During 2001, my first year of college, I enrolled in one of those "honors track" classes called Intellectual Traditions of the West (or, as the swanky honors program people called it, ITW). It was basically a survey-style literary philosophy class.
I found very quickly that I didn't have a taste for honors track classes. They basically take all the students who think they are The Shit intellectually and put them together so they can try to out-smart each other and brown-nose the professor. I get it. All you snotty little overachievers are brilliant. Now can we get back to Plato, please?
But the professor of this class provided some much desired comedic relief that helped keep my intellectual-snot-head-induced nausea at bay. His name was Professor D, but I liked to think of him as Brother D, because he looked like a General Authority in the making. Only happier.
Brother D was clearly very intelligent; he just wasn't very good at choosing words, and frequently ended up phrasing his thoughts in comical ways. I found myself more often feverishly writing down the silly things he would say verbatim instead of taking notes on the discussion of the philosophical text.
7 years later, while going through some of my old files, I stumbled upon my collection of Brother D's sayings. While I can't say I got much from Lucretius, Herodotus, or Aristotle in that class, I think I can say that I did manage to learn some philosophy in ITW after all.
I give you The Two Life Philosophies of Brother D:
Brother D's First Life Philosophy:
When lost for words, repeat the ones you’ve already used.
“And if you look at the extent to which these countries extended…”
“He [Aristotle] thinks that bad education is bad.”
“You can imagine what a tremendous find that would be for someone who wanted to find that.”
Brother D's Second Life Philosophy:
Why take the time to be specific when two words will sum up all sorts of things?
“There were others who were kind of interested in doing things… but anyway, they ended up doing some interesting things.”
“They were doing things. They were doing things just to kind of do things.”
“I can do all the kinds of things that I can, you know, do.”