Monday, May 04, 2009

wandering eye

Before I say anything else, I must note that I said last week that the swine flu was not a big deal. Sadly, I missed my chance to commemorate that opinion on the World Wide Web before it became popular. But, for the record, last week I didn't think swine flu was a big deal.

Now, on to the topic at hand.

Walking through the wilderness of this world, I have somehow picked up the idea that a person comes to know him- or herself better in the mid- to late-twenties. This is, I have learned by osmosis, that settling-down era in a person's life that marks a pause between adolescent angst and mid-life crisis. It is, I gather, marked by career progress, marriage, the birth of children, the establishment of an independent home, the purchase of items like mattresses, end tables, and KitchenAid mixers, weight gain, and vacations to Hawaii (not necessarily in that order).

Forgetting for a moment the Great Millenial Plague of Age Inflation, I am, measured by any of those indicators, far behind the times. (It should, however, be noted that in the last year I've purchased a crock pot, a vacuum cleaner, a hand mixer, various and sundry towels, and at least two rugs.)

Nonetheless, I have come to terms with being 25-going-on-26, and have spent the last few months making some valuable observations.

Chief among these observations: I have a hard time paying attention in class.

If I weren't about to graduate summa cum laude, I could probably convince someone to diagnose me with ADD.

What led to this discovery was my habit of reporting to my family any interesting anecdotes from the day. After the third day of describing my internal debate over whether one of my classmates had had plastic surgery or a Botox injection, someone (whose name I won't mention because I wasn't paying enough attention to know) pointed out that I must've spent an awfully long time studying this classmate's face.

It was frighteningly true.

For the next week I tried not to look at that classmate at all. But, as soon as I left off that branch of mental activity, others cropped up to take its place.

I have studied maps of Germany (CSUF has a disturbingly disproportionate number of maps of Germany; I go to class with three huge maps of Germany and only one little map of Japan), made friends with a tree outside of Morphology, carefully analyzed the back of Mike's and Martha's heads, read every single wall posting in six classrooms, memorized the habits of the janitor on the sixth floor of McCarthy Hall (actually, I don't know if he is the janitor; he comes out of this little supply-room looking room in the hall around 4:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays), noted the color of everybody's socks, and still managed to take decent notes.

I have contemplated the meaning of life (especially in Morphology, while looking at the tree), written poetry, practiced Arabic calligraphy, and planned menus for parties that haven't been scheduled yet.

The scary part is that it seems to have worked okay so far.


Jack said...

MLE, If you worked in a .gov office, I'd swear you were a spy.

As far as age inflation goes, I found my life much less troubling when I realized that "coming to know myself" is far less important than "coming to know people." I'm convinced that the distinction between self and other is the root of all the problems we now face since the invention of adolescence. (If only we could get back to "me and you" understandings of humanity, I think we'd be that much closer to The Kingdom.)

Jourdan said...

Yeah, I think if you were to lay before me all the miniature gods and statues currently situated in my Anthro classroom, I could properly assign each to it's specific spot on the shelf.

Pushing it would be to say I could even quote some of the descriptions accompanying each object.