October 27, 2005

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

Iíve 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.

ďSay youíre at your college graduation. Youíve waited four long years for this, done everything right, applied, passed your classes, and now youíre ready to go. Your parents are in the audience, youíve 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 theyíre about to give you your diploma, they check a list and find your name there. The presenter looks at you and says ďIím sorry, it appears you never completed one of your liberal education requirements.Ē You look around in a panic and, trying to pretend everythingís normal, and ask, ďWell what does that mean?Ē At this point you think back. Youíve 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 ďYouíll have to discuss it with the college after the ceremony,Ē eager to get you off the stage. You look out at the crowd to see your parents and smile at them, like everythingís fine. You exit the stage.

After the ceremonyís 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, itís just a piece of paper, you have the degree.

A few days later, when the registrarís 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 didnít 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 whatís missing, youíll do summer school, and youíll 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 canít fix it.

So after all of the work youíve 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 youíve figured it out something else gets you. And finally you admit defeat. Itís not something you planned on doing, itís not something you want to do, but youíre just too tired to fight all of this anymore. You donít care about your degree, you donít care about getting a job, you donít care what your family thinks. By being nameless, faceless, undefeated, and vague, it has won. ď

Posted by allison at 10:51 PM | Comments (0)