Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Day One





It has begun. School, that is, in all its pounding-the-unforgiving-West-Philly-pavement glory. It was a long-ass day, people, begun with over an hour of sitting in rush-hour traffic to get to campus, and then parking in a commuter lot located in some godforsaken back alley behind the Underwater Basketweaving/Eastern Philosophy building, and then attending classes, and in between, running to the three different bookstores where my texts were allegedly located, only to find out half of them were on backorder. And then, of course, coming home and weeping for my very soul.

Yes, it was a long-ass day, indeed.

But I did realize a few things that I've learned in my 8-plus years of sporadic, often half-assed college attendance that may possibly help me get through it this time around:

1. I know I'm smart, and I don't give a shit if anyone else knows it. I do not need to make useless comments every time there's a pause in the lecture just so everyone remembers I'm there, and that I have functioning vocal chords, and that I got into Penn for a reason, motherfucker. This kid in my lit class? He hasn't quite figured any of that out yet. And perhaps I'm just projecting my own virtually instant hatred of him onto others, but I think everyone else thinks he's a tool, too. He must be destroyed.

2. I also know I'm crazy, but I would prefer to keep it to myself. That woman from my creative writing class? She didn't get the memo. As an "older" student myself, I understand the desire to explain one's presence to the youngins when the professor does that obligatory "go around the room and tell everyone your major and something interesting about you" crap. I get that she feels preemptively alienated because she is clearly not 19 years old. But the thing is, Crazy Lady, you may actually be alienating yourself by doing the following:
A: Painting your nails in the hallway before class
B: Eating corn chips throughout the three-hour class period
C: Freely offering that not only are you in your mid-thirties, (no big deal), and that you already have a Master's degree, (interesting), but that you're also out of work due to a chronic illness, (I'm sorry to hear that), and that you just recently went through a divorce that you're having a hard time accepting, (uh...er...ha?), and that your writing interests tend to spring from Bible-readings and focus around a spiritual/mental illness theme, (actually, I have some pills that might help you).

3. I know I have a goal. At the end of this shit-smeared rainbow is the pot of gold that is a college degree from a great school. And yes, I do believe my bitterness is useful, so stop telling me to look on the bright side and enjoy myself, you perky bastard. I made it through Day One, and that's the best we can do for the moment.

More to come, dear readers. (Unless, of course, I get nostalgic for the old days and drop all my classes, deciding instead to devote the rest of the semester to my independent study project, "How Much Daytime TV Can One Person Watch Without Turning into Jell-O?")

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