What were you doing 30 years ago?
Thursday, March 6, 2008

Well here I go again.

Holy mackerel. Taking note of another milestone. 30 years ago today, I started college. I had completed all my high school graduation reguirements by the end of the first semester of my senior year. So I started college early. My college was on the quarter system so I got January and February off before going.

I missed out on a lot by not finishing my senior year and I wouldn't recommend what I did to anyone. But I did it and so, before graduating officially from high school, I pushed for and got a conditional admission to college.

Three months later, I was on probation. See, for me college worked the exact opposite than high school. Maybe it's like that for everyone. But in all the years since, I haven't heard anyone live through their college days like I did and actually live through them. In high school I pulled a 4.0 grade point average my first term freshman year and that pretty well carried me through the rest of my time there: as long as I didn't screw up too bad I didn't have to work too hard. Nice to coast, it is, except if you need to develop good study habits or even a work ethic. My time in college was spent trying to get out from under my 1.0 first term freshman year. They actually expected me to study, to work, to think!! Once the booze and drugs set in, it was an easy slide out.

Well, I never did get my bachelors, but I have an associates. Whoopie. I don't feel that I have lost much except in the way of the parchment ceiling when it comes to job advancement. I have learned what I needed to learn, what I wanted to learn and I am learning still. Working at one of the world class universities I have met too many STUPID academics not to realize what the true worth of a scroll handed to a scarecrow is. And I have known too many rough-edged geniuses in life not to know that true education has little to do with the classroom. Is it just sour grapes on my part? I didn't get a degree therefore I hate degrees? No. I failed to get the degree, it didn't fail to be bestowed upon me. We all know the idiot academic and we all know the sage grunt.

That said, I value good teachers. I had quite a few and I will always be in their debt. They made their subjects alive in my mind and they opened my mind. I truly believe in education. What I don't believe is that a document makes someone an authority. It ought to but it doesn't. I also don't believe how we're are pretending to educate in this country. Lot's of good teaching isn't happening because resources are unavailable, or that security is more important than learning, or that sports never need fear budget cuts because arts and music are ALWAYS the first to go, or because testing scores are the new currency and any real knowledge being passed on is merely collateral serendipity, or because nobody cares about the kids we are supposed to educate.

What do I expect? I'd like to see an overhaul of the system, of course. Just like like the health industry needs an overhaul: it shouldn't be an industry at all. There is a Department of Health, Education and Welfare. The welfare of the nation depends on the first two parts of the department's name. And naturally, another part of that welfare is it's defense and security. But at what cost? Not ever the rights we are GUARANTEED in the Constitution. This is America damn it. We deserve better!

No, I not running for office, but I do feel like running for cover sometimes.

In the 30 years since my first day of college, I've seen the world change quite a bit. I've seen myself change, too, yet somehow I am still me. I look at these milestones only in a perspective that includes others. That's why the subject here is a question. I need you for my perspective on the meaning of "30 years". To me by myself it "is a vestigial mode of time measurement based on solar cycles." If I am fifty (not quite yet) and my friend is twenty-five, not only am I twice as old, with presumably twice the life experience, but I have lived two days for every one of theirs. My half-life is 25, theirs is 12 1/2, yet when I was there age, they were just being born. I was 25 times their age. They are gaining on me. In another 25 years, they would be 2/3 my age, twenty five more and they would stand at 3/4 my age and I will probably be dead. Of course I am stubborn enough not to let go of life and be one of those oldest-person-in-the-world folk. I might do that just to spite Hell's Kitten.

This turned into a much bigger rant than I intended. All I wanted to do was relate the college story. Well, I hope I didn't put you to sleep. How else would you be able to answer me.


Saturday, March 8, 2008 1:21 PM


30 years ago my mother was younger than I am now.

And, yeah, there are lots of things in the U.S.A. that I think need to be overhauled, education being the second on my list after healthcare.

Friday, March 7, 2008 6:12 AM


Jonny... thanks:) I wish it could be so.

and 30 years ago I was playing in my yard being watched by my nanny.... giggle

Friday, March 7, 2008 4:40 AM


I was about 5 months old and had not even thought of college. Hell, I hadnt even thought much at all expect maybe where my next bottle would come from. :)

Friday, March 7, 2008 4:27 AM


Thirty years ago, I wasn't even a glimmer in my parents eyes, so, I'm not sure what I was doing.

Friday, March 7, 2008 2:31 AM


Hmmm... I don't remember 30 years ago too well - I was two years and a few months old then. Probably driving my mom crazy.

Friday, March 7, 2008 1:08 AM


I dont really reflect on time as a measurement as such,more a journey too where and who i am today,if that makes any sense.Myself im 20/20 ,all i learnt at college was how too party. "we all know the idiot acedemic and the Sage grunt"like that turn of phrase . college wasn't wasted on me ,that was then but this is now,in my opinion what this world needs is just abit of common sense :)


You must log in to post comments.