The thing that surprised me the most, though, was that one of the girls - I think it was Connie - said to me, as she was getting up to leave, "You know, you should teach boyfriend lessons." That's not the first time that's been said to me, oddly enough. I have always had a knack with girls; I get along with them much easier and with less awkwardness than I do when I try to make friends with guys. But it got me to thinking: what would I teach in Boyfriend Class? What would I put on the syllabus? And how would the first day go?
Me: Okay, class, welcome to your first day of Boyfriend 503. This is a graduate level course, so I'm not going to spend much time on review; you should have covered that already. Can I get a show of hands, just how many of you have had a girlfriend before? I see, very good. How many of you have had more than five? More than ten? Twenty? Fifty? What's your name?
Only guy left standing: Roger.
Me: Okay, thank you very much, Roger. I'd like to see you in my office after class; you might need a bit of remedial review. Now, if you'll open your syllabus, you'll see that we have both Lecture and Lab time, to give you guys the information and see how well you can apply it in controlled laboratory conditions. The bulk of the course work will be from the labs, two projects and one exam, with a few pop quizzes here and there.
Guy with visibal facial tattoo: What exactly are we going to learn here?
Me: Good question. If you turn to the course overview, we spend the first day brushing up on your basic boyfriend skills, and then for the first five weeks after that, we need to focus on Beauty Apprectiation & Advanced Pampering. Then, we have two weeks on Loveable Eccentricities, and two more weeks on Common Courtesy. I'd like to spend more time on those last two, though, so we might cut out some Pampering time. Then, you have your first project, which is a Date Proposal of no less than five and no more than seven pages, double-spaced. You are assigned a two-page summary of a sample woman, and you must detail where you're planning to go, how you're getting to and from, what activities you will engage in, and how you're planning to incorporate both her and your interests. Oh, and also a very brief sexual summary, as we don't get into that in this course, but Dr. Holmes should be covering that in 569. Keep in mind that this is only worth 25% of your mark, as it's difficult to plan such an evening with only two pages of background information. Ah, yes, a question at the back?
Guy who's prematurely balding: Is this a first date scenario?
Me: Not necessarily, however you may get bonus marks if you do choose such a difficult scenario. For the second half of the course, three weeks will be spent on an introduction to Endearing Activities, such as cooking, repairing, knitting, and the like; keep in mind that we will attempt to balance the traditional "manly" activities with non-traditional ones, in order to point to areas you may not have considered. Four weeks total on Household Chores, Dealing With Her Family, and Familiarity, a kind of grab bag, followed by one week on Listening - very important, this one; I'll be really focusing on this in the lab - and then the last two weeks will be Romance. I'll also be handing out an Individual Research Assignment after the first project, in which you have to combine all that you've learned from the beginning to the end of the course, and which you will write the proposal for, with my guidance. It's not due until the end of the course, but start thinking about it now. And then, lastly, the final exam, which is, sadly, cumulative.
Guy with visible tan line on left ring finger: Dr. Teeth? What's the distribution like in this class?
Me: Thanks for asking. This is not an easy course. I don't mark on a curve; at this level, I think the mark you earn is the mark you get. Keep in mind, however, that your assignments and lab studies will be co-marked by myself and my T.A.s, Michelle and Geraldine, and I'm afraid they're much more harsh than I am in terms of marking. I would estimate that at least 4 of you will fail this course; that's 10%. But I'll give you all the support I can, and don't be afraid to lean on your fellow classmates for help. You shouldn't be competing with each other anymore. Co-operate, and maybe you'll all get through with a pass. Okay, gentlemen, that's the end of the first class, just an introduction, to be sure. I'll see you all bright and early next Monday morning. Oh, and don't forget to bring a scribbler and a disposable camera to class with you for Beauty Appreciation. Thank you, gentlemen, that's all for today.