Back to contacts

Today as I was walking into a class in Harrington, I humiliated myself. I have been sneezing a lot today (which is strange, because I don't think College Station is a breeding ground for my particular allergy, cedar) and I was attacked by a sneeze right before I came in the door. Now one thing you must understand about me is I don't produce light, airy sneezes that might make someone think "How cute!" For unknown reasons, sneezes violently rack my entire body, causing me to spasm wildly and onlookers to gasp in astonishment and disgust.

This sneezing fit hit me and I was thrown forward. My glasses fell off, and stumbling for them, I careened wildly, smacked loudly into a wall, and literally collapsed on to the floor, hurled back from the weight of my backpack. As I put my glasses back on, I glanced behind me at the two students who had begun to say "God bless you" but were unable to finish due to their shock and horror. At this point "God help you" or "Why, God, why?" would probably have been more appropriate.

Although I tried to nonchalantly continue into the classroom, I could already tell they were text messaging their friends and possibly formulating blog posts of their own to tell about the incident. What annoys me is that I have been very happy with my glasses the last few weeks. I was coming back from a 6 year long sabattical from spectacles in favor of contacts, and I thought I had finally found the perfect solution to my distaste for most frames: emo glasses. Black, plastic, and full of mystery, I thought these glasses were the perfect complement to my persona. Unfortunately, when you lose your glasses, it's embarrassing regardless. It's not like those students saw me put them back on and said to themselves, "Wow! At first I thought this guy was a clumsy dork, but now I realize he's probably just some cool dude who likes The Shins!"

The thing is, no matter how cool my glasses are, they cannot hide the reason behind wearing them: I have comically bad eyesight. My eyes are weak and inept. If my eyes were a kid in junior high, they would be that pale kid with the concave chest who gets out of gym class with a doctor's note. As my friend Jerod rather offensively puts it, "If you had been born before they invented glasses, natural selection would have gotten you outta here." Har, har, Jerod. On a side note, I hate you.

But he has a point. Throughout history, people who have lost or broken their glasses have been ridiculed and abused. Perhaps the most famous is Piggy from Lord of the Flies, whose busted glasses led to his ultimate demise when Roger crushed him with a giant rock. When you think about it, Roger was really just taking nerd abuse to the next logical level. When he was a student, he probably got detention for throwing crumpled-up wads of paper at the heads of nerds like Piggy. Replace a ball of paper with an 800-pound boulder, and detention with a juvenile murder charge, and you have the same basic scenario. Perhaps this is what Lord of the Flies was trying to tell us: "Don't wear glasses. Oh, and mankind is savage and evil at heart. But seriously, take those coke-bottles off, you enormous dorkwad."

I sort of doubt that Roger-type meatheads from the Club Ice Hockey team will be hurling bricks at me from the academic building, but I'm still switching back to contacts. Emo or not, they're still glasses, and are just waiting to fly off at my next sneeze. And if you were one of those people who saw my disastrous encounter with the wall today, please don't blog about it.


The last 12 hours

Greetings from “College!” As some of you may know, I am entering my fifth year of school, which means in the most basic sense that people now assume I am either: 1) lazy, 2) dumb or 3) an engineering major. I am hopefully none of these, especially the third, but I still face the many hardships owing to the fifth year. Run-ins with people on campus who would usually say “Are you going to the meeting tonight?” or "Call me this weekend!" are now replaced by “I thought you graduated!” or “Do I know you?” I still love A&M and am pleased to still be a student here, but various things no longer excite me, such as a social walk through the MSC or receiving the latest edition of the ubiquitous College Coupons: Seventy Different Discounts for Fatburger. The least exciting thing is the fact that I still have to go to class.

These first few days of class, it has still not registered with me that I am actually an active member in a college classroom rather than a smug alumnus observer, so I have been experiencing them with a keen, detached eye. This will allow me to review my class schedule for you in a more interesting way. I am taking:

HISTORY 102 - Western Civilization Since 1660

Not to be confused with the all-university requirement of HIST 105 and 106, or “America and its Past Atrocities: Why We Should All be Ashamed of Ourselves,” this survey class is only an intro requirement for history majors. You would think that would mean a lot of freshmen are in this class, until you realize that there are literally only three freshmen in the entire university who come to Texas A&M intending to major in history. History is a major that people transfer into after they become dissatisfied with* their previous field of study. The class is a mix of pseudo-intellectuals, future coaches, and smug law-school hopefuls.
*Fail out of.
Most likely to be overheard: “I just got off the phone with my parents. I told them to convert the guest room back into my old bedroom so I can move back in after I graduate.”
Proper dress code: Messenger bag, Pink Floyd t-shirt, vague sense of being a disappointment to your friends and family

POLITICAL SCIENCE 207: State and Local Government

Yes, you read that right. I’m taking POLS 207, the class you took the fall semester of your freshmen year, Q-dropped to spend more time with your FLO, then took again in the spring. I am literally 5 years older than everyone in this class. When the professor ends his lecture, I half expect everyone to stand up and yell “AAAAA!” I somehow managed to put this class off until my fifth year, and am now actually in class with freshmen from my Fish Camp Discussion Group. They probably thought I “had it all together” when I was their fish camp counselor. Little did they know that I would be begging for their notes later in the semester so I could pass the midterm.
Most likely to be overheard: “I miss my mom.”
“We’re having a study party at the Chi-O house.”
“Who is that angry, disheveled guy sitting in the back?”
Proper dress code: Cargo shorts, Hollister shirt, look of nervous terror

ENGLISH 390: Studies in British Literature - Paternity and Technology

Don’t be misled by the title: this class does not seem to be about British literature at all. Our summer reading was Ring (the book which spawned The Ring movies) and a vampire novel. Somehow, our eccentric professor is going to eventually prove to us that these and a few other pieces of literature spell the onset of the Apocalpyse of the West. I love being an English major.
Most likely to be overheard: “This whole book is a metaphor for homosexuality/sexual repression/genitalia.”
“Can you write me a recommendation for graduate school?”

Proper dress code:
Birkenstocks, smug intellectualism, The Crying of Lot 49

ENGLISH 339: African-American Literature Post-1930
The nature of a class on a minority-related topic at Texas A&M University means that the class will consist of 30 white people trying to look extremely interested in the material. Most students in this class will probably discuss the novels timidly, afraid to use incorrect terminology or say something offensive. Their comments will include buzzwords like “oppression,” “systematic discrimination,” and “I hate the fact that I’m white.” However, one constant is that there will always be an overtly racist student in the class, who usually exposes him or herself as such with a statement like “How come there’s no such thing as Caucasian History Month?”. Anytime he raises his hands, everyone will cringe. This student can typically be spotted ahead of time by their Git-R-Done t-shirt.*

I can already tell this is going to be a great class because it is taught by the incomparable Dr. Brown, who is condescending in the best possible sense of the word and makes me want to be a professor really badly. Her best moment so far was during the class introductions, in which Dr. Brown responded to a student who said she had just gotten married that summer, “I don’t find that particularly interesting.” She is just too great.

*I am not saying that anyone with a Git-R-Done shirt is a racist.*
**Wait – yes, I am.
Most likely to be overheard: “I think Beloved is about oppression.”
“I personally apologize for slavery.”
Proper dress code: Jeans of tolerance and a cardigan of open-mindedness

There you have it, a self-absored rundown of my classes this semester. The worst thing about all these classes is they all have some sort of attendance requirement, which means I will experience them the number of times which was originally intended. This is not ideal.

But never fear - in a few months, I will graduate and the whole world will be ahead of me. My prospects are boundless. Tell my parents to start moving my stuff back into my old bedroom.


Too much pressure

I will be posting eventually, but for now I'll let this bizarre Japanese game show do the talking. Thinking of something to post on this blog has kept me awake for the last few nights. That and my Restless Leg Syndrome, or RLS.


Keep me accountable

I am going to guarantee a real post after Fish Camp (around Aug. 14th).