Previous to this, my only experiences with educational institutions were lukewarm to say the least. Of high school, the less said the better. Indifferent (for the most part, there are always a few diamonds in the rough) instructors, a leave-no-child-behind attitude (don’t fail anyone, you’ll fuck up the bell curve), and the en-masse discovery of the magic of drugs, alcohol, and sexual promiscuity made for an interesting but not really effective learning environment. Franky, I don’t remember most of my Grade 12 year, and am not entirely sure how I managed to pass with decent grades… but I can play Egyptian Ratfuck like nobody’s business. (Except York, that sneaky motherfucker has wicked fast reflexes.)
Culinary school was a little better, in that everyone who was there was paying to be there (or had parents who signed the cheques and were holding the proverbial axe over their kid’s heads). But lets face it, culinary school would be better described as “Drunken boys with fire, knives, and a total lack of self control.”
This is a whole ‘nother world and it’s fucking weird.
Everywhere I look there are people who don’t have a dead jaded look in their eyes. I have been informed that this is not a sign that they are killer robots who must be exterminated, (Thanks Jules, but I really could have used that heads up a few hours earlier. It’s a little odd seeing posters up with that poor kids face on them.) but rather people who have not yet had their idealism and dreams forcefully and violently beaten out of them by just-to-pay-the-bills or corporate jobs.
I have a sneaking suspicion that my instructors not only enjoy the subjects that they teach and for the most part have a good time at work, but that they also *GASP!* truly want us to succeed. Everyone in every staff-type position that I have encountered on campus seems excessively happy to help you out or answer questions. The vast majority of the students are attentive, relatively interested in being there, and have that whole “everything is shiny and new” thing going on.
It’s still fun to laugh at the business students though. “What are you going to do with your business degree?” ‘Uh, I dunno, something do with business I guess?’ “Good call.”
This morning, some people from the student union (Including one guy whose job it was to just shout FREE at anyone who wandered near the table. We had fun shouting it back and forth at each other for a bit until the other people in the booth got annoyed.) had a table set up handing out free (yes, gratis. seriously.) day planners, coffee, giant costco muffins, and an assortment of apples, oranges & bananas. Because apparently in the first few weeks in school most people don’t have their shit together enough to eat breakfast before school. That shit is fucking crazy! Seriously, if you told me most people didn’t eat breakfast and thus were less likely to do well in school I’d say “too fucking bad, besides they should look into the research on the boosts in mental acuity from short-term fasting.” (I’ve read the research, but I still took a muffin. Goddamn costco muffins are tasty.) Not something along the lines of “well, let’s help these guys as much as we can!”
There was also a free book in the financial aid office today. “The Debt-Free Graduate.” A whole stack of them, with a little post-it note that said “Free Books!” on it with a little happy face. I still felt a small twinge of guilt (one I never feel for downloading music or movies for some reason) when I took one off the pile. It’s actually a pretty good book, and should be required reading for anyone planning on enjoying the benefits of a post-secondary education.
I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. But I guess, the shoe dropped for most people when they had to shell out $4-15k for tuition, books, registration fees, and other assorted whatnots. But hey, free muffins and books is still pretty frigging awesome.
Homework still kinda sucks. Probably always will. But I’ve pretty much accepted it at this point, I’ve got at least four years of seriously difficult courses in front of me. This is just the warm up… but I don’t find myself hating it nearly as much as I used to. I don’t know if that says something about me or what. But I actually find most of it kinda interesting, and I actually find myself wishing chemistry was longer than an hour per day. And no matter what, homework is at least two metric shit-tons better than working a shitty job for minimum wage, with no benefits and no chance of advancement.
Parking is a serious bitch. Like, show up before 830 or good luck finding a space. I might hire some young kid from the school across the street to camp in a spot close to the main buildings for me every morning just so I don’t have to hunt for a spot.
But other than those two things, I’m kinda liking this whole school thing, so far anyways. I’m not so much liking the whole “having to borrow money to pay bills and rent” thing, but it’s either that or dig ditches for the rest of my life. I’m sure by the time I get into my third or fourth year it won’t seem quite so awesome, but I’m also sure that my innate awesomeness will make up for it.
Also, young single adventurous women. There’s a time and place for everything, that time and place is college. All in all, life is good.