Admissions and Records

I’ve been slowly working out the details and putting my plan into motion. Last week I requested my college transcripts and when I looked them I got sick to my stomach.

I hate the story my transcripts tell, mostly because they don’t tell the real story. Not that the real story is any better.

On the surface I look stupid.

The reality is that my transcripts reflect a lazy, unfocused student who was so insecure that she was concerned with spending more time at her boyfriend’s college than her own.

When I graduated from high school my parents didn’t want me to go away to school. They didn’t think I was focused enough so they didn’t want to waste their money on an expensive four-year university. I will never admit this to them, but they were right.

I lived at home my first two years while attending a local community college. My grades were pretty good then (still waiting on those transcripts to arrive), so my parents finally let me transfer to a four-year university. And although I was in driving distance to a few good state colleges, I wanted to move away. I told everyone that I wanted to leave the Bay Area for Orange County because it was far enough away from my parents while remaining in state. But during my freshman year I met a guy who went to USC and we started a long-distance relationship. I moved to Southern California to be closer to him—not necessarily for school.

I (stupidly) hung my future on this guy, spending every minute I could with him. Yeah, I went to class, but I did the bare minimum to get by, and I was one of those people who really had to work at it. It didn’t come easy to me. At the end of my first year away at school I received a notice that my GPA had fallen so low, I wouldn’t be allowed to attend in the fall.

The next day, I got my grades from summer session along with a notice reinstating my position at the school.

You would have thought that would have scared me straight.

You would be wrong.

I spend the remainder of my college years focused on other things. Yeah, I did party a little bit, but I spent more time chasing this guy around, putting his goals before mine. As much as I’d love to, I can’t blame him for any of that. It was all me. I thought he was more important than I was.

I did well in the classes in my major, but the rest? Couldn’t have cared any less if I tried. I had a Philosophy class one year that I showed up to exactly three times—the first day, the mid-term and the final. And I missed the actual final. I had to go back and lie to my professor, telling him I was sick the day before and begged for a makeup exam. I was at my boyfriend’s college graduation instead (his grades were stellar, by the way).

Priorities. I had none.

I graduated, but I had nothing to be proud of. I was a screw-up and I knew it.

A few years after graduation, I took some anatomy, physiology and biology classes at UCLA for my job at the time and I got all A’s. And thank God because those are the transcripts that are going to save me.

I know I can’t go back and change anything, but really, if there is anything in this life I could change, it would be that. I wish I could go back and have the college experience that I should have—one at my own school with my own friends. I wish I had gotten more involved on campus and with my classes.

I’m kicking myself. I’ve managed to have a successful career in spite of myself, but that is small consolation right now as I’m trying to transition to a new one.

I do believe that everything happens for a reason in life, but this one escapes me. Maybe it’ll make me fight harder for what I want. I know it will definitely make me work harder if I return to school. It’s possibly a wake-up call. Too bad it happened 20 years after graduation, but better late than never, right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Um, What Happened to Freedom of Expression?

We interrupt our self-centered, navel gazing for a brief rant.

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Last time I checked, this is still America. And as far as I’m aware, the First Amendment is still intact. Or did I miss the memo?

This story makes zero sense to me.

In a nutshell it says that the Los Angeles City Council “will debate a resolution on Wednesday condemning talk radio hosts that use racist, sexist and derogatory language on the air.” This resolution calls on KFI to reign in its talk show hosts.

This was brought about because local talk radio hosts John and Ken on KFI640 called Whitney Houston “a crack ho” a few days after she died.

Distasteful? Absolutely. Unnecessary? Totally.

The article goes on to say that “[The City Council] also criticize syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh for referring to Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke as a ‘slut’ and a ‘prostitute’ after she testified before congress about contraception.”

Make no mistake: I think Rush Limbaugh is a misogynistic, racist, douche wind bag. Which is why I don’t listen to him.

That’s the great thing about freedom of expression. Feel free to disagree. And then change the channel.

I’m not the most politically astute person you’ll ever meet, but this whole thing seems a little out of the City Council’s purview. Shouldn’t they be more concerned with something important? Like homelessness? Or the unemployment rate? Or at the very least, filling potholes?

Last I checked, they are not, nor are they affiliated with the Supreme Court.

Seems a little out of their league to me.

 

 

 

 

Burning the Boat

When the ancient Greek soldiers (or was it the Vikings?) traveled across the sea to do battle, they’d immediately burn their boats, stranding themselves where they landed. With no way to make it home, victory was the only option and the soldiers were unwavering in their purpose.

I, on the other hand, am wavering.

I’ve been thinking about making changes. I’ve gotten excited about trying something new. I started to do the research to see what kind of challenge I’m up against. I’ve been talking through my plans with Bill (who, for the record, is behind whatever I want to do as long as it will make me happy).

But…

I’m getting in my own way.

Am I up to starting over? What will people think? Is this the right move in this economy? Am I being impulsive? Is this really the right move for me?

What if I fail?

That right there is the question that will stop this in its tracks.

I have left a trail of abandoned ideas and projects in my wake. I’ve quit or simply not started things because I knew I wouldn’t be good at them or they would be a struggle to finish. Flute lessons at 9? Quit after three lessons because it was too hard. Swim team? After competing for seven years I quit by high school because I’d have to work too hard to be competitive. I’ve even quit things because I’ve cared too deeply about what other people think of me. (Self-esteem: I have none.)

Avoiding failure is avoiding taking a risk.

And I don’t think I’ve ever really taken a risk. Not a true put-it-all-out-there risk.

It’s time to set some goals and attach a deadline. I have to name the worst-case scenario and put that into perspective. And I have to tell my inner critic to shut the hell up.

It’s time to burn the boat.