entire hour emphasizing that she didn’t understand why any of us would want to take a class about food carts (and give up an hour of our precious rainy Thursday afternoon!). “Why would you subject yourselves to this when you could be doing other things?” she asked.
I have spent 3+ years dreading a lot of my classes, with their topics that don’t interest me (why do you exist, physical world sector?) and papers meant to elicit identical responses from the 100+ kids in the class. It’s just not my thing. Why was I in this preceptorial? Because, for once, I wanted to be. Isn’t that what all professors desire of their students?
Needless to say, this left me with a bad taste in my mouth (one that couldn’t be masked by Hemo’s sauce). It didn’t help that this prof claimed that people don't read food reviews. Simply untrue. Maybe she should check out our spread on campus's newest food carts run by Penn alums (pg. 6). Or if she’s so unconvinced that food matters, she should take a peek at our tribute to dead music genres (pg. 14). Or maybe Magic: The Gathering (pg. 10) is more her thing. Let's just hope not all professors share her sentiment.