A Journey Through College

Yo, Dude…It’s Finals Time!

You heard it right, my dudes! As of next week, finals are coming to a theater near you–or me, or…whatever…Either way, they’re here, and I am mentally preparing myself to crush them all to smithereens.

Weird word, smithereens, isn’t it?

I’m only legitimately worried about Philosophy, that one thinking class; but, see, I feel like the rest will be easy, save for Math. Still, that’s a given.

College has been a fun ride so far, though. These past, what, five months have gone by in a flash, not even kidding; the last thing I remember was taking my picture on Orientation Day.

What have I learned?

Uh, lemme think about that:

  • There’s the never-park-in-college-parking-lots rule.
  • Remembering to do homework the night it’s assigned, otherwise you’re screwed.
  • Always pick the 12 inch meatball sub at lunch.

Oh, and one more…

  • Study and study and study and study

Those four things should cover such a long time span, sure. 

Yeah, but it’s been fun, more fun than I probably might have had at a community college, not dissing those who attend them, of course. I almost went to one–almost being the keyword there.

A big woo-hoo to the Community Collegiate. Seriously.

You guys are gonna be laughing at us when we have to pay shit loads of student loans.

Here’s hoping I won’t end up in those shoes, ’cause I got my own neat pair of kicks. They’re called Brooks, and, uh, they’re the biggest thing since shoelaces.

Yeah. I know. Lame. Cut me a break, willya? I am a mentally deprived individual!

Keep in mind, too, these finals can suck the brains right out of your head. Each one’s a big-ass vacuum with sharpened pencils for teeth, oh, and a brain tank, where your brains float around in copious amounts of Mountain Dew.

Might have to start wearing a tinfoil hat. Never know where those Freaky Finals’ll be next.

At least you’ll protect me, right, guys?

Ahem.

Right, guys?

Think daily,

A Southpaw

P.S: I found another friggin’ coffee picture! Credit goes to zazzle.

Middle Schoolers Can Write! Seriously, People!

What’s up, my people?

Sorry, was that too out-of-the-gate?

Here, tell you what, I’ll call you folks from now on. Just folks. I promise.

All right, so, guys, I gotta tell you about this sweet class I got going at college. Yes, as you might have been able to divulge from the title, it does involve middle schoolers and stories. Good to practice those reading skills whenever you can.

Further information:

I am scheduled to teach a single sixth grade class, with a partner, for a whole hour. We’re required to construct a lesson plan, and, you know, all the other blah-de-bloo. It is to be presented on November 1st, the day after Halloween.

Lucky us…

Kids, hey, we need you to pay attention! Oh my God, I think–

No…

They’re psyched out on crap loads of candy! Run for cover! 

Well, barring any unforeseen candy psychoses, I think we’ll be all right…for a little while.

Anyways, back to the point of the post, which is sixth graders writing stories.

Personally, I’m in love with the concept, but maybe that’s just ’cause I’m a writer. I dunno.

Some of the more memorable bits of these students’ writings were:

  1. A story beginning with “It was a dark and snowy night.”
    • Golly, what a classic!
    • And they changed stormy to snowy.
  2. A story about Santa crashing through a kid’s bedroom wall, and not apologizing.
    • Christmas Genius at its best, my friends.
  3. A story about a witch going to the grocery store.
    • I mean…hey, a hag’s gotta eat.
    • Props for creativity.
  4. Not a story, but one student telling me all about how he loved playing Dungeons and Dragons with his uncle.
    • He was also quite polite and shook my hand; told me he was making his own board game with his best friend.

That is just the beginning–kidding, that’s actually the end.

Those four things are the only events that took place in the hour and a half I spent at this middle school. Other than that, I sat on the ground and stared at a wall and talked to myself about how Kraft Mac and Cheese is a disgusting choice of food.

Wait, you guys aren’t actually that gullible, right?

Right?

‘Cause I was totally lying about the Kraft Mac and Cheese.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

Oh, The Types of People You Meet In College…

I like to think of myself as a pretty intelligent dude. I graduated high school, for one; also, I ponder the deeper questions of the universe constantly, such classics as, “How long to cook macaroni and cheese?” and “Do dogs really love us, or are they more affectionate towards the food we give them?”

I’m on the average level of smart is what I would call it. Trust me, there’s no secret Will Hunting/Steve Jobs conspiracy going on behind closed doors. What I know is what I know, eh?

You getting me, folks?

Segway into college, and here we are at UCCS, one of the many centers of knowledge dotted across this gigantic blueberry of ours. Classes are long, packed; sometimes it doesn’t seem as if they have an ending–but, they do, trust me.

Now, this isn’t a complaint about college classes. Hear me out, I genuinely love this unstoppable access to knowledge that you can only find in a college campus; however, it’s some of the people in these college classes that have me confused, even lost, as to their motivations.

I know what you’re gonna say.

Well, why don’t you focus on your own life, not theirs?

Trust me. I am top priority…not in a creepy, arrogant way, but in–ah, forget it.

There are these types of people in my classes–I should say, specific types of people–that I observe when, yes, I should instead be listening to the lecture. You have to understand, though. I got a compulsion to watch people, to figure them out, and not in a stalkerish way, either.

For example, in my Politics class, there’s one dude who talks like he just walked out of a Brain Factory. One of his choice phrases is “pragmatically speaking;” and when he said it in class, I was thinking, well, hell, I forget what that means, but o-kay.

We are training to be scholars, after all, so give a guy a cheer, right?

Then there’s the people who, when an assignment is due–or, when we had to have read something–raise their heads and stare off into the abyss I like to call, The Oh-No-I-Just-Screwed-Up-Big-Time Abyss.

Four pages of math questions? Nope.

A diorama of the Crossing of the Delaware? No–and, for that matter, who’s doing dioramas in college?

I admit, I am in the Oh-No Abyss sometimes…more frequently in the past few days, but, that’s another story for another time.

Lastly, there is the smallest minority of college classes, the ones…who say nothing at all, have no expression, and take their notes like the dutiful students they are.

And I’m pulling your leg, in truth, because we’re all like that, at least I think so.

I have been known to sit and stare and note take–I mean, take notes; of course, all of what I just wrote when I am not drifting off into the treacherous bowels of my own mind and humming, to myself, the songs I heard on the radio that morning.

What’s a few Katy Perry ditties gonna hurt, huh?

The rest of the class is humming Katy Perry–I just know it; and if they say no, then they are all dirty liars.

And, oh, look at that, I created two new types of people in college classes–

Mind-Hogs and Pop Star Wannabes.

Ya do whatcha gotta do, man, ya do whatcha gotta do…

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

I Have Seen The College Experience, And It Is…

Whoa, early bird much? I don’t think I’ve had a post this ahead of schedule in a few months, but you know what they say: the early bird gets the finger–uh, I mean the worm.     Where on Earth did that come from?

Ahem.

College. A place. A person. A thing. A nou–

Let’s talk about college, shall we? All of us gathered around this digital fireplace? Good. And each of you have marshmallows, with some chocolate? Even better. Eat them now, or forever hold your appetite, ’cause, well, they’re digital.

I’ve been jabbering about college for a while, I realize. Most of you, methinks, are beginning to tire of this senseless insight into the life of one man–ooh, I like the sound of that–struggling to fight his way through the scourges of college education.

On this, you are in the right; or the left, if you’re blind in one eye for whatever random reason.

Why should I continue to assault all you fine people with College 101, when it is obviously the time to be talking of politics and space and how city dumps are hazardous to the environment?

Put simply, those topics bore me, and if a topic bores me, then I will not talk about it.

No, I’d rather converse about the ethics of dish sponges and question the amount of times a shark brushes its teeth per week. You know, common stuff; trust me, you’re not gonna find much deep thoughts here, folks.

For the moment, though, I’m covering college, because, why not?

Ah, but it is such an experience, such a realization, watching these bunches of people file past me on the sidewalk, never seeing me because their phones are literally snatching their faces and ramming them against their screens. That Phone Assault is a real problem, people; be sure to keep an eye out for rogue Androids.

I talk to some people, the rare few that can hear me and don’t stare directly at the ground as they walk from class to class. The dialogue is sparse, yet meaningful. Yes, an example of one of my more intellectually provoking ice-breakers is, “Hey, what’s your major, dude?”

They respond in a manner I liken to the awakening of the mind itself.

“Oh, Science,” or, “Eh, Engineering.”

Truly works of art in the realm of conversation that, as humans, we so rarely tread. Brilliance in a bottle, a favorite phrase of mine. Just picture a rubber ducky, imagine within there is a hidden midget genius, and only then will you wholly understand the phrase.

Yes, college is the centerpiece of the Outside World, or, The Lion’s Den. At every turn await strangers, lurking in the dark corners, lunging at you to ask where they might find the cafeteria…

I don’t know, man. I-I swear.

Then why, oh, why, is there a barbecue stain on your shirt sleeve?

I plead the Fifth!

[Evil Laughter track]

Oh, God! NOOOOOOO!

Whoah, guys, I think your marshmallows just shat themselves. Great! Now there’s chocolate cream all over the carpet! Clean it up, willya? I gotta finish this post here, see?

I feel the need to be formal, to write academically appropriate sentences, but, eh, screw it.

College–Woot-Woot.

That had less of a reaction than I thought it would.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

Carpe Diem.

Holy Crap, no one actually told me college was going to be this difficult. I just finished my first week, and already I am stressed out of my young, adult mind–wait, young and adult?

First off, boy, some of these classes are friggin’ long–I mean, five hours long. That’s a long time. A good thing, though, is that some of the professors can lecture so fluently time goes by in a flash. They can start on a conversation at the beginning of class and finish the class on the same topic.

Okay, maybe not the exact same topic…

I’ve made some friends already, which is a constant struggle in college; in that respect, lunch has gone smooth every day since then–but I’ve also been taking some time to venture out into the campus and reflect on life.

You know what I figured out?

All of the freshman entering college are in my position. I’m not talking the exact same position; however, each person is lost and isolated and confused as to what the hell they’re supposed to do after that one class.

We are lost souls, swimming in a fishbowl of our own loneliness. It’s sad when I put it that way, and maybe it’s sad for me to think of it as such; but when you gotta be honest, you gotta be honest.

I’m not avidly searching for people to hang out with–well, maybe a little–because I sorta got a bunch of friends from high school with whom I can connect. It’s just…it’s hard, you know? Stepping into the shoes of an adult for the first time… There’s a need for responsibility, a need to act, everywhere I turn; add on top of that a load of homework and studying and social pressures–it makes me feel like a ticking time bomb.

But, then, I remember. I remember how fortunate I am to have the opportunity to receive this great gift that is education. I tell myself to buck up, get my shit together. Life is hard, but it’s only gonna get harder; and if I have dreams to follow, then I had better go chasing after them as if it was the last day on Earth.

Carpe Diem. Translated from Latin, it means Seize the Day. That’s my catchphrase this year.

Armed with the ambition of wanting to be a writer, to tell stories that change how stories themselves work, I’m going to recite those two words every morning of every day.

When I wake up, the moment I open my eyes–Carpe Diem.

When I sit down to write on a story–Carpe Diem.

As I climb the staircase of knowledge at a university where hard work, and perseverance, will make me capable of achieving my dreams, my goals in life–Carpe Diem. 

It’s the truth as I believe it.

It’s the truth as I say it.

It is whatever I want it to mean, and more.

Why?

I have the ability to do so. I have the freedom to do so.

I’m not just going to sit here and write all of this crap down and do nothing with it.

No, these words are to be acted upon, as all words should be; and they will hold within themselves the truths that I have set forth in this blog post. This is a declaration of action, not inaction. It is a route by which I will travel these long and troublesome years, because I know I can do whatever I want to do–whatever I dream I can do, if I only suffer through the pain and come back out on top at the end.

Life is fair to us if we strive to make it so; otherwise, the chances can be less to none.

I say: Make Your Life, The Life of All Lives.

And never regret it.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

A Journey Through College–Part 1

Dudes, I finished my first day of college today! Whoo-hoo! Are any of you excited for me–or, you know, at least, living reciprocally through my excitement? Hey, do what you folks want. I’m not here to judge…

Either way, boy, was this an interesting day. I’m not gonna go total description: there’ll be no ordered lists in this post; however, I will cover the most significant, perhaps strangest, points–

Well, we’ll start with parking. I know, I know, it sounds boring, at first, but let me explain.

When I have been traveling to the UCCS Campus after work in recent weeks, I have always been freaked out about the parking. Why? They got a friggin’ police station on the campus; yeah, cops in uniforms with non-plastic guns and everything. If I park in the wrong section, then I could get a ticket.

One memorable occasion was when I was first driving to the campus, searching for an unrestricted spot, and a police van pulled into the lane behind me. They followed me for about a mile. The whole time I was sweating and telling myself it was nothing–and thankfully, they turned into the parking garage, instead of pulling me over.

Phew!

Yes, I found parking, went to my freshman-fun-teaching class; it’s called Teaching In a Muggle World. Cue the Harry Potter jokes! I might as well say, too, Harry Potter is one of the reasons I chose to join that class, but the primary–more respectable–reason is that I want to be a high school English Literature teacher.

Any of you guys teachers? I can’t remember off the top of my head; so, if you are, please shout it out in the comments. Declare, with pride, you are, or were, teachers of some subject or other.

Muggle class was fun; although, I was bummed we didn’t just watch the Harry Potter films all day. A wasted opportunity is what I say–and I don’t say a lot in class, so…knowing that, let’s move forward.

Let’s see…there was the scavenger hunt around the entire campus, which wasn’t too bad, considering I run, a lot. I ran around with Gryffindor House–oh, yes, yours truly was sorted into Gryffindor, folks–and we asked these informative people about the different locations and their capabilities.

I remember especially when our group had to enter the library, this expansive, two-story haven of books, over which, I admit, I salivated. But the point of our visit was to collect info about study rooms, so we engaged this kindly old English Literature professor–hey!–and he talked for, say, twenty minutes of the hour given to complete the assignment.

A little preface: the library was our first location.

Now, I did appreciate the professor taking his time to explain the intricacies of the slightly complex library, and he also had that crinkly old man chuckle that makes most people smile…including me. He gave us our answers, wished us luck, and sent us on our way; what more could a guy ask for?

Lunch was burger and hot dogs–actually, who cares about lunch?

Moving on.

At the end of the day, feeling educated after a short session of Harry Potter Scene-It, I stopped outside Columbine Hall to pick up a free Sno-Cone. When I say free, I mean it was free after I had to complete a short survey. Eh, what does it matter? Got a cherry flavored Icee–uh, Sno-Cone.

So, that was it. College. A genuine experience.

It’s gonna be so simple; and I heard, the Chancellor was so impressed with my work ethic today, he’s handing me my diploma tomorrow.

Guess I’ll see you dudes on the other side.

Think daily,

A Southpaw