Saturday, December 10, 2005

Peanut butter and crackers (here's the part where I sound like an ungrateful 14 year old)

When I was in High School, I really ate a lot of peanut butter and crackers. They were an antidote to the classes I was taking (or that were taking me, rather) - something to keep me awake, give me something to do besides chemistry, and if you've ever had them, you know they taste delicious. Old fashioned jiff and saltines. Writing lab reports seasoned with these delicious morseld from the George Washington carver gift shop, I'd think to myself, "When this is through Lori, you'll get in a good college, work hard, and then you can move on to healthier foods, like, lettuce...yogurt even! Plain yogurt!"

These peanut butter and crackers did give me the stamina and endurance to complete high school with honors and gain an Ivy League acceptance letter - the proverbial golden ticket. As worldly as I thought I was - I hung out in the City! - I was soon to have the cronyism and bigotry of the upper eschelon of America's educated youth shoved down my throat.
How 'bout them apples (peanut butter and crackers)?
Once I entered the hallowed halls of the fabled and ever-promising Ivy, it became quicly evident that peanut butter and crackers, especially in the abscence of caring teachers, administrators, parents, and the simple-though-labor-intensive pathways to success that high school had paved for me, would not be cutting it in the stamina and endurance department.

How many parents and high school seniors have bought into this golden ticket mentality? While I do not in any way deny the quality and quantity of my education - on many levels - while at University, I do deny its overall accessibiity. Once you're in the door - good luck and good night.

Perhaps it was the humidity of where I was brought up - Mississippi bayou summers don't necessarily make for the provebial thick skin so cultivated by the valored cutthroats of society, right? Anderson Cooper cries, and he's losing credibility -- did anyone know that he's from Tennessee? The Coop's skin is not as thick as our friend Jon, who even condescends to show us a hint of disappointment here and there - only he's allowed because his news is fake.

Freshman year of college and on at these top-tier universities are a roll call of all the demons that were supposed to have haunted the halls of every high school - only this time they're older, they're more finely tuned, and more razor sharp. There is no better breeding ground for the cliques and socio-economic ostentation than at a University. The calm and class of adulthood not has yet descended upon the 19 year old, but the understanding of power and manipulation has developed since high school.

I was surrounded by cliches.

No indivicual, good heart, or cynical midwesterner even has any hope of coming out unscathed. . Granted, there was light at the end of the tunnel, but once you've traveled far enough to see the light - it's too late for you to become the producer of that light.

And so, since I'm looking for something to talk about, I figure, why not be cathartic?
And if you happen to be a freshman - or a high school senior even - listen closely. No one should have to swallow 4 years of a scrambled education omlette because you put all your eggs into the admission basket and forgot what to do with them afterwards.

There's more work to be done than just get in the door, - and you sure as hell should not leave it to luck, nor should you depend on the kindness of strangers.
In the vacuum of university life, you have only yourself to look to.

Am I being hyperbolic? Nope.

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