The last four months of my life have been
a living hell sanity-stretching like watching three Nicholas Cage movies back-to-back interesting, to say the least. In fact, the best analogy to describe them would be a disaster flick.
First, let us examine my state of mind upon registering for 18 credits. My attitude was similar to the first 30 minutes of "The Towering Inferno."
Like the main characters entered the structurally unsound building, I clicked the REGISTER NOW button with a foolish smile and thoughts of, "Well, it'll be challenging, but I'm Matt Nelson! I can handle anything!" Oh, arrogance. R.I.P.
Making 12 of those credits into math and physics credits catapulted my 1970s disaster flick semester into Roland Emmerich
territory. By mid-September, I was writing an average of eight pages of lab reports per week, constantly cramming for the next day's test and attempting to get caught up in classes I slept through because I was so wiped from studying the night before. I felt like a passenger in the "Poseidon Adventure,"
except after surviving the initial capsizing, I was now being attacked by aliens
and global warming
all at once.
To make matters worse, I had also taken on two part-time jobs, one of which was as features editor of the Times-Delphic
, the campus newspaper of Drake University. The job proved to be very rewarding, but the schedule was extremely taxing on the staff, who frequently spent upwards of 10 hours per issue. In November, our sleepy little campus was rocked with hard news events, including the removal of a fraternity following a hazing incident and two sex assaults. Suddenly instead of spending 10 hours on an issue, I was spending 12 or 15 hours in that office. The professors, of course were
cruel vicious like Sharon Stone in Basic Instinc
t somewhat understanding. Understanding of the fact they could assign homework at random off-and-on the syllabus, continuously alter the format and length of the test, effectively rendering my 4 a.m. study sessions obsolete. Not all of my professors were so nasty, but the ones who were drove me nuts.
In November, I was hit by the mid-college crisis, a similar situation to when the flight attendant begins piloting the plane in "Airport 1975"
. I, like her, realized I have no idea what the hell I'm doing, but due to the seriousness of the situation, need to do something. I'm spending this semester assessing my different options, including transferring schools. My concerns ultimately led me to quit my job with the Times-Delphic, a decision I occasionally regret.
That being said, I've got a cushy semester of 15 credits awaiting me. I'm going to be hitting the gym hard and blogging twice a week for Mother Nature Network
, and maybe, just MAYBE, reach the Shangri-La of grade point averages: a 4.0.
I'd appreciate some good luck vibes my way. I'd love to change my disaster-movie life into something more along the lines of "Airplane!"
What's that you say? Yes. I am serious. And don't call me Shirley.