‘Community’ vs. Community College

Thursday, April 1 by

Since the start of NBC TV’s fall season we have been treated to the hilarious and at times very cynical life of the Greendale Community College student in the aptly titled show “Community.”  From the oddball university reject scholar to the burnt out faculty and scheming administration, the show never fails to deliver the wacky world of affordable education.   For the past 5 years of my post-high school life this is a world I’ve know far too well, with my main thought being what can I do to get a C grade around here.

Let us now do a comparison of the characters we watch on TV’s “Community” and what we would see on a real community college campus, a place where anyone with $26 dollars (the cost per academic unit in California) in their pocket can claim to have some college experience.

The Creepy Old Guy Going Back to School

 

On "Community":


Pierce Hawthorne played by Chevy Chase: A rich curmudgeon old man that claims to be an almost 6th level laser Buddha and inventor of the moist towelette. Pierce still thinks he’s hip by giving pseudo philosophical advice to the younger male students of Greendale Community College, all the while hitting on every female student in the most uncomfortable way.

On a real community college campus:


You can usually find this character on campus by the UN-hip T-shirts that say “Grandpa Rocks”, “TMI DUDE” or “BEING OLD IS GREAT SO GET OUT OF MY WAY!”. Also these creepy old guys like to join every study group/club on campus and interrupt class with their own psycho-life babble experience. Sadly many of them can’t claim to be the inventors of the moist towelette or a soon to be 6th level laser Buddha.


The Coolest Guy on Campus

 

On "Community":


Jeff Winger played by Joel McHale: A disbarred lawyer turned community college student who happens to have a wicked sense of humor, style, and good looks. He holds an attitude that he is better than everyone around him on the Greendale campus. Sometimes he’s right and sometimes he’s an asshole, but this makes him the leader of Senior Chang’s Spanish 101 study group.

On a real community college campus:


To be the cool guy in a group of losers and fuck ups on campus all it takes is 3 things: good clothing sense, be in shape, and possess observational humor. If you have those down and a slight Ryan Seacrest smile, you can become the king of your community college. 


The Hot Professor

On "Community":


Professor Michelle Slater, played by Lauren Stamile, is An Intro to Statistics professor who ends up having a several episode fling with her student Jeff Winger. She is quite sexy and holds her own with Winger, unlike many of the characters on the show. The only downfall is that when you are in a relationship with her you have to watch the show "Glee."

On a real community college campus:


There are a 1001 rumors about student/teacher relationships and, unlik high school, most the students are of legal age and at times the same age as the teacher. Now whether the teacher is actually hot and the student can work their way into "private tutoring" is another story. But for the most part, a lot of community college teachers are filled on either the extreme feminist side or brainy cougar side.

 

The Seize the Day Professor

On "Community":


Professor Whitman, played by John Micheal Higgins, is the instructor of one the best blow-off classes on campus. Professor Whitman has a few magical secrets up his sleeve from climbing trees to being a possible werewolf. He challenges the "Community" crew to seize the day and take charge of life, thus being one of the most believable teachers the show has given us.

On a real community college campus:


I pulled a total Winger once and took this comparative religions class over the summer semester as my big blow off class. 3 units and all you had to do was show up. But the professor, Dr. Parente, a former monk and art teacher saw through me and threatened to fail me if  I could not pass his final test. The final test was for the students to respectfully bow to one another if the class had changed their lives. Let’s just say I still don’t know the answer but I got a B in the class.

 

The Dude with Crazy Hair

On "Community":


While Star Burns (Dino Stamatoplolus) doesn’t say much, his style of hair says plenty with its tightly-pulled ponytail and cookie-shaped burns. As the show continues on we get to see that there may be something more to this guy than a one joke punchline.

On a real community college campus:


About 75 percent of all male community college students where probably in a garage band or two at some point prior to going back to school. The bizarre hair stylings of Spiderhair, white guy cornrows and dreadlocks, three-foot-tall Mohawks, and weekend rave-colored hair thrives on campus ad nauseum.

 

The Spanish Professor

On "Community":


Senior Chang (Ken Jeong) is the most bizarrely cynical character on the show. He is as unorthodox as he is cruel, threatening the whole class with an F grade, offering up pickled bull testicles, or setting an example with the worse Spanish accent sinc Paul Newman in Outrage.

On a real community college campus:


While a real community college Spanish teacher may not be as cynical, many students who have taken a Spanish 101 community college course, or any other foreign language course, can attest to the instructor not being a native speaker of that language, for example: Senior Smith’s Spanish 101 class.


The School Mascot
 

On "Community":


The Human Being Mascot is a creepy full body spandex mascot that was created by Pierce and Dean Pelton in Episode 6: “Football, Feminism, and You." It’s supposed to embody all  the multicultural students at Greendale, but instead, as Jeff Winger says, “It makes the new racist not being racist.”

On real community college campus:


School mascots come in all sizes, characters, and shapes from ripped gladiators to giant Acorns and Keg Stands. The one that tops it all isn’t actually from a community college but from Rhode Island School of Design named Scrotie, a guy wearing a full shaft and balls suit. Imagine what the smack down between The Human Being and Scrotie would look like. Reality is sometimes even creepier than fiction.

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