What I Learned From The Professor

I just saw The Professor: a movie where Johnny Depp plays a dying professor living the last days of his life after a cancer diagnosis. It’s got me thinking a lot about mortality, so if you’re not in the mood for a depressing read about accepting death, you should probably go read something else.

I think that Depp’s character’s nonchalance regarding his impending demise is commendable; he doesn’t tell his family until the last possible moment because he doesn’t want to upset them, he lives his life the way he always wanted to, without the constraints of society to hold him back. Yes, he’s a hard-drinking, nihilistic douche, but let’s be real here: you would be too.

I think about death a lot, not in a suicidal sense, but as more of a curiosity. I wonder what happens when the light fades from your eyes and you pass on. I’ve wondered if you’re greeted by someone who loves you, or if you have to make the transition to whatever’s next alone.  I’ve thought so much about it, but I’m not in a rush to find the answer. People die. It happens, you can’t do anything about it, and it’s not up to you to decide who goes when, so just suck it up and accept it. You’re going to die someday, keep that in the back of your mind when you’re killing yourself trying to extend your life.

Johnny Depp, as I will refer to every one of his characters, really spoke to me in this movie. He’s been a tight-knit stiff for the majority of his life, but with the end within spitting distance, he goes off the rails and starts living life the way he always wanted to. I wish I had half the balls his character had. He says everything that people are thinking, but too cowardly to say out loud, and part of me respects that, but the other part of me just sees a scared man making sure that he has no regrets when it’s all over. He burns bridges at work, while still keeping his family intact for as long as he can. He bonds with his daughter and teaches her a valuable lesson on love.  He rebuilds his relationship with his wife a little, before leaving so they don’t have to face his impending doom. This movie is about accepting life the way it is, and not how you want it to be. Your life isn’t going to go as planned, no matter how many fucking smoothies you drink or how many self-help workshops you attend. His sense of apathy is almost commendable, he doesn’t let anything get to him, not his cheating wife, his failing marriage, his shallow job with uninterested students, or his impending death. Late in the movie, Depp offers advice to one of his students, advising her to write the story of her life the way she wants, and that stuck out to me. This might not be the best movie ever made, or even the best movie Johnny Depp has done in the last decade, but I enjoyed it, and would recommend it.

Death probably is the end of your existence, but it doesn’t sound too bad. You won’t be conscious of the nothingness, you won’t get bored of the blackness, you won’t see the effect you leave behind, if there is any, so why are people so scared of dying? I think it’s because we don’t think it’ll happen to us. I’ve long come to terms with my mortality, I know that someday I’m going to drop, and the people who love me are going to be crushed, and I don’t like that, but what am I supposed to do about it?

 

6 Things I’d Rather Do Before Taking Calculus Again

I’ve been studying for my Calculus final for around 8 hours straight, and at this point, I’m at the “bargaining” stage of grief. There are many things I would do in order to never have to do this again, but these are the 6 that made me laugh the hardest when I thought of them.

6) Full-Body Wax

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I don’t know if my profile picture indicates exactly how much hair I have on my body, but I can tell you with full confidence that it would make Steve Carell’s performance in 40 Year-Old Virgin look like a brisk stroll down the beach, and he only got part of his chest done. The person waxing me might have to go to therapy after waxing me like a fancy pair of shoes before prom. The upside of a full body wax is 1) I get to see what I’d look like as a full-grown baby, and 2) no more radical equations.

5) Go Back to High School as an Adult

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Going back to high school as an adult would be pretty interesting, to say the least. One the one hand, I really don’t care to learn about the water cycle again, or have to deal with a bunch of children going through the beginnings of puberty, but on the other hand: I bet I could whoop their asses in gym class, and potentiality scar them for life with stories from Dunkin Donuts. The only thing I would actually be worries about is taking algebra again, which would still be easier than learning about imaginary numbers.

4) Have Nick Diaz Punch Me in the Face Once

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I’ve never really gotten too deep into the MMA stuff, but some of my friends showed me this guy knocking the bejesus out of someone who looked like Ivan Drago’s coked-out little brother. I’d like to see what type of damage this man would do to my facial bones, more out of morbid curiosity than anything else. The story alone would make never having to expand a logarithmic equation again worth it.

3) Work at Dunkin Donuts Forever

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I’ve worked at Dunkin Donuts for almost 6 years now, and I can say, with full confidence, that Calculus is worse. I’ve had to deal with crackheads trying to scam me out of food, drunks peeing on the floor before close, annoyingly entitled people who get mad when the prices aren’t the same as they were in 1976, and other less than friendly experiences, but I STILL would take all of that over having to do synthetic division without a calculator. Nothing against Dunkin Donuts though, the hashbrowns are amazing.

2) Get A Face Tattoo

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I’m not talking your average SoundCloud rapper style face tat, you know the ones I mean: teardrops under my eyes, AK-47 on my forehead, #blessed on my cheek-type deals. If I were to get a face tat, I’d keep it classy with a nice 4-leaf clover or a peace sign, you know, something that I could explain to employers if my rap career doesn’t take off. Having a permanent reminder to make smart decisions isn’t a bad trade off for not having to understand how to calculate the area under a parabola.

1) Take Pre-Calculus Again

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This is how you know that Calculus has beaten me down: I would take the prerequisite again. I got a C+ in Pre-Calc, and I’m sure I can top that, since instead of studying for one of my quizzes, I hit the local driving range and ran through 3 buckets of balls working on my short game. If Calculus is Darth Vader, Pre-Calc is that random Imperial Officer who got choked out on the Star Destroyer in Empire Strikes Back. No big deal.