Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Vaccine

My First Day of College
August 24, 2010
J. C. Verdin




Today I began college.


Didn't it just seem like yesterday that I was in middle school either trying to figure out who I was, or reading Eragon, or trying to write about these characters that for some odd reason wouldn't leave me alone?


It feels just like yesterday.


I have College Algebra first hour-and-a-half. I did most of my homework for it already, but there's two problems that I just can't seem to figure out.


I'm majoring in English. I hate Algebra. I understand basic math. I use it every day to get that ever-elusive high word count. I understand geometry, even enjoyed the class. Algebra?


Horrors!


Fortunately, I have a promising teacher. She said she understood a concept when she knew what it was for. She had my ear.


Next, I found myself in General Psychology. The teacher is a little eccentric, but my mom and sister just adore her. She seemed really likable. My mom told me that this teacher can explain to me why I am the way I am. She meant why I'm crazy.


After that, I had World Civilizations, which is in the same room. Basic history class. I'm looking forward to it. I've always loved history.


Well, after that, it was my lunch break. My mother forgot me and went to G-port. We live about 45 minutes-1 hour away from G-port. Luckily, one of her friends who happens to work at the college saw me and offered me a ride home. I don't have a house key so I had to break into my own house. (Don't worry, I didn't break anything.) And then I opened the door for my mom's friend. We were eating lunch at my house when my mom and sister came home. That friend of my mom's also took me back to the college.


And here we come to my major and favorite subject: English Composition I. Well, guess what? I'll be in essay central. Essays aren't my favorite thing to write--unless these VPs count--but it's still writing.


We have to write essays and then he's going to tell us what went wrong. Sound familiar? We have to walk out of that class writing better. I'm taking a Break into Print course through Long Ridge Writers' Group, based out of Connecticut. I send in my assignment into my instructor and he tells me what's right and what's wrong.


In English today, we had to write a paragraph about why we were in college. I was honest. I put that a college education was my fall back in case being a writer didn't pay well--if at all. I put that if my career didn't take off, I would become a middle school teacher. That's what I put.


Yeah, yeah, middle schoolers are all drama. I've been there recently. I wasn't all that dramatic. I had one unrequited crush and the guy found out. Biggest crisis of my middle school years, and that had been in 6th grade. In 7th, I discovered reading. Real guys lost appeal and I just wanted Maximillian Wells to jump out of The Wedding Bargain and be my hero. I was totally jealous--still totally jealous--of Pandora. (Disclaimer: I don't know if I read The Wedding Bargain in 7th or 8th grade. But I fell in love with fictional heroes.) In 8th grade, writing claimed my heart. But y'all should know that story by now.


My English professor told us that writing is an essential part of life.


Yup, I can hear the, "Oh, you must've been excited!"


It's like the vaccine you must take before you can enter school, he went on.


Writing is an essential part of my life. Writing, correct grammar, and speech are essential and, if learned well, will make people take you more seriously. My grammar isn't perfect, neither is my writing, but even I can appreciate a well-written sentence. Which is funny, because I'm the worst for fragments. But I try to make it sound/read good.


All of college is a vaccine. How many people would go if they didn't need it? Plenty of people didn't go to a college back in the day. Look at how well our ancestors did without being well-rounded and educated. But we won't go there. As a young woman, I will not discount the value of an education I couldn't have gotten a century ago. Although, I won't say that all advancement is good either. Indoor plumbing is the one technology I can't live without, but everything else...well, I'd miss it, but not if I didn't have it to begin with.


Here's to my newest adventure! Getting more education and trying to survive College Algebra! Let the shots continue!

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