Back to School

“I have become that which I once despised.”

Namely, I am now the oldest and most serious student in my college class. It’s an entirely different ball game when you’re paying for school yourself, and you can actually visualize the things you could be buying with the money you are putting towards your education. So, when the professor didn’t show up for the first day of class I was understandably angry; most of the class was. People don’t like to have their time wasted and the professor wasted about an hour of mine waiting fruitlessly for him to arrive.

Unlike the rest of the class however, I am not interested in the credits for the class or fulfilling a language requirement on my way to some other degree. I am taking the class because I want to learn to speak and read Arabic. When the teacher doesn’t show up, that goal is specifically hindered. One of my classmates passed around a homemade ‘sign in sheet’ because she was concerned about her ‘attendance’ grade for the class.

I told her, that the professor won’t need a piece of notebook paper to know I was here, everyone would hear about how he wasted our time. I phoned and emailed the school, only to be given the most fleeting of excuses, “It was a mix-up with the dates.” No shit.

The question is what are they going to do about it. When you divide how much I am paying to take the class vs. the number of times the class meets, each class is worth $83.25. My classmates don’t care because they just want a good grade on their transcripts.

It seems I’m the only one who feels cheated, and complaining loud enough to get an extra 3 and a half hour class crowbarred into the summer session will assuredly not put me in the good graces of my classmates, so what to do? What to do, indeed.

As I was pondering that question, I realized, that I have become the person I hated when I was in college the first time. I am the old guy in the room, the guy who is ruining the curve, the guy who complains if class gets out early, the guy who complains about every thing.

I think if you live long enough, all of us become that which we despise, at least within reason. I’m not suggesting octogenarians become pedophiles, or anything, but if they did….

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~ by chrismcdevitt on May 28, 2009.

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