Monday, February 02, 2009

Fear and Loathing In College

Maybe it's because I'm older than most of the students in my classes. Maybe the life experiences I've gone through made me a bit wiser or I'm just paranoid. All I know is this: I think I loath some of my fellow students at college.

This goes way back to when I was a student at Thunderbolt Elementary School. I was seven years old, but my reading skills were more advanced than the rest of the class which made me special, yet at the same time I was also diagnosed as hyperactive which also made me special. The teacher, Miss Milligan, would read to the students during breaks and one of the books she read from was Charlotte's Web by E.B.White. One day, she asked to students to pass the book around and read aloud from the selected chapter. While most kids were struggling to sound the words, I was reading every word correctly and clearly without a mistake. Miss Milligan noticed that and the next day she had me read an entire chapter aloud by myself. From that day on, all the kids looked at me like I was William Holden in Stalag 13. I was a sellout rat fink who needed to be invited to a pillow party right after school.

Ever since, I've always looked aver my shoulder as to who's keeping an eye on me, especially these days. When you're the older guy in college, folks don't pay too much attention to you for the most part. However, you pick up on a reference that the instructor's talking about, say the old proverb "The Nail" as it connects to Causation in a Torts class and folks kind of look at you funny. At least, you think they do.

For the record, it's not my fault that I know all these things and they don't. I did my twelve years of school and two and a half years of college in the Eighties, but I also did loads of reading before, between and after that time. I tend to hang on to arcane things that keep my mind wandering constantly. If I pick up on something that has my interest, I'll sop it up like gravy on a biscuit and hold on to the info until it's needed. Just because the other guys don't do that is their own fault. Perhaps if they'd break out of box they were kept in and thought about some expansion in their world, then could understand how a person like me feels.

In the end, all I'm trying to do is graduate to get the diploma that I so deserve for all the hard work I've been putting into my classes since I started back. There are students here at South University and other schools, colleges and universities who are trying to do that same as I do and who may get looked at in an even worse light. Even at a job, there are the folks who get picked on by co-workers because they are looked on by higher-ups as being smarter than most. Just to let everyone know, we just want a fair break. Yeah, we may be smarter than some but we can do the job just as well and if we put out minds to it, possibly better. In today's climate, anyone who's returning to school just wants to get their diploma so they can have a better future for their families. If some folks were smart enough to get and extra education, then they should be smarter not to hinder everyone else and help instead.

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