I know, I know...you haven't heard from me in a while. I must apologize, but between rushing for the Tri Delta Zeta Phi Epsilon Thetas, my cheerleading tryouts, running the campus television station and working on my KOKO FOR STUDENT BODY PRESIDENT campaign, I have just been slammed.
Yes I am back in college and yes, I am totally loving it. In case it has been a while since you have been on a college campus, let me tell you things have changed. A lot. Here are some of the things that are going on:
1. Back in my day, we had to wear CLOTHES to class. This is no longer a requirement. Apparently, you are now allowed to attend class in sports bras and mini-shorts which are shorter than my I FEEL SO FAT TODAY underpants. I think the students have re-written the Campus Rule Book. It's like, You may choose to wear a loose tank over your sports bra, but of course that is totally optional. We want you to be comfortable.
Also, it is perfectly okay to wear pajamas to your class if it is before noon. Slippers are allowed as well. We do request that you leave your blankies in your dorm room so other people don't trip over them as they make their way to class.
2. Do you remember how when we were in college you would be asked to remove the gum from your mouth? Well, now you are allowed to consume entire feasts while your World Religions professor is talking about Buddhism. (Which btw I am thinking about becoming because they are so totally chill. They believe in no suffering, which is the opposite of what I have been taught as a Jew. We live for suffering and anyone who has ever had to get through eight nights of Hannukah with four children knows what I'm talking about.)
Yes, please, feel free to eat your breakfast during class. We realize you can't possibly concentrate when you are hungry. Sure, just uncover your tofu scramble and dig right in. Of course you can squeeze Sriracha all over it before slurping the mess into your mouth at a decibel that is keeping those around you from hearing about the Buddha under the fig tree which, btw, WILL be on the exam. Enjoy!
3. Remember how when we were in college there was really no talking allowed? Work at your seat quietly and keep to yourself? Well, now everything is done in groups. Please feel free to talk amongst yourselves all during class. We love how you all share your ideas, and exchange your thoughts on the required readings as well as on that girl who made an ass of herself at the party the other night. We agree, she is totally a slut.
Also, group work is fine, if you are not 32 years older than everyone else and therefore invisible when groups are being chosen. I am now that weird kid in 4th grade who always had to have the teacher as his partner.
There are other differences as well. The first time I went to college, I could basically zone in and out during class and still come away with a pretty good sense of what was said. Now, when my menopause fog kicks in it's so hard to follow what my professor is saying. "This sentence is an example of FAULTY PREDICATION" my Technical Editing professor announces, pointing to a group of words projected on the wall in front of us.
I'm like "What? What did you say? What is that? Am I supposed to know that? Is it a noun? What?" Around me all the kids nod their head in knowing agreement as if to say "Of course it's faulty predication...who doesn't know THAT?"
Naturally, when asked to get onto the school computer in front of each of us and log on to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, I get the message USER/PASSWORD incorrect. I try thirteen more times as the rest of the class is now on page two of the worksheet. Not happening. I KNOW this is the right combo. Still, I just pretend I am working and am relieved when we are told we may take this worksheet home and bring it back to the next class.
Well, I have had enough of THIS. I march myself right up to the computer help desk and announce, I CANNOT LOG ON WITH THE PASSWORD YOU GUYS GAVE ME. The young man behind the desk looks up at me questioningly and asks, "Um, sorry, but are you faculty?"
Why? Just because I am 100 years old and carry a Tumi backpack with my initials on it and have glittery readers perched on top of my head?
"What?" I screech. "Just because I'm old, doesn't mean I'm faculty. No, I'm a student."
"Sorry," he says, "I had to ask."
Sure, there are some indignities that come with the exhilaration of learning new amazing things every day. For instance, yesterday I tried to register for my summer class and got a message, There is a hold on your account, please check with health services. What in the name of fuck, I am thinking could health services want with me. Unless they are offering free mammograms I really don't want to deal with them. But I go in and tell the woman at the desk of my plight. She looks up my student ID number and says, "Oh yes, you never gave us your immunization form."
"Look at me," and here she nods, and says, "I know."
"Where am I supposed to find that?"
"I don't know...maybe your doctor would have it?"
No. My doctor has the results of my osteoporosis preventative bone scan and my cholesterol numbers but I don't think she has a record of my rubella shot in 1963. So, guess what? I now have to go to the health center on Wednesday and have a blood test to prove I am immune to the measles so that I can register for the summer session of Chemistry in Society which does not require a lab. It will be me standing next to a girl who woke up naked at a frat party getting herself checked for STD's.
I promised myself when I started back to school, "No regrets." Do I wish I would have done this when I was young, had 20/20 vision and my brain still had lots of room left? Sometimes, but then, I remember, had I done one thing differently, stayed in school even one extra semester, I wouldn't have my kids. I mean I'm sure I would have SOME kids, but they wouldn't be THESE kids. And so, though I feel a little envious of the youth all around me, bustling around in Adidas slides carrying their tofu scrambles and Iced Frappuccinos, I feel blessed. I will finally get my degree and my four kids will be there to see me do it.
And now, I am off to Dick's where the word is they are having a humungous sale on sports bras. These kids ain't seen NOTHING yet!
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