check your sugarcoat at the door


why I am
August 23, 2011, 10:23 pm
Filed under: academia, daily

Another college semester has begun. Another half-baby-step toward a degree. It feels like it’s been a while since I’ve been studious and collegiate and the like, having skipped out on the summer semester. (I didn’t cry about it this time.) I’m taking a cultural anthropology class to fulfill the last of my social science requirements.

Except that I almost wasn’t.

The class was full, they’re always fucking full, and I had to show up on the first day and beg to be let in. By beg, I mean show up knowing I was seventh on the waitlist and hope that exactly that many enrolled students didn’t show on the first day. Myself and about a dozen other hopefuls lined the wall in the classroom, eventually taking a seat on the hard floor. For over an hour we listened to this teacher that we might not see again. When he got into the attendance around the hour and a half mark, our eyes and ears perked. Only five students had missed that first day and were immediately replaced. But two people ahead of me on the wait list didn’t show up either and there it was. I was the final person allowed in the class and I could attend school for another semester.

One week down and I am absolutely fascinated with the subject.

Yesterday after work I hit the campus library to take advantage of the late hours and the available textbook for my class while I wait for mine in the mail. Though I’m not really, I feel a lot older than the other students there. Like I’m playing a part in a role I have no business being in. It’s hard to shake.

At the end of class on that first night, excited to have made the cut and even more excited to head home for the night, I was stopped by a girl looking to borrow a cell phone. For a second, I could only consider what a lot of untrusting people might consider, which was that she would run off with it. I handed it over anyway and got into a sprint position, fully prepared to chase her down and tackle her if necessary. She dialed a few numbers with no response and was looking a little more than worried. She told me she had no ride home. As it turned out she lived closer to my house than probably any other student on campus. I am not quite local to the school and the people in my area would probably attend a different, closer college over this one. Is it weird that I had no second thoughts about letting the little stranger into my car but almost wouldn’t let her touch my phone? We got to talking and introducing ourselves on the long drive back. She was barely older than I was when I was pregnant with Kiddo (see: YOUNG) and she was freshly knocked up as well. She grew up in the same area that I did and attended the same schools that I had.

IT WAS LITTLE ME.

It’s possible that I didn’t even drive her home, just dreamt about a meeting with my former self for the purpose of giving inspirational advice. Which, of course, I didn’t offer. It was the usual foul-mouthed blather on my part. One should expect nothing more and nothing less. And this explains why I am the way I am.

-CJ

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