12 January 2010

Get Smart

Listening to: Discovery, "Carby." My friend who gave this to me said it's "R&B for hipsters." I'm not sure what that means but this isn't like any R&B I recognize. After some researching, it turns out Discovery is a side project for some members of Vampire Weekend and Ra Ra Riot. Since I don't who either of those bands are, I guess I'm like way outside hipster-dom. For good or for evil.

So I'm back in school. Yes, I figured since I'm going to be in San Diego for the next few months, I should be productive with my time and get back on that school thing. The last time I was in school was probably seven or so years ago? I felt old to be in undergrad then, now I'm positively ancient. But since I look like I could be an undergrad I'm hoping to blend right in. With the help of my trusty ex-intern -- sit on that a minute -- I got settled in quickly. She's been absolutely great about responding to my panicked text messages ("Where is this building!? How do I buy a parking pass!? What is this online thing I need to do?!"). College has changed a lot since I last stepped foot on campus, and it's all damn confusing.

I had forgotten how tough it was getting into classes. You hear about the UC system getting squeezed and particular schools being jammed with increasing enrollment and fewer resources but the reality is stark. Since I'm not officially a UCSD student, I had to crash classes, wait out the waitlist people, and then get permission from the instructor. That meant I spent last week jumping from class to class, collecting a lot of syllabuses, and only getting into every third class or so. When I explained my situation, some of the professors were super helpful and willing to accommodate me, for which I'm quite grateful. After a rough first week, I finally got it all figured out and will be taking two writing classes (memoir and short fiction) and an introduction to critical theory class.

Technically I could take any upper division classes but I wanted to take writing workshops because I haven't really done much of it in the past and if I'm going to be in school, I want to learn. Recently I've been thinking about how education can be entirely wasted on the young. You don't appreciate it or have the time to really devote to it when there are social distractions waiting in every direction. Or maybe I was just like that. Now I'm just thirsty for knowledge anywhere and happy to drink in the enthusiasm of teachers and students.

As a sidenote, I've been following Alexandra Bracken's blog for a bit now and she's a debuting young adult author who's still in college. Or maybe just graduated. She wrote and revised her book, "Brightly Woven," while doing classes and all of that. I can't even imagine the discipline it took to get through both schoolwork and the book writing. Quite amazing. I nominate her "Most Productive Person of 2009."