Friday, June 23, 2006

College - A brief history of me

I'm sitting here reminiscing about college. I had a lot of fun in college. You know learning stuff and all. It was the getting out that kind of gave me a few issues. I kinda just went and went. It'd be great if they gave you credit for the hours in college. Hell I'd be a double PhD. Well they don't give you credit for that. They fully expect that you will attend college with an eye to finishing. Coming out of high school, I thought I was on the fast track. Only to have my hat handed to me by the college experience. Upon arrival in my first physics class, I knew I was in way over my head. I call it my first physics class because the physics I took in high school, did not even bear a nodding acquaintance with what was in that large and extremely impressive book that everytime I cracked caused somnolence to rain down on my head like a deluge. Not being able to open my physics book without falling asleep. Not the best start for someone who has decided under undo pressure from family expectations to major in of all things Electrical Engineering. I didn't know what it was then. Still not especially sure.

I like to tell a humorous story about the final days of my EE education. The death knell began in an 8 o'clock class(That should have been my cue to leave right then.) I've always been a night owl, how I even thought I would get up every day to go to an 8 o'clock class - didn't I mention it was an every day class. Well it was. Anyway, I remember it well. Statics and Dynamics. To those of you who know what that is, I bow at your feet and give you reverence. Don't get me wrong, I don't think I'm dumb, just too stubborn to take the hint and get out. I'd gone to as many classes as I could wake up for, but alas even with a TA, I was a lost cause. Mind you this is after hanging in for two years. I was like that party guest that should have left early but just kept hanging around hoping I'd figure out. Drop the class!!! I know you're probably thinking it but noooo! That would be too much like right. I felt like I had to try to pull it out. Based on my background and socioeconomic status I was lucky to be there so it behooved me to try and take one for the race. So again there I was with no earthly or planetary idea of any kind what was going on. So I had this bright idea. Final Schminal, I'm going shopping. God knows I'm not going to know what's on the test so I may as well console myself with new shoes and dresses. Well a right thinking friend prevailed on me to go to the final. Let me just say, she had her work cut out.

Finally, I said okay. I'd like to tell you that once I got into the class that a miracle happened. That angels sung and birds chirped and the formula's sprang fully formed from my mind to the blue book. I'd like to tell you some other lies too. Just as I suspected I didn't know what the hell I was looking at. I am not using any names, well except mine which is on the blog, to protect the innocent or at least a professor that I will forever be grateful to. Back to the story. I looked at the test. I drew some circles, a few radii and I even sprinkled a few pi around just for good measure. However, the truth was there in those lone pi just hanging out. I was going to fail; crash and burn; bite the big one; suck swamp water and a whole lot of other things that were not very becoming. I like to think of this as perhaps my most ingenious moments ever, but then that's not saying a lot for my life so far. I had nothing to lose, so I decided to write the professor a note. Here now I will share with you as much of the note as I can remember. Kids don't try this at your schools. "Dear Professor _________ as you can see from looking at this test, I have no clue what is going on in this class. If you would please give me a C, I will not trouble you further. I realize you owe me nothing, but I throw myself on your mercy. If you do this, I will change my major and when I drive down the street I will not even cast a glance at the Engineering building. I thank you for your consideration in this matter." or some variation on that theme. I'm pretty sure about the first sentence and promising not to look at the Engineering building.

I gave the professor my test and sprinted over to the Liberal Arts building where it's okay to be Undecided. Heavy load lifted, I await my grades expecting that my professor got a good laugh and would be using the story as a Reader's Digest anecdote in years to come. You can imagine my surprise when I got that C. Actually, I'm not sure that you can imagine my surprise. Even now I can barely contain my enthusiasm and that's been quite a few years ago. Even then I knew I'd dodged a bullet. My faith dictates that I give credit where credit is due, so "Thank ya' Jesus". Put 'em up for the big guy working it out.

I enjoyed college. My semester of scholastic probation was especially fun. No one ever talks about the upside of biting it in college. With out books and classes to pay for, you have much more money to party with. I partied a lot that semester. I was everywhere. It's been mentioned to me that I was sometimes in two places at once. I can neither confirm not deny these charges. The good thing is after a while you start pining for structure and order and education. I went back to college with a new found gusto. This gusto led to an extension of the educational process to whit I just hung out learning things. To me becoming educated about a variety of things was the beauty part. According to people who know about these things, this is not the optimum approach to the college experience. Yeah, yeah, yeah, hindsight.

Mine is a cautionary tale of sorts. Cause I gotta tell you, in the work a day world, people are serious about that piece of paper. Having been an entrepreneus for five years, I've decided to take a hiatus and get a job. Prospective employers are not as excited as you'd think they would be to have someone who has run her own business. Granted if they call me for a reference, I'm gonna give myself a good review. I would not trade my college experience for anything. The best eleven years ever.

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