Tag Archives: college seniors

Classes I Should Have Taken

4 Mar

college jeapordyRecently I watched a college edition of Jeopardy. Everyone knows College Jeopardy is for pussies, but we all need victories no matter how petty, so I made sure the idiot from Dartmouth heard my condescending screams thru the TV. I performed admirably, but as the three awkward students shook Trebek’s hand at the end of the game I was left to wonder; how smart am I? It’s a hard thing to measure in your adult life. I’m not in class anymore, there are no scantrons or blue books to test what knowledge I do have, and to be honest some days I wonder if the information I learn is really all that important.

am i smart?If I wanted to impress you I would sit you down and tell you all about the spread of Islam, specifically how it related to Spain’s early history and how there was a beautiful yet controversial period called the convivencia in which Jews, Muslims and Christians all lived together in relative harmony until the crusades, church and the reconquista squashed it all. I could confidently mumble my way through the definition of what a quasar is, and might even be able to tell you what Boo Radley really represents in To Kill a Mockingbird. These are facts and theories that are not my own that I can spit out at a moments notice. When repeated properly to a willing audience, they provide a thin veneer of what many of us consider to be education and intelligence. I, however, am not so sure of this.

college andyI graduated from a 4-year institution with modest accolades. I never pushed myself too hard, nor did I allow myself to fall behind. Let me be clear before I continue that I would not trade those 4 years for anything (maybe a jetpack with unlimited fuel) because I met the most amazing people and had unforgettable experiences. Some would argue that socialization, learning how to behave in a pack, and thus becoming a quality citizen is the true objective of College, and if that is the case then College was a great success for me. I am more concerned with the education we receive from 4-year institutions in the U.S. and specifically the classes we are offered.

My sophomore year I chose to take a class called Earth Science and the Cinema. Yes, you read that correctly. We would watch clips of popular disaster movies like Twister, Armageddon and Deep Impact and then do simple math problems to prove why these disasters as portrayed in the movies would never happen that way. It satisfied my quantitative requirement as well as my penchant for shitty disaster movies. It was all very funny back then, and in many ways still is, but it’s also very sad. It’s sad students had the option to waste 6 weeks like this, it’s sad the university wasn’t more creative or progressive in their offerings, and in times of intellectual doubt, and we all have those times, I can’t help but think back to Earth Science and the Cinema and wonder what the hell I was doing.

college burYou can point to many reasons why these problems exist. Institutional bureaucracy is hard to deal with. Things don’t change with the snap of a finger. For me, College came too early. I wasn’t ready to be smart and seek out my own education. Maybe I would have been better served taking time off and traveling or working, or completing my general education requirements at a community college for a fraction of the cost. I chose to major in history early on because it was the class I didn’t fall asleep in during high school. Many other students pick their classes based on their friends, sleep and or drinking schedules. These choices don’t matter a whole lot when you exist within the colligate bubble, but what problems do they potentially create once you graduate? I may not want to trade those 4 years I spent for anything, but if I were creating classes to best aid students in “the real world,” I would do things a little different. The following is a mock syllabus of a course I’d like to call #Realworldshit (You know, to appeal to the youth or whatever).

Week 1 – Graphic Design

• A skill that allows you to call yourself an artist while getting paid? Awesome. Sometimes the freelance life can be stressful, but as long as there are movies, concerts, companies, ads etc… Graphic designers will be in demand. Go torrent Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and lets get started.

Week 2- Web Design

• Similar to week 1, but this week will focus on HTML, basic coding and maybe some looks into Ruby design and app development. Kids are on their phone and apps all the time; let’s make their appsurd ideas a reality.

Week 3 – Tax Returns and The IRS

• These guys aren’t just bad guys and assholes in movies? What!? Yup, they exist and want your W-2’s, A-1’s, and G-6’s. I made up the last two, but maybe you don’t know that I did. Some basic financial knowledge goes a long way.

Week 4 – Car Maintenance

• You don’t need to be a grease monkey, but checking your own oil, jumping your car and changing a tire are all things you should have in your carsenal (sorry). Plus girls get super wet when you can do car things.

Week 5 – Actually Learn A Language

• Juan and Pablo sit at a café: Juan: Hola Pablo, como estas?—Eff this shit. You will never learn anything this way. I think studying abroad should be mandatory. It’s the best way to learn a language, learn about yourself and meet hot foreign people in the process.

Week 6 – Ping Pong

• It’s just a great game.

grad with debtMaybe one week for each of these is too short, maybe they deserve their own semesters, or even majors, but I can guarantee the world at large does not care how many times you can use the word ‘hegemony’ in a sentence. There is no premium placed on the general knowledge of anything, in fact, life can be quite specific and often rewards those who seek out its niches. We need to take responsibility for our education. I still don’t know whether I am smart, but I know damn well I don’t crush at Jeopardy because I took Earth Science and the Cinema.

Things You’ve Stopped Doing Since College

29 Jul

reggaeReggae- Wahhhhh Wahhhh (air horn) Bhuaaaa! Whether you had a bong toking, Buju Banton spinning roommate who selassied the selectahs, or hacked some sack with a chilled out loper listening to Sizzla sing about Batty Boys, you probably got your fair share of the Ragu during College. It was hard not to love Reggae, it just went so well with all your activities, like: Smoke then eat, smoke then go to class, smoke then study, smoke then listen to Reggae and smoke. While yours truly is still known to slap some Don Carlos on a Sunday morning, I’m willing to bet the majority of you have exchanged your favorite piece for a pack of American Spirits and a band nobody has heard of. Squares.

“Dude, do you want to come over after class and watch Naruto: Shippuden?”
“OK, well I’ve also got the first season of Cowboy Bebop. Its got really good jazz music—
“Please stop.”
I would rather have strep throat for the rest of my life than watch one more second of Anime. “But Princess Mononoke….” Enough! I don’t like it. You cannot force me to enjoy this nonsense. Thankfully, those who still enjoy Anime have been socially ridiculed to the point of hiding their DVD’s in some dark corner of shame.

acidAcid- Now this clearly does not apply to everyone. There are still a few situations in which dropping ass (Have I given away my age?) Is encouraged and welcomed. Music festivals, and long weekends are fine venues to trip balls, but I include Acid in the mix because of the time it takes to come down. In College one could theoretically be on acid until graduation. Oh, you have Intro to Cinema Monday morning? Who cares!? A five-paragraph essay where you quote books you barely read and couldn’t be bothered to write an original thought? Drop that ass. You’ll do just fine. Now compare that to reporting to your 9-5 Monday morning, how quickly would you be fired? 10 Am? Lunch? When is the next long weekend?

skate fallSkateboarding- If you are sitting down right now, go ahead and fall off your chair. If you are past the age of 25, see how long it takes you to get back up. How many grunts did it take? You might even still be rolling around clutching your limp broken wrist on the floor. Now imagine you are moving at 20 MPH and eat shit face first on concrete. In College, you may just get up bloody, wipe off the gravel and keep carving, but at this age you are crumpled up in a twisted mess of brittle bones and thinking about the impending hospital bill and how Obama Care only covers up until 26. Obama!!!

pajama pantsDoing Shit in Your Pajamas- Getting up at 11 AM everyday can be hard, but don’t worry, now you can sleep right up until your class starts with the help of pajama pants. Pajamas are the perfect don’t give a fuck pant. Got a tough test? Pajamas will provide you with the comfort you need to keep calm and ace it. Party later tonight? No worries, its probably a pajamas party, and if its not everyone will be too drunk to notice or care that you are wearing your crusty flannel jammies. Try wearing that shit outside as an adult. Try getting a girlfriend and a job. Try not getting tears on the drawstrings of your sad excuse for a pant while you eat an overly salted cambells chicken and rice soup. The only time pajamas should be worn is by bananas, when they are coming down the stairs.

40'sDrinking 40’s- College Kid #1: “What are you doing tonight?”

College Kid#2: “Probably just drink a Mickey’s and smoke a blunt. Shit, maybe I’ll even get a second one and duct tape it to my hand so I get really wasted then go to Maggie’s party.”

College Kid # 1: “Dude, sounds like an awesome night.”

Adult #1: “What are you doing tonight?”

Adult #2: “I’m going to drink 40 ounces of terrible liquid and barf in a toilet for a few hours. Probably won’t make it to Maggie’s thing.

Adult#1: “What the fuck is wrong with you?”

Spring Break Throwback: Willits Edition

11 Apr

...and also lots of weed

While most College Seniors are planning their epic trip to Cabo, I was convinced to spend four wild days in Willits. For those unfamiliar, Willits is a small town in Northern California that is notable for being small and full of weed (to be fair this can aptly describe any town north of the Bay Area, CA). I like to compare it to the shire from Lord of the Rings, but instead of Hobbits, its inhabitants include ganja farmers and Woody Harrelson type dealers.
With the appropriate iPod playlist at the ready, two friends and I hopped in the whip and reggae free-styled our way up state. We arrived at our destination in high spirits, and pretty much kept those spirits for the next four days. It’s difficult to be a Debbie downer when you’re a guest on a weed farm. The next 96 hours were admittedly a blur, but I remember four things that were way more awesome than anything I could have done in Cabo.

Shooting AK-47: Shooting an AK is like playing a video game. I honestly felt like I was just pressing R2 the entire time. I stood on top of a bluff overlooking the Eel River, and shot the crap out of boulders while laughing softly. It’s creepy how powerful you feel with one of those tucked under your armpit. I pretended I was a Russian guard who finally got the best of Bond and Natalia in the Stacks. It was glorious.

Rafting down the Eel River: Looking back this was pretty sketch. My friend and I literally took turns blowing air into a tiny children’s raft that clearly wasn’t meant for two grown men. With our compromised lung capacity, we failed to properly inflate the raft, but that didn’t stop us. Like a couple of veteran Oregon trailers with no Indians in sight, we chose to cock the raft and float it. We started sinking immediately, the currents were wild and the water freezing, but somehow we navigated that river for 5 minutes with our friends Cyborg dog paddling by our side. Just one of those “I can’t believe this is working moments.”

Racing Through the Woods: Weedy McGee (farm owner) wanted to show us how beautiful the sunset was from the ridge. We were losing light quick, so clearly a dirt bike/ATV race was in order. I was tripping the hardest so I sat bitch on the ATV. Unbeknownst to me, Weedy McGee was born on a dirt bike because he smashed through the woods like Bigfoot on a bender. My friend valiantly tried to keep up, but we hit a steep uphill and ended up flipping the ATV and had to use our Zeus like quads to flip it behind us. Normally, a near fatal ATV crash would stop me in my tracks, but we had a sunset to catch and Weedy McGee was right, it was beautiful.

Playing Every Instrument Ever: Apparently when you run a weed farm you get lonely, and when you get lonely you buy every instrument imaginable. I played no less than 32 instruments in a circular room for 9 hours. I thought I was the shit. Gamelans, Djembes, Obos, it didn’t matter, I awkwardly played them all, high as shit in a dimly lit room.

I have never been back to Willits, and I will never go again. I want to keep my epic senior spring break enshrined in its proper haze of AK’s and questionable river rafting. So if you are off to some sun burnt slosh fest this spring break, kudos my friend, but everyone should have their Willits. Get weird.

Let's avoid being this guy