Thursday, September 01, 2005

The flames and smoke climbed out of every window

All right . . . I don't want to make it sound like I am regretting this decision I have made to "go away," because that is far from the truth. I love it; I love my classes; I am learning a lot; I need to leap. But I have to admit that I had a warped sense of the "college experience."

Grinnell College, where I spent four of the greatest years of my life, formed the model in my mind of college. I now realize how artifical, though great, that model was. I guess I knew when I left Grinnell that entering the "real world" was a scary prospect, but arriving here at Northern Illinois University has made it hammeringly clear. (By the way, I am fond of creating new adverbs: hammeringly, bullshittingly, douchebagly, etc.)

To wit:
  • At NIU, fights apparently break out every night; whereas, I never heard of a fight ever breaking out at Grinnell.
  • Lots of fraternities vs. no fraternities
  • NIU: Girls who are just like high school girls, with their short skirts, lots of makeup, etc. Grinnell: women who don't buy into the cultural pressures (In other words, they don't dress up, wear make up, or shave their legs -- yeah. All right, not all of them.)
  • "What's a vegan?" vs. "Extra Moroccan couscous?"
  • Loves it when the dj plays 50 Cent vs. Loves it when the dj plays New Order.

I realize that much of this is not so much place, but time: that is, I was in college as "grunge" was being born. So maybe the people that dressed in their flannel with no care for hairstyles or fashion were actually IN FASHION, so I should not be shocked that college kids now dress with popped collars and trashy skirts. But, on the other hand, I am not exactly at the top-notch school right now, and it is a proven fact that smarter kids stray from the mainstream. And by "proven" I mean I say so.

The point: I like my classes; I am glad I am doing this thing that I am doing; I am glad this is a temporary step.

15 Comments:

At 12:50 AM, Blogger chris posited...

I dont know about anybody else but on the infalibility factor you have a perfect 10 and God scores slightly less- a 4.1692394834

 
At 12:56 AM, Blogger Josh posited...

Sometimes I worry that I'll end up going to college and everyone is going to be a drunken idiot who I hate

 
At 1:00 AM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

JOsh -- if you pick your college right, everyone could be a drunken idiot that you love.

 
At 9:22 AM, Blogger Kid C posited...

Wouldn't it be "whom I hate?" But that aside, just be glad you aren't at Central Lakes. lol

 
At 10:24 AM, Blogger Jake posited...

I'm going through the same thing at UMN, and trying not to let my private-school background turn me into an elitist. Also, every single undergrad here is way too young to be in college. They look twelve.

By the way, my favorite invented adverb is "cockshittingly."

 
At 11:59 AM, Blogger emily posited...

i had some rude awakenings when i started grad school too. i was TA-ing a class and i wanted to give people C's and D's because their writing was so awful but the professor was like, "we don't do that." so i had to give them all A's and B's. part of that is just grad school grade inflation, but also lower standards than what i was used to from grinnell. i don't know, it's just different and it really makes me realize the value of my grinnell experience.

as far as grunge goes, it was the style back then to be grungy (even on beverly hills 90210 they wore flannels, but i'm sure their legs were shaved!). two summers ago we had a student intern in my department who was a student at grinnell. she was totally hairy and wore flannel shirt and soccer shorts a lot.

 
At 12:01 PM, Blogger emily posited...

ps - i recently looked up grinnell college on wikipedia just for fun. it was a fun read.

 
At 7:29 PM, Blogger P "N" K posited...

I'll know that the apocalypse is near when, somehow, some way, my BHS background makes me an elitist. Man that would be the day.

 
At 11:56 PM, Blogger Johnny V posited...

BHS is basically like the New York of schools. A really white, really redneck New York.

 
At 12:56 AM, Blogger Tom posited...

yes. New York. The "melting pot of the world". yes, i cant think of a better comparison.

 
At 11:18 AM, Blogger hannah posited...

we keep our drunken idiots contained in one complex, the drunken cool kids are allowed to roam.

oh, and josh, no matter where you go, there WILL be sober cool kids too. it's true.

 
At 1:52 PM, Blogger Johnny V posited...

Well, that would mean Josh goes to college. At this rate, that isn't going to happen.

 
At 11:09 PM, Blogger Josh posited...

I'm going to start my own college

 
At 1:08 PM, Blogger Johnny V posited...

Rampton University?

 
At 4:39 PM, Anonymous Nicole posited...

As a current Grinnell student, I feel that I should respond. You were right on most accounts about Grinnell. We do have some "high school" girls with their trashy clothes--they are few and far between and have become known as "the Plastics". Grinnell is still are one of the uglier campuses in the US, but for the most part, we do shave. The DJ-ing at Harris has also gone downhill (Top 40). As for Moroccan couscous--yum!

 

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