I’m Never Going Back To My Old School

March 30, 2006 at 11:45 PM | Posted in Journal | 4 Comments
I continue my saga on education.  This is actually Part One. Funny how that works.  When I started talking about, I was near the end.  Call that foreshadowing, and now I’ll work my way up to that point, like Stephen King.
Mar 30
  But for the most part, I have really enjoyed going to school.  Back to school, I mean, like Rodney Dangerfield.
  I originally went to college back in nineteen and eighty-three.  I went to SIU-Carbondale, majoring in Electrical Engineering.  Just so you understand, because there have been some concessions and bullshit since tech schools became popular. Not a 2 year tech degree.  Not a vo-tech.  Actual, real, engineering.  The shit is hard.  It’s even harder when you’re high, and I was high alot.  You think you understand calculus?  Do a bong hit, then do some integration.  Test your meddle.
  I sure as shit couldn’t do it.  Well, yeah, I could.  Not that first year, though.  I went two semesters at SIU-C, and flunked out.  My parents moved out of shame, although they never said as much.  Let’s see, my first semester, I took Calc 1, Fortran, Engineering physics, English comp.  Maybe something else.  Don’t remember. (see above, re:  I was high alot.)  I could look it up.  I do know the only thing I passed was English composition.  Finals week, my first finals week, my first semester of college, was the first time I ever took acid.  That’s another story entirely. That Christmas break, between semesters, was filled with stony silence from my parents.  I remember another guy on my floor in the dorm, though.  He didn’t go to a single class that semester.  Big surprise when he was didn’t come back in January.  Everybody was probably just as surprised to see me back.
  Dorm life was a blast.
  In January, I was in Calc 2.  For about 8 minutes.  Two people came to the classroom, said my name, led me away.  To a brand-spanking-new Calc 1 class.  Also took biology.  Nine am lecture, 8am lab on Friday.  The only thing that got me through the class, and passing it, was getting to that 8 am lab.  The only thing that got me to the 8am lab was the TA that taught the lab.  Hot fucking blonde chick.  Perhaps I am shallow.
  Don’t remember what else I had, Except Technical Report Writing.  Somewhere in one of these I had Intro to engineering, a retarded class.  Big ass lecture on what it means to be an engineer.  I sat in the back and snored alot.  But it had a lab, technical sketching, which I tested out of and ended up in a "new," "experimental" lab, a computer lab.  Remember, this was nineteen hundred and eighty-three. 
  We used Apple 2+’s.  We called them Apple minuses.  If you made a mistake, you couldn’t edit, you could only reboot.  The height of technology.
  The technical Report writing–jeez.  Uh, had several small projects, and one big project.  I didn’t turn in my rough draft for the big project, so I got no credit for it.  It was practically half of my grade.  I still got a C in the class.  It was writing, it’s what I do.  The one other thing I wanted to say was, there was a girl in this class who ended up being my college girlfriend.  Heather.  But that is for another day. . .
  But the tech writing, and the English Comp, and the fact that I’m writing about it now, really brought home for me the fact that my high school guidance counselor steered me completely wrong.  Way wrong.  Off the edge of the cliff wrong.
  I was interested in doing something creative or artistic.  The counselor convinced me that the only jobs in art were teaching art.  Well, what about commercial art, graphic design, things like that?  That could’ve, should’ve, would’ve been me, if not for my counselor.  He saw my grades in math and science, saw my ACT score, steered me right into engineering.  It’s for smart people.  Brilliant people.
  And, while I agree with him about that, I am brilliant (And funny, and good looking, and humble.  Don’t forget humble. )– But I think I am creative more than smart.  Am I wrong?  Do I need to take one of those tests?
  Maybe if I had been doing something creative, getting high might not have been the detriment to my education that it had been in engineering.  Who knows?  But, I still know I can’t get high.  Not anymore.  I have been clean for about 17 years.  You can never go home again, cause if you do, it’s not home anymore.  Somebody else lives there, and they threw out all of your shit.  (Don’t ask what this means, I’m not sure myself.)



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  1. do you really want your youth back? Truly? 
    I think – as much as I enjoyed then – I\’m loving now. 

  2. I never had the whole college dorm, away from home college experience. I was 24 when I started and had a 3 yr old and commuted from home…….. not sure if I really missed out on something or if I\’m glad I waited….  am leaning toward the only thing I missed out on were some great stories to tell when I got old, lol
    oh well, I have a pretty good imagination, I could make something up and someone might believe it, lol

  3. I always liked all my classes until we got the results of our SAT\’s and my math score was unbelievably high (you may think your entries are all about you?  Comments are all about ME). All of a sudden, I was supposed to enjoy geeky calculus classes?  With homework?  Didn\’t work so well for me, either.  You really can\’t do something well unless you enjoy it.  Which is why I shoulda been a stripper 😉
    (my dad teaches 5th grade and bought about twenty Apple 2\’s – cheap, not suprisingly – for his classroom to have their own computer lab.  Personally, I think he just likes to tinker with those archaic machines).

    Ha! Indigo thinks HER comments are self-centered. Wait\’ll you get a taste of a few of mine.
    In all seriousness, I found it encouraging that you were "high a lot," but have been clean for 17 years. In my extremely dramatic and hysteria-ridden blog, I have written about my oldest son, who at 18 has been through treatment for weed, and has pretty much been pissing his life away with his drinking and smoking.
    He, too, is brilliant (a 35 on his ACT), which I\’m afraid will be the death of him. It makes me crazy, but I know I\’ve done all I can. I love him. I just want to make sure I can have him around for the next 100 years or so.
    So. Good for you. Good for being clean. Good for doing what you want. (I have to believe high school counselors have officially outlived their usefulness in the career-aptitude department.)
    Carry on.

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