Stupid Principles

Considering I am less than two weeks away from graduating college, it seemed only right to do an article related to that.  To lead with “I didn’t like college” would be a costly mistake since I would have to replace the computer screens of everyone I went to school with who read it and spewed soda on their laptop while trying not to laugh.  Anyone who knew me during my time knows I loathed school, to the point that even being on the home stretch isn’t enough to stop me from fantasizing about dropping out.  In fact, I’m currently writing this in the library while ten feet away my group works on our final project.

Sorry-they walked by and I had to look busy

Picture unrelated-they walked by and I had to look busy

A large part of why I’m so burnt out is because I’m in what I like to call “overtime”, meaning I’m past my regulation four years.  I won’t say how far past, but I will say I’m the only student in any of my classes who was born in the 80s.

I do my best to blend in

I do my best to blend in

There are a lot of factors that conspired to keep me here.  Some of the blame lies with my university (they wanted another season out of me as QB), but most lies with me.  I am a principled man, but I’m also an idiot, so these are the three stupid principles of my college years.  Whether or not they led to the Victory Lap 500, I’ll let you decide.

1) I refused to take notes

My memory is both a blessing and a curse.  On the one hand, I can remember all sorts of facts for years and years, easily recalling them whenever I so choose.  On the other hand, it makes me incredibly arrogant and cocky.  I sit in class and listen instead of writing, telling myself that I’m an “auditory learner”.  To a degree that’s true, but it doesn’t do a lot of good when your auditories are preoccupied with picking out all the weird ticks in your classmates’ voices while your learner is busy imagining what it would be like to be able to jump, like, so far you guys.  Also, my brain has a weird filter where it can only remember useless things that will never make me rich or successful outside of a pub.  Behaving like some sort of solvent molecule, Dumbledore’s full name passes right through the partially permeable barrier of my brain while the definition of osmosis gets trapped on the outside, never to be recalled again.

Also, it just makes me look cool.Untitled

2) My first draft was my final draft

I will read this article no less than three times before I publish it, making absolutely sure there are no grammatical errors or better ways to say that I am, like, so dumb you guys.  I take pride in my work and want to put out the best version possible.

I have a twenty page paper due Friday (haven’t started) and I would write it on a typewriter if I could, handing pages to my professor as I finish them in class.  I have never written a paper in stages, writing multiple drafts that keep changing through revisions and corrections, and I don’t see me breaking that habit in the last fourteen days of my academic career.

I blame this principle on my teachers.  I am/was an English major so I wrote many large papers a semester, always cranking them out a night or two before the due date, meaning I didn’t have time for multiple revisions.  Never made less than a B and the majority were As.  They positively reinforced my horrible habit by leading me to believe it “ain’t broke” and therefore not in need of “fixin'”.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some sort of literary prodigy, spitting out masterpieces without even trying.  I’m just a firm believer in going with your gut and not over thinking things, knowing that I’m only going to make things worse if I keep tweaking and adjusting.  If I were to read through my papers it would only make me start worrying that I totally missed the mark and needed to start over, and I just don’t have time for that.tv-bad-for-eyes-1

3) I never took midterms/finals seriously

This is another principle that I don’t feel I deserve all the blame for.  Because of the nature of English classes, there’s no real way to “study” or prepare.  Either you’ve heard the class discussions and done the readings, or you haven’t.  Some teachers do make you identify passages or memorize publication dates, but those teachers are mean, and according to my mommy, you “don’t pay mean people no mind!”

Unlike in almost any other major, English tests are pretty arbitrary.  The papers are infinitely more important to your grade and should accordingly receive much more attention and dedication.  The tests are more of a requirement that don’t really affect anything, meaning you (I) can (did) horribly fail a midterm and do worse on the final while still getting a C in the class.  The teachers just kind of give you what they think you deserve at the end.  I don’t think they want to do the math associated with calculating the final grade so they base it off a)how much you talked in class and b)how smart you seemed, which is great news when you’re a well-read class clown.  I talked a lot but it was always in an attempt to make the class laugh and anytime I was asked a question I just threw around literary buzzwords until the teacher left me alone.Untitled  If that’s all it takes, why would I get all worked up about a test that doesn’t really have a meaningful impact?Untitled

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Early Onset Fatherhood

Regular readers will know that my posts are typically lighthearted and silly, often poking fun at facets of everyday life.  I tend to shy away from posts that get too personal without being self-deprecating or anecdotal without a punchline.  Somethings, however, are too important not to write about.  It is with this in mind that I write about something that has permanently altered the course of my life, although whether for the better or the worse is yet to be determined.

 

While only 24 years old, I am prematurely becoming a dad.

 

Not literally of course, unless the rules have changed and conception now begins with staring at the back of a girl’s head in class then pretending to be fascinated by your work when she makes eye contact with you.  Meaning aviators are protection, I guess?

Don't be an asses, put on your glasses

“Don’t be an asses, put on your glasses”

No, what I’m referring to is that fact that I seem to be rapidly gaining the characteristics and appearance of a man of forty.  Actually, now that I think about it, I might need to change the title of this post to something more fitting and less sensational.   After all, I wouldn’t want to attract a whole bunch of extra readers because people think they’re about to read some sort of scandalous admission.

 

1)Practicality

There’s nothing I love more than discovering a new way to cut costs or shave time off my daily routine, even if the payoff is measured in cents and seconds.  I have my coffee maker programmed so that it finishes brewing right as my alarm goes off, not only so the smell of coffee helps me wake but also so I can have a mug cooling as I shower, ensuring perfect temperature when I’m ready to drink it.  Did I mention I measure out the exact amount of water and grounds needed to brew exactly enough coffee to fill my slightly-larger-than-normal mug?  And that I made myself learn to drink it black to save money on cream and sugar but I usually add cinnamon because I once read about it’s positive benefits on vascular health?

I take the bus to school and work, not only to save gas but so I can knock out my homework while I’m sitting there with nothing else to do but stare at girl’s heads.  My office is on the first floor but I take the stairs up to the fourth floor for bathroom breaks as a way to sneak in little bouts of cardio throughout the day.  I use my dog as both a companion and a blanket.bedtime

There’s no easier way to get me to click on a link than using the words “hack” or “tip”.  I read every single one I come across, despite the surprising amount of overlap.  It doesn’t even matter if I can use the tip.

"That IS a great way to make sure my pantyhose don't run!"

“That IS a great way to make sure my pantyhose don’t run!”

This chronic practicality applies to saving money as well, as any of my former roommates can attest to.  I’ve waged many a war with them over the thermostat, though not out of disagreement about climate.  Seeing as my body is roughly 80% fur, I like it cold as much as the next mythological beast who most likely lives in the Pacific Northwest.  The thing is, I’ll gladly suffer through mild discomfort if it means lowering the power bill.  Like a real dad, I have a sixth sense that alerts me when the thermostat is being messed with, hearing the “cha-ching!” of my bank account lowering in place of the “woosh!” of the air coming on.

I also pride myself on my Great Depression-level of thriftiness.  I keep pairs of shoes until wearing them puts holes in my socks.  Instead of throwing out candles whose wicks have burnt out, I place them in a pot with a small amount of water and bring it to a boil to melt the wax, ensuring I’m still getting my money’s worth from it.  I hold on to those metal tins coffee grounds come in.  I can’t really explain that one, they just seem like a good thing to keep things in, you know?  Now I’ll be prepared if I ever inherit a large amount of nails or discover a buried treasure of marbles.

2)Old-fashioned

I’ve always been slightly behind the times of my generation.  I saw my favorite band in concert when I was in high school and the members that were still alive were arthritic and palsied.  That said, it should come as no surprise that the only way to describe my feelings about technology is exhausted.

I’m just so worn out with all the new websites and apps and social media platforms.  A few days ago someone was describing some app that lets you take ten-second videos that loop and delete and then I blacked out.  I only have so much brainpower and I can’t keep wasting it on things like the virtual closet app Wr_drbe or that site that keeps track of all your other sites that keep track of everything you’ve read and watched and ate and smelt.  You know, Listr.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Luddite.  I utilize technology, I just do it on my own terms.  Which translates to “like someone who Googles ‘Ask Jeeves.com’ before searching for ‘cheap search engines'”.  I have a Twitter, but because I don’t have a smart phone I can only tweet from computers.  I follow a few Tumblrs, but instead of creating an account and subscribing, I manually check them everyday.  I once complained to my sister that I forgot a coupon, leaving the printout of the email on my desk.  As in, the email that was still in my inbox as I complained to her, five feet from her computer and printer.  You see what I’m getting at.

3)Appearance

There’s a peculiar trend in my family, popping up on both my mother and my father’s sides-we spend the first half of our lives looking years older than we really are, only to have the aging process abruptly halt in our mid-thirties, hardly aging for the next few decades.   My parents and grandparents all look much younger than they actually are, but my parents always tell stories about getting away with underage drinking or dating older boys (Dad was such a tease) because of how old they looked.  I’m currently experiencing the first half of this bizarre genetic blessing.

As far back as middle school, people calling our house thought I was my dad on the phone and I had my own success, er, skirting certain laws.  This premature aging isn’t slowing down anytime soon considering I found my first white hair at eighteen.  Not gray, but straight white.  They’ve doubled in number every year since.

The thing is, I couldn’t care less.  Going prematurely gray is infinitely more preferable to prematurely bald, and the men in my family wear it well.  My dad is full-on salt and pepper despite not yet being fifty and his father was completely white by thirty.  My luscious brown locks have no chance, but they both looked good and distinguished so I don’t sweat it.

This premature aging has another strange effect.  I have two younger sisters who are only three and five years younger than me, yet I don’t have a single memory of one of their friends ever having a crush on me.  Instead, as far back as I can remember, older women have been eatin’ UP what I’m pitching.  I know it isn’t unusual for your mom’s friends or your friend’s moms to dish out compliments, but when words like “strapping” and “hunk” and “delicious” start getting thrown around, you can’t help but notice.  I’ve never met the teacher/DMV employee/40+ receptionist I couldn’t charm.  Things don’t work out as well when I try it on my peers.  I wonder why.

"Er, excuse me, miss?  I couldn't help notice you wore a different braid this morning..."

“Er, excuse me, miss? I couldn’t help notice you wore a different braid this morning…”

I just always chalked it up to looking older than I was, which also explained why the girls my own age seemed uninterested.  I was just too mature for their tastes.  Right?  RIGHT?!?!

4)Relationships

Once my age catches up to my looks, I hope to find someone to settle down with.  However, I am particular in what I’m looking for.  More than love, more than a companion, more than a friend, what I want most is a woman to exasperate.  Allow me to explain.

Whether due to being raised by sitcoms or because of my particular sense of humor, my ideal wife is a woman constantly rolling her eyes at her husband’s jokes.  I want nothing more that someone who can only shrug, shake her head, and quietly chuckle at what an idiot I am, much in the vein of Homer Simpson or Tim Allen.  I’ve earned this reaction from my mom and sisters more times than I can count while also seeing it in my step mom after my dad has made the exact joke I was thinking.  I figure it isn’t much of a stretch to assume I’ll be continuing this tradition with my wife.  My favorite target to make fun of is myself, so any woman who can keep up and roast me right alongside…me….has already stolen my heart.

 

 

Now everyone knows my dark secret.  I figure by 2020 I’ll be driving a minivan and coaching Little League so, you know, line up now ladies.  I promise you’ll find me attractive if you’re just patient.