ASU is an interesting school.
There’s nothing like going to class with interesting people. In my American lit class, there is a hardcore punk person who is, and I quote, “only getting an education to prove that history is bull.” In that same class there’s a woman in her early fifties who is always late and wears clown makeup. Think Mimi from the Drew Carey show.
There’s another guy, same class, who I feel deserves his very own paragraphs. We’ll call him Gus (because I don’t know his real name). Allow me to share some quality anecdotes about Gus:
In one class we were talking about Ben Franklin and his doctrines of self-reliance, discipline, and personal improvement. Somehow we started talking about Franklin’s sordid past (unknown to most people). Apparently he got a lot of girls pregnant, or so our TA told us. Anyway, someone ironically asked how impregnating maidservants fit into Franklin’s scheme of self-improvement. Someone else offered up that sex burns a lot of calories. Gus looked up from his desk, big grin on his face, and said, “like Tai-bone?” Oh, that crazy guy.
Here’s another moment of Gus comic gold. Last week we talked about Emerson and his super-spiritual view of nature. Gus said that Emerson sounded like a big hippie and everyone had a good chuckle. My TA, trying to return the conversation to respectability, told a story about her past. She described how one summer afternoon she was sitting in the back yard of her parents’ house. She was surrounded by beauty, sitting on a bench, sun shining, and then a beautiful butterfly landed next to her. She said that she just stared at it in complete wonder…the butterfly was part of this spiritual creation Emerson talked about. She marveled, “I saw all this and I was just sitting there…sitting in my parents’ back yard.” Gus, always quick with the wits, said, “Were you sitting out there so your parents couldn’t smell the smoke?” HA! Oh Gus…you’re a card.
Anyway, back to the main point. ASU has some cool people floatin’ around. Sure, it’s the home of partying, low academic standards (I only have to maintain a 2.5 GPA to remain in the College of Education…a 2.5 to be a teacher), binge drinking, and crappy publications, but I love it nonetheless. It’s great when you have an environment where you can be who you are and no one cares. You can get by without worrying too much about your grades and still learn a ton. I haven’t learned any less than normal in my last few months of relative slacking off…really…I promise.
I give ASU a lot of guff, but I don’t know where I’d rather be. ASU is an interesting school, indeed.