@49th: I remember my OpenGL classes, and since they were over a decade ago I feel like a really old dude now. :(
I totally understand where you are coming from, I always annoyed the hell out of professors because I would always ask "Why?" to piece of code or assumed knowledge given to us to use in class without an explanation.
I went to class to learn how to code, not to learn how to use someone else's code. (Of course, this conflicted greatly with my crippling laziness so once I understood the why it was 'BRING ON THE MIDDLEWARE!" whenever possible.)