school

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

 

I Was A Teenage Videogamer.

The Summer of 2011:

I sit in the basement of our home at 8 o’clock in the morning–perhaps even later–and stare at the screen as I play a game on my X-Box 360. Mind you, I used to think this was the best present I had ever received on Christmas morning.

The game might be Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, or it could be Lego Star Wars. I fluctuated between those two quite a bit during that summer–and the summers following.

I care less what the game is, so long as I am playing the game and fulfilling myself.

Upstairs, on the kitchen counter, is a list of chores scrawled in blue pen. Mine range from scooping dog crap to finishing my laundry. My sibling’s chores–around the same categories. Simple chores, really; each of them, and more, can be accomplished in two hours or less.

But I am a sixth grader whose sole purpose is to shoot down baddies and collect Gold Bricks. A little known fact: when you enter into middle school, your brain goes into total shutdown. All of you can think of, all the time, is yourself and the things that make you happy; self-centrism I blame on hormones.

The chores…the chores are not finished that day.

The Summer of 2013:

I sit in the basement of our home at 10 o’ clock in the morning and stare at the screen as I  play a game on my Playstation 3. Now, I can’t quite remember if my siblings were playing with me; however, they were probably screaming at each other in cooperative computer games.

Beside me is a bag of Doritos from which I scoop a handful and stuff in my mouth. These chips are not a snack. Oh no, these chips are my lunch. My breakfast was a slim bowl of Frosted Flakes. My actual snack consists of two large Oatmeal Cream Pies that I unwrap as fast I can so I can return to shocking idiots in Infamous, or was it Infamous 2?

Upstairs, on the kitchen counter, is a list of chores scrawled in red pen. Mine range from cleaning my disgusting bathroom–as of late, I have moved into the basement bedroom–to wiping a wet rag across the baseboards of the whole house. My sibling’s chores–around the same categories, with the exception of my sister now having to finish her laundry. Simple chores, really; each of them, and more, can be accomplished in two and a half hours or less.

But I am an eighth grader whose sole purpose it is to zap electricity at baddies and gain new superpowers.

The chores…the chores are almost finished that day; yes, almost meaning thirty minutes before our parents come home from work.

The Summer of 2014:

I sit in the basement of our home at 9 o’ clock in the morning, and I turn off my Playstation 3. From there, I head to my bedroom and lace up a pair of Asics sneakers–without so much as a healthy breakfast, I leave the house and run three and a half miles.

I return at 9:40 in the morning, breathing hard; and yet still I stretch and drink copious amounts of water. My siblings are in the office and are staring at their computer screens as they team up with one another in a game of Roblox.

On the kitchen counter is a list of chores scrawled in red pen. Mine range from completing several loads of laundry to doing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen. My sibling’s chores–around the same categories, with the exception of my brother now having to finish his laundry. Simple chores, really; each of them, and more, can be accomplished in three hours or less.

And I am a freshman whose sole purpose is to ensure the list is checked off.

The chores…the chores are finished that day, and only because I nag at my brother and sister to get off their butts and start cleaning.

The Summer of 2016:

I sit in the basement of our house at 4:30 in the morning and write the next chapter in my first novel, This Sudden Apocalypse. The rest of the house is still fast asleep–it is a wonder I can be so awake without so much as a cup of coffee.

At 7:30, upstairs, on the kitchen counter, there is a list of chores scrawled in red pen.

I don’t even have to look. I know what needs to be done.

Simple chores, really; each of them can be accomplished in an hour and a half or less.

And I am a junior whose sole purpose it is to ensure the list is checked off before I have to attend Cross Country practice at the high school.

The chores…all the chores are finished that day.

The Summer of 2017:

I stand outside the office of our house at 7:30 in the evening and watch my brother fight his way through a couple matches of Mortal Kombat X; and, all the while, I am encouraging him to get that punch, or kick him there.

Then, while scrolling past other games, he sighs, puts down his controller, and says, “Actually, I think I have some important things to do right now.” And he turns off the Playstation 4 and leaves the office, the controller still warm on the desk.

I have graduated school, and he is an eighth grader.

I pat him on the back and say, “Look at you, Mr. Responsible…”

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

 

 

 

Dyscalculia: The Reason I Can’t Do Math

Well, I figured it out, folks.

After countless years of striving to perform well in math–that sounds weird for some reason–and busting my ass studying for tests that I end up failing the next day, despite my being an annoying optimist throughout that time, I have discovered my problem–

I have Dyslexia–shit, I mean Dyscalcium.

No!

I have Dyscalculia, which I thought was some fresh way of labeling dunces who can’t make it to Calculus without passing College Algebra. Sure described me well, eh-heh…cough.

Apparently, Calcul–some-random-crap affects a person’s ability to comprehend math equations, perhaps even the ability to recall certain formulas after the person has studied them time and time again. It also prevents them from understanding advanced concepts–they cannot get past the introduction stage.

So, say I write out the Quadratic Formula. I might be able to remember it.

But what if I write out the Hyperbola formula, fifteen times?

Still won’t be able to get it; and this is not only the Calcity-Calc disability, but a symptom of ADHD and math anxiety: not the fear that math mafia gangsters will come steal your abacus–instead, it is becoming uncontrollably nervous before a math test out of fear of, dare I say it, performance issues.

Sound like any of you people?

I had no idea of it until this day. It would have been splendid news six years ago, but, alas, the world of science is slower than molasses–I mean, how long did it take ’em to figure out what molasses was, anyway? I coulda been a better math student is all I’m saying; granted, I’m pretty much done with math for-ever, except for when I have to pay a tip and pay for gas and calculate taxes and pay my bills and…

Aaugh!

Math is EVERYWHERE! There is NOWHERE I can hide!

Somebody, shield me with a Dickens novel! No, not A Christmas Carol, it’s too small!

Is that–

Oh, thank God, I thought you were handing me–

A MATH BOOK?

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

 

High School Is Silly, Really.

I just finished my last day of high school. Well, aren’t any of you going to congratulate me? Where the hell is my cake? Or the graduation money that I specifically wrote in the invitation for each of you to bring? What a bunch of lazy bums. I can’t count on anyone, can I?

It’s funny. I started this blog before senior year, and I am still writing on it after senior year has ended; although–I am sure–there are some of you out there who wish I would have stopped this blog a while ago. Been a lot of changes to it since June, not all of them the best decisions I’ve made for this blog, but, you gotta give a guy props, right?

See, when I was sitting in my math class today, with the last high school final I will ever have to take, I thought about how silly high school is, and how when you get out into the real world, it is an insignificant part of your life. I know, it seems like four years would be memorable until you’re fifty, but, considering I’m getting up in my age at eighteen, I have a seasoned view of the world.

You look at the social class system in any high school, and you realize it could not have happened any other way. Put a bunch of hormonally charged teenagers under one roof, with authority figures they disrespect, making no one special-er than the other person, what else is gonna happen? They’re going to form cliques to make sense of the craziness of their school work, like those five page math homework assignments, or an essay due by Friday, assigned on Thursday.

People make it seem so damned important, when, honestly, it’s like being King of Shit Mountain. Sure, you have your toilet paper rolls, but none of that is going to wipe off the stuff on your shoes–it’s permanent, dude. And you stay up there long enough, the fumes’ll get to ya. Trust me, I–actually, I don’t know. I try to steer clear of the likes of Shit Mountain and Piss Lake, since, you know, they’re bad for my hygiene.

Anyways, on to college and a whole bunch of new experiences and yay-college-is-so-fun!

Geez, I hope college isn’t just a revamped high school…yikes.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

Does This Post Make You Laugh Out Loud?

There is something to be said about a sense of humor, specifically when it is appropriate versus when it is not. Who determines that? I don’t know, the fuzz? No, likely not the fuzz;  no, it’s those guys and girls who don’t like jokes.

But who doesn’t like jokes, you ask.

Who knows? We’re not talking about those people today. They can go back to their boring old statistical books and the manual of HOW TO KEEP ONESELF FROM UTTERING A CHUCKLE. Who’s it by? Oh, Anonymous. I can see why. Go ahead and put the pitchforks and the mob signs away, guys.

I like to think I have a sense of humor. Now, like all sense-of-humorists, I have my greatest hits and my burn outs; see, if I wanted to be most of the hair bands in the eighties, I’d have more of the latter than the former. But, I am not Cinderella, or her Twister Sister.

Like all good things, sometimes too much can be deadly. How do I mean? I can easily get away from myself, not like, “ewwww, get me away from me! He’s so disgusting and unfunny!” I mean losing sight of a stopping point and exhausting myself to the point where, when I’m laughing at my own jokes–what a doofus–I almost collapse out of tiredness.

Mostly it occurs at home–geez, I can a hear a British announcer for the Discovery Channel narrating that sentence–and least of all at school. I like to think I could spin a few doozies, hit a few home runs, squirt a few patties with ketchup, fill some cups with milk…how about I stop with that analogy? Yeah? Okay.

I must admit though, whenever we have a informational video streaming in class, it is a trial to shut my mouth and not say anything that might cause people to bust their guts laughing–just as long as it doesn’t come out the other end. I want get my MST3K on, know what I’m talking ’bout, people?

If you don’t that’s all right. That show was popular before I was born.

At home, of course, I get a few chuckles. I get a fart, too; but I don’t think that’s from me. Most times my family looks at me weird, then they do the “oh-we’ll-laugh-to-make-him-feel-good” bit, and go on back to their work and get onto me for lazing in the armchair in my underwear and skimming through a knock-knock book for ten year olds.

C’mon, you can’t believe that. I am an advanced sense-of-humorist. Who uses knock-knock books when there’s all these yo-mamma pamphlets circulating the corners at my local elementary school?

Yo mamma so hungry, she–

Johnathan Alexander Whitby! Finish coloring your math homework!

Yes ma’am…[in a whisper] she eats the stick off a corn dog.

Poor Jonathan Alexander Whitby, cursed with a terrible name created by mua.

It could have been worse. It could have been–

Think daily,

A Southpaw