What My Degrees Meant (Mean) to Me
Quite the symbol of achievement isn’t it? Now that I’ve had my two college degrees for the better part of three decades, I can wisely and sagely look back and assess what they mean (meant) to me:
— roughly 72 months of semi-incarceration in institutions devoted to the mentally disturbed, perturbed, unhinged, fringed, agitated, ingratiated, motivated, elevated, constipated, initiated, indoctrinated, subordinated, deflated and expatriated.
— money earned and saved and scrimped and borrowed and owed and paid to sustain two not-much-better-than-fair-to-middling college campuses.
— roughly 174 credit hours, for which, to my discredit, I can only claim partial credit.
— approximately 49 different faculty members and advisers of widely and wildly varied capabilities, quirks and foibles, of whom — and regardless of which — I was still able to consider myself clearly superior.
— chances to improve my life, and therefore worth anything.
— uncounted hundreds of fellow students, roommates, RAs, proctors, lovers, sweethearts, landlords and neighbors that meant from something to everything to me (for at least an instant or two), and that now cannot be recalled, for love or money, from the dust and detritus of passing life.
— upwards of perhaps 35,000 pages — and a goodly number equivalent of old-forest trees — of handouts, study guides, prep exams, exams, problem sets, homeworks, class notes, doodles, mash notes, teacher caricatures, phone numbers and tic-tac-toe games.
— a veritable library of textbooks, manuals, notebooks and treatises with spines uncracked since graduation.