The College Grind (of back, hip and neck bones)

by Janie Jones

I have a truck load of homework to do. Yesterday I left the house at 8 am and didn’t return from school until 7:30 pm. I am crazy for doing all this. But even crazy people need to put food on the table, and as I am told college degree tends to weigh the job lottery a bit more in your favor, I shall persevere. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s being homeless and hungry and crazy. Hence, I have a truck load of homework to do.

I have a 30 pound briefcase on a trolley that I tote to school with my laptop, books, folders, office supplies, and lunch. Purse and winter accessories are extra. Sometimes not every thing fits, so I have to strap on extra bags.
Then, for a certain fee, I have the right to park in a University lot with a walk of not more than a mile to the nearest campus building. Which, at 9:30 on a fine September morning sounds acceptable, even pleasant. However, don’t forget to factor in the 30 pounds+ of crap to be hauled along on one’s morning stroll from parking lot to building over potholes, curbs, speed bumps and dodging cars driven by maniacal teens and 20 somethings all late for class and desperate to find a parking space closer than really possible to their class.

Arriving to class exhausted and sweaty with a crick in my arthritic neck, my hips and knees afire, and my sciatica sending painful shocks shooting down my left buttock into my thigh to sit check to jowl with persons young enough to be your children does not make me feel youthful, alive or in touch with the world. It makes me cranky and depressed. Is this what the next generation really has to offer?

Oh, and let me just say, I’m not going to college to have a Kumbayah-discover-who-you-are moment. I’m in college to get a piece of paper that tells prospective employers that I can put up with a lot of liberal crap and not kill anyone so I’m a safe bet to work in their company. I’m paying an obscene amount of money for the privilege of proving my ability to overlook poor planning, gross stupidity and arrogance of the highest order, so please try and pull your heads out of your PhD asses for just a moment and not treat me like I’m 5. Okay?

I seriously have a professor, with a PhD even, who handed out a syllabus with an entire page single spaced about the importance of professionalism and proofing your work even to the point of using a ruler to measure that your margins are precisely what they are supposed to be, who then proceeded to post a power point presentation with not one, not two but no less than a half dozen typos where the wrong word was used. Um, spell check only works if you have actually miss spelled a word. You still have to read for content.

Not that we aren’t all human and capable of making mistakes. I just tend to take umbrage when I’m forced to call a woman my age Doctor, listen to her wax philosophical about how important it is to present yourself and your work in a professional manner, tell me to buy a ruler to measure my margins on my paper layouts, then tells me her 10 page power point presentation with 6 errors in it is required educational reading.

Otherwise, I think it will be a good semester, if I can survive the mountains of homework associated with 21 credit hours.

Now I must go take a Spanish test. Wish me luck.

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5 Comments to “The College Grind (of back, hip and neck bones)”

  1. I hope you do so well on your Spanish test, the instructor gets a strange craving for Mexican cuisine and takes the entire class out to lunch..

    I can’t offer much advice on carrying around bricks on a dolly, but I can advise that power point presentations are very neat and easily corrected. Maybe you should tell your doctor/professor you’d be glad to help them with their future presentations, but don’t forget your fee of $150 and hour. That’s what consultants/professional bullshitters charge and your should get the same amount.

  2. Oh yeah, I used “and” instead of “an”. That comes from typing too fast and not paying attention,. Show this to your Doctor/Professor for extra credit. Also, tell them they’re a real inspiration to the blogosphere and the first beer is on us.

  3. It will all be worth it. Just ask me: got a degree three years ago and I may have a job one day 🙂

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