A man walks into the admissions office at his local university and says, “I’m a procrastinator. Also I’ve gotten out of the habit of using deoderant and my baseline body odor is mildly rank.” Today I really wanted to pull that joke but only did it half-assed and admitted to the young student workers that I had nothing juicy to admit. Turns out I was in the Registrars office and registration is not Admission. They just looked at me blankly until I said, “I’d like to know how to go to school.” At that point the unhealthy looking (from too much student food and lost sleep) young woman gave this pittying gasp. I wasn’t sure which kind of gasp it was, actually, until she immediately confessed Tourettes style “that was mean!” I wanted to say, “well I didn’t know you were being mean until you told me and I didn’t know how pathetic I appeared until you let me know.” Young fuckers don’t know how hard it is to decide to go back to school in your 30’s. They don’t know that feeling of, is it too late to try something new in life? They don’t know stuck-ness. They don’t know anything.
Well, they knew where the admissions office was and directing me down the hall to it. I was seated in the admissions office defacing a pamphlet entitled, START YOUR FUTURE!, with some harsh critiques of some of the new student housing architecture featured within. Why is institutional architecture* so bad? Start my future! I’m already well into my future. I’m trying to avert my future. Future me has traveled back in time to the present in order to head off personal financial armageddon by going back to school.
From stage left this guy enters and approaches the admissions desk just as the receptionist finishes his phone conversation. He’s cut in front of me but maybe that’s the way he was brought up in Brazil or the Ukraine or Armenia I can’t quite identify his accent. He admits that he would like to teach technical classes at the university. Sorry buddy, wrong department. Stay away from those registrar fuckers, I want to advise him, but I’m too miffed that he skipped so I leave him unenlightened.
Eventually Barkley, first name, comes from the back and stops me from further defacing the campus literature and hating on line skippers. Before even glancing at me or introducing himself he walks right passed me to a large jug of hand sanitizer and proceeds to lube up his hands like he’d just unclogged some major plumbing catastrophe. Eventually he turns to recognize my presence and share a handfull of unevaporated germ killing jelly. Barkley is great. He gives it to me straight and microbe free. I’m starting the process late but there’s still time. Transcripts are needed. I’ve given transcrips to the school before in an earlier fit of ambition and job dissatisfaction but the system was updated 5 years ago and my information may have been purged.
I’ll tell you what didn’t get updated. This computer in the bowels of the campus library. This thing is humming like an old refrigerator and still has a 3 1/2″ floppy drive. I’m pretty sure it was sitting here 13 years ago when I finished school the first time. Upstairs the updates are more obvious. A fairly large man was working in the reference section on a computre hooked up to a 40 inch flat screen monitor so I could see what he was working on from 50 feet away. Seems like you’d damage wrist tendons working that cursor across so much pixelated territory and burn out your eyes trying to take it all in from up close. Sometimes more is not more, which hopefully isn’t the case for me and schooling. We’ll see.
*I imagine this fat cat architect who maybe started out with talent and inspiration and now just cashes in connections and bonded status to land big commissions. Some state senators brother-in-law maybe.