Even The Books Were Missing
Everything fun about college was missing from my first university replaced with a bevy of blah. From the smell of the creosote plant that knocked me over when I arrived in town, to the semester I didn’t have money to purchase textbooks yet still passed every class, I found my college experience left almost everything to be desired. I only can claim one weekend when I binged my way into a drunken stupor, so I can’t even blame it on that. All of the rest of the weeks and months were just plain, dreary, and dull. As you can surmise, I did not care for Indiana.
For my first semester, I didn’t pre-register, nor did I know I was supposed to pre-register for classes, so I got stuck with either all afternoon classes, or I could take night classes. I took four night classes that first year, which made walking back to my dorm at 9:00 at night a real treat, especially in the winter. I recall in my first night class, English 101, our instructor introduced us to the deep, philosophical concepts of a noun and a verb. Spine-tingling excitement ensued. Don’t even get me started on the library scavenger hunt assignment when I found blocks of wood shaped like books, labeled with a piece of tape and the Dewey-Decimal numbers indicating that a book, at some point, must have been there. Yep, that’s the kind of high-quality education I was borrowing money to experience.
Never Trust A Hoosier
Really, the people I met in Indiana made me question my educational experience more than the fake books and foul smells. World History 101 was taught by a tyrant who delighted in catching students unprepared and berating them accordingly. World History 102 ought to have been taught by a professor who deducted from my grade based on attendance, yet almost always sent his grad student because he couldn’t be bothered to show up himself. When I left my English 102 class each night, I handed off my notes to a student from Pakistan who struggled with the language. The pages would always show back up in their entirety at my dorm later in the week. I didn’t need them, but he certainly did. I wonder if he passed the class.
My work-study program included working with an alum who found himself featured in an issue of Playgirl (fully clothed, waist up shot only), but he was too afraid to buy the magazine to see his own feature. Guess who had the courage to buy it for him. While writing an article for future publication, I get hoodwinked into an overnight trip of which I recall few details (see Beautiful and Tasty from March 2021). I don’t know what the purpose must have been, but I was forced to participate in a wilderness obstacle course, which included a “trust fall” into the arms of other students – none of whom I knew, much less trusted. I helped my friend cover the cost of her ticket to the Kiss concert when they came through the area, only to later find out she bragged to others about how she got me to pay for her ticket. I question the character of so many people during that time, but out of everyone I met in Indiana, I really only trusted the student from Pakistan.