October 27, 2005

Somewhere along the line I must have gone off track again.

I’ve been writing rather randomly lately, I have found myself starting a thought and not really having the time to finish it. Hopefully this one will be complete.

This is the best way I found of describing a part of myself to a friend of mine.

“Say you’re at your college graduation. You’ve waited four long years for this, done everything right, applied, passed your classes, and now you’re ready to go. Your parents are in the audience, you’ve got your acceptance letter to grad school and the moment has finally come when you can go up on stage and get the diploma that ends these four long years.

But when you get up to the stage, just as they’re about to give you your diploma, they check a list and find your name there. The presenter looks at you and says “I’m sorry, it appears you never completed one of your liberal education requirements.” You look around in a panic and, trying to pretend everything’s normal, and ask, “Well what does that mean?” At this point you think back. You’ve done everything you were supposed too, right? The school told you you were fine, that everything was in order. The presenter leans back over and says “You’ll have to discuss it with the college after the ceremony,” eager to get you off the stage. You look out at the crowd to see your parents and smile at them, like everything’s fine. You exit the stage.

After the ceremony’s over, your parents want to see your diploma. In an effort not to concern them, you explain that there was a misprint, and the school is going to have to mail it later. After all, you tell them, it’s just a piece of paper, you have the degree.

A few days later, when the registrar’s office is finally open (they have the worst hours), you are finally able to go in and ask why the heck you have not been given your degree. You had been under the impression that this was all taken care of, that everything was fine. The registrar agrees with you, to an extent. But every piece of information they have, every computer system says that you didn’t do something. Somewhere along the line you forgot a step. There is a class missing, and an important one at that. The problem is that no one can figure out what that class is. You beg them, you plead that if they will just tell you what’s missing, you’ll do summer school, and you’ll come in nights and weekends, as long as you can just take care of this. No one can pin point the problem though. They all know there is a problem, but they can’t fix it.

So after all of the work you’ve done, after years of barely passing classes and working your butt off, you are told you cannot pass go. You fight with the college for weeks, months even. In the end the system just wears you down. Every time you think you’ve figured it out something else gets you. And finally you admit defeat. It’s not something you planned on doing, it’s not something you want to do, but you’re just too tired to fight all of this anymore. You don’t care about your degree, you don’t care about getting a job, you don’t care what your family thinks. By being nameless, faceless, undefeated, and vague, it has won. “

Posted by allison at October 27, 2005 10:51 PM
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