Tuesday, July 29, 2008

But, Oddly, I Got an A in Existentialism

I needed to get an official copy of my transcript for this job-hunting nonsense. It took a while because my transcripts are from an era so far back in the mists of time that the records are still on a paper. Someone has to wake up an old monk who must light a taper and make his way through the dusty vaults below the university. He then carefully thumbs through the ancient and illuminated texts until he finds the required text. Then he must make his slow way back out of the vaults and hand over the delicate paper, sepia-toned with age, to one of the young things who will then prepare it for translation.

How else do you explain it taking over a week to get a document housed in a place only 10 miles from where I now live?

Anyway, I have it now and can get on with the business of getting business but I did take a moment this morning to peruse the document.

I sure wasted a lot of time in college.

Oh, my grades were decent enough. I'm graduated with a 3.18 GPA. That's pretty good, considering how half-arsed I was in my approach to most things academic. You can easily tell, for example, that science was not a great love of mine but I never got anything lower than an A in any writing class. It's my course work in Literature that's spotty and it makes me a little sad. Really, I should never have gotten anything less than an A in a lit class. The whole reason I majored in English was so I could read all the time. I loved discovering new authors, actually thinking about and discussing the themes, writing witty and insightful analyses. Seriously, I did. But man, sometimes I managed to slack off, too. When I think of some of the professors I had, the amazing thinkers they were, the challenges they set before me and how I, in my youth and arrogance, gave 'em an intellectual shrug and a "whatever", how I phoned in so many papers because somewhere in my mind I decided it was ok to wait until the last minute and settle for a B than work hard and go for the A.

And it wasn't, you see, the A that was the issue. It was the attitude. The carelessness. The failure to recognize that this collegiate experience was, in fact, a gift and that at no other time ever again in my life would I have the sort of opportunities that were daily spread before me. It was, I fear, a little like going to a banquet and saying, "Eh, I'll just have a cup of the soup".

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that such is college life. We all do it. We're becoming adults and college is as much about learning to manage yourself as it is anything else. And you'd be right. Certainly that C- in "Men and Women in 19th Century British Literature" is a classic example of what happens when you don't trouble to manage yourself. But it still galls me a little.

Sometimes I wish I could go back and do bits of it again, knowing what I know now. I wish, at least, that I could go back to Dr. Erickson, she of aforementioned Brit Lit class, and ask for a copy of her lectures so I could see what I missed.

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20 Comments:

Blogger Buck opined...

Don't fret. I had to drop "Psychology of Human Sexuality" the first time and re-take it. We also called it "Bed Ed."

July 29, 2008 11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

Ba Ha Ha Ha (Note no W)

Written for an audience that may not read it, I'm afraid.

But wouldn't it be wonderful if our own teeners would do so and learn that from it that we wished them to.

Peace

:+}

July 29, 2008 11:57 AM  
Blogger Mom opined...

Youth , as they say, is wasted on the young. If you could go back and do it all again you would just make a different set of dumb mistakes. You are actually still able to read so you could read all those great stories now.

July 29, 2008 2:28 PM  
Blogger Bad Alice opined...

Ah yes, if I could go back to my Cultural Anthropology class and do it justice. And why did I not appreciate the real live poets I had as teachers? Why did I back out of that class on The Faery Queen? Sigh

July 29, 2008 7:54 PM  
Blogger The Idle Devil opined...

I do love your blog...especially your food blog. I didnt take up Literature when I should have...one of my few but major regrets.

July 29, 2008 9:24 PM  
Blogger jp opined...

My life is all about the regrets these days. Particularly as they pertain to obtaining gainful employment.

You have a food blog?

July 29, 2008 10:56 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

No fretting, just a little regretting.

Too true, Anonyba.

So true, Mom. Wish I'd also had the sense to appreciate a flat belly, pert -uh- other stuff and the ability to sleep straight through the night.

BA - a) HEY! Been a while. And 2) yep.

Devil, well, that's just really nice of you. And I guess the great thing about literature is that one can always pick up a book and start. Oh, even with a lit emphasis I can rightly say, "So many books, so little time".

JP: a) shut up and 2) if you were paying attention and not being a bitter smart ass you'd have noticed that I not only blogged here today BUT also on my food blog AND at the club AND at the coffee shop. So 3) shut up again.

And what? Crap. It's too late to call you...

July 29, 2008 11:29 PM  
Blogger LostInCO opined...

Well you definitely are a wonderful writer. I don't remember taking any lit. or writing courses in college. Think I must have blocked it out. I do remember differential equations and loving it tho!

July 30, 2008 7:12 AM  
Blogger Kimberly Ann opined...

I haven't met too many folks who did right by college, so you are in good company. All the perky perfectionists who aced their classes and served as TAs aren't folks you'd want to hang with anyway. Well, except when you need a lawyer, doctor or engineer. Damn it.

Hey, at least you didn't take bowling as your PE credit and only manage to get a Pass.

July 30, 2008 8:47 AM  
Blogger Willym opined...

Wait a minute there's something up on the food blog... be right back....
don't touch anything....

July 30, 2008 9:09 AM  
Blogger Willym opined...

good, everything's the way I left it...
so are you going to share these thoughts with the Child? And we really can't go on calling her that can we? Have you thought of a new nickname for the female offspring contest with a pie as the prize?

July 30, 2008 9:15 AM  
Blogger Anne opined...

I just happen to have my transcript right here. [shuffles papers] I finished with a 2.96 but that's over 6 years and a very bad start. I like to concentrate on the ~3.4 I had in my major.

July 30, 2008 10:06 AM  
Blogger danny/ink2metal opined...

oy! that's why i don't harrass andrew about going straight into college.

i did my own bit of squandering vast amounts of invaluable opportunities. after three years my four year program took a detour...thanks to anthony. but it was all worth it because when i went back three years later, i could fully appreciate what lay ahead. i finally had a purpose.

um, i just don't remember what is right now. hehehe

July 30, 2008 12:09 PM  
Blogger Leah opined...

I was just thinking the other day that I wished I'd had more pictures from my college years. Had I only known how cute I actually was relative to right now...sigh. Hindsight is always 20/20...
:)

July 30, 2008 12:39 PM  
Blogger Sling opined...

I sometimes wonder what life would be like if I had gone to college.
Then I think that this was god's plan for me,so what the heck.

July 30, 2008 1:12 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

And, Lost, I think YOU are just generally wonderful in nearly every respect. 'Cept for that math brain of yours. That freaks me out.

Oh, KA, did you really? That's just too delightful!

Willym, I (taps foot patiently while waiting for him to return...notices this color pink really is just NOT right for my nails) haven't shared this with her for the simple reason that she knows everything and cannot be told anything, especially by the likes of me. Perhaps as she nears graduation she'll be more amenable.

And as for changing her name, I quite realize the practicalities but keep going back to that whole "she'll always be my baby" thing. Although if we do have a contest I think the prize will have to be applesauce cake because it would ship much better than pie.

Which reminds me, I still owe The Spouse an applesauce cake from the LAST contest I had.

Anne, I would certainly focus on that excellent GPA for your major. In fact (gets out calculator and transcripts...) whoohoo! I got a 3.45 in my major and a 3.8 in my minor (philosophy). Maybe I shoulda focused on philosophy.

Danny, personally I think it should take you 6 years to get a B.A. 2 years to screw around, learn how to hold your liquor and how to balance your checkbook and then you are settled down enough to focus on the work!

Oh, Leah, am I hearing THAT!

Sling, my friend, the stuff you've learned can't be taught at any college. (OK, some of it you can learn at mixology school but I think you know what I mean).

July 30, 2008 2:18 PM  
Blogger booda baby opined...

Aha!! They probably did teach you that thing but you were napping!! (At least you showed up.) I probably HAD to love reading on my own to make up for my superb never-going-to-class-ness.

July 30, 2008 6:57 PM  
Blogger Miss Healthypants opined...

I can SO relate to this! I was an English minor, you know. :)

I SO wish I would have paid more attention in my literature classes, too. I guess I could, like, read some of those books now...but I'm too busy reading blogs! *hee hee*

July 31, 2008 5:13 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Booda, that one nagging Brit Lit class in particular is a shining example of not-going-to-classness. Seriously, I maybe showed up once a week. Argggh!

MHP: Blogs - the literature of the 21st century.

August 01, 2008 9:13 AM  
Blogger more cowbell opined...

I've said it before, I'll be saying it again for the rest of my friggin' life: Hindsight is a clearsighted bitch.

I worry that Teen Demon will be ordering a lot of soup over the next 4 years.

August 03, 2008 12:18 PM  

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