There and Back Again, and There Again Yet Again, Chapter III

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I’m sure some smart cookie out there has said something to the extent: graduation is only the beginning of education. If not, I call dibs!

Said or not, it holds true, and makes a dandy intro to another lump of words devoted to my further exploits into the realm of schooling. If you’re not up to speed, you can read I and II respectively. And away we go:

You may be wondering why I’m only taking two classes this semester. Well, you would be wondering if you knew that before I just told you. But yes, just two classes. I have grown weary of many aspects of this new academic endeavor.

I am tired of the bull from the administration. SPC was always bad, but the infrastructure of the College of Staten Island is routed in secrecy and deception. Trying to get the credits you need is like a coin-operated Rubik’s cube – complete one color and the other sides only shuffle around on you… then you have to pay for the privileged to make more moves toward your goal. Instructions? Since when have they helped?! They’re written by the producers!

I am tired of the commuting. I travel 45 minutes (at least) each way just to hit frustration. When I was dorming at SPC, the commute took a few seconds; maybe a tad longer if I got hung up by a rubbernecking roach. Taking the bus isn’t worth it unless I’m compensated. Which leads to another reason for only two classes: work.

Yes, it was a plan to free up calendar space for some drone work someplace. War debt is pilling up, yeah? I’ve got this semester ($800), last semester ($2000) and the previous tour of duty ($13,000 something) to get rid of… not to mention making a dent in the billions of neato DVD’s being released each month.

But that seems to be heading south, as a pulled groin/hernia/or something worse is plaguing me. That’ll teach me to get in shape for a new year. Do a sit up, break your middle…

Ever notice that’s the way all things are built? People – exercise can lead to more crippling symptoms than obesity. Computers – the first thing to go when a hard drive is scratched is the scan disk. And so on and so forth.

“So what are you taking this term?” you probably weren’t wondering. Why Intro to painting and Intro to Graphics.

The painting class is the one I’m getting the most guff over. “What do you plan to do with that?” “How will that help you?” “Why the waste of money?”

Well, long story short, I was coerced out of pursuing art school by a wide array of people I thought knew what the hell they were talking about (and a few that actually do know what they were talking about). So my desire to see what it would be like coupled with the fact that the past 2 semesters have been a complete waste of time and aspirin, I figure why not…

“Why the fuck not?” I said.

And the class already seems to be extending past it’s programming, at least in my eyes. Painting is very Zen. “Everything looks different compared to what it’s next to.” Ah-soh!

So, I get a philosophy class too.

As for the extracurriculars I thought I would join… bah I say. The radio is overcrowded. The newspaper is under crowded. The staff there cannot hold a candle to the bunch I’ve worked with at SPC over the years. Not even close! So why try to fake it when all it’ll be is another unwarranted bus ride? I’ll be writing more memoirs of the PW later, as I don’t want to get misty eyed right now.

So to sum up, all this semester is doing is acting as a placeholder till I figure out where I dropped my compass.

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Ryan Livingston

Ryan is an artist / writer out of Melbourne, FL.

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