OPINION: I Thought I Was His Date, But It Turns Out I Was Only His Homework Assignment
So there I was, sitting with Greg at The Chocolate Bar. We were talking and sipping cappuccinos, having a genuine, thoughtful conversation about our hometowns, families, and uncertainties about settling in on a major. I learned that he grew up in Akron, Ohio, has four younger siblings, and he probably wants to do either history or philosophy but might settle on econ because of the relative financial security. He seemed to be having a good time, and I was thoroughly enjoying myself. Since we met in Gonzaga around the second week of classes in September, I had an inkling that he and I would hit it off. He didn’t seem like most of the other guys I had met so far at Boston College. While those boys were wearing their high school lacrosse hoodies, Greg was dressed in the sweatshirt for his local professional ultimate frisbee team. He’s different. I like different.
Of course, I was thrilled when Greg ran into me in the Gonzaga 2 hallway and asked what I was doing Friday afternoon—if I had time to grab coffee. How cute! An actual date! I’ve made my way around with party hookups, and I hate to sound like a cliché romantic, but you can only do that for so long before your heart yearns for something more. So I hope you understand my disappointment, embarrassment, and shock when I found out that Greg had only asked me to get coffee in order to fulfill a homework assignment for his Courage To Know class.
Like, come on! Have I been reduced to nothing but the subject of an experiment in a professor’s little dating game? I was pouring my heart out on the table and being fun as hell, if I do say so myself, so that he could get to know me better and would ask me out again again—but now it seems that a higher grade on the inevitable two-page reflection that Greg has to write about our “date” is the only benefit that my efforts will bring about. Upon this devastating realization, I found myself for the first time empathizing with Ophelia and her madness—if I happened to be sitting on a tree branch when I learned the truth, I might’ve fallen off it. I mean, I wouldn’t have drowned. It’s not that big of a deal. But still, what the hell? I knew that college would be chock-full of new experiences, but I would have never guessed in a thousand years that one of those would be getting cockblocked by Jesuit academia.