This is a companion post to my last one.
I don't think 30 is old, or 37, or 48, or even 59. But my jaw dropped today when one of my psychology professors said, "Most of you were in seventh grade when the September 11th terrorist attacks occurred." I am a young man of 30, but jeez, talk about an alienating statement. I almost felt...what? Shame? Embarrassment? What am I doing here? I've been having recurring nightmares this past month about having to re-do my senior year in high school due to some arcane bureaucratic snafu. But the nightmare is real!
I may be 1,000 years old, relatively speaking, but going to college for the second time has mostly been a good thing. I have my work ethic back, I feel more mentally stable, and the memories of my completely lost last three years are starting to fade. I feel alienated from the other students, but I felt that way when I got my journalism degree. Journalists are arrogant dicks, for the most part. Born not made. Who are these people I'm going to class with? I don't know why two of my classmates spent the entire lecture yesterday talking about "Desperate Housewives," I don't know why the guy on the bus wanted everyone to hear his cell phone conversation when it consisted of monotone variations of "Dude, that's badass," and I don't know why the girl walking in front of me down the street last Friday spent her entire conversation preceding every sentence with a monotone "Oh my god." I don't know why a girl in my psychology class responded to an opinion survey with the words, "I don't understand any of these questions. I don't get it. What are the answers to these questions?" I'm observing a fourth grade class every Monday this semester, and every single kid in that class is interesting. Unfortunately, I know all too well that two-thirds of those kids will change into astonishingly boring human beings. Something happens between grade school and middle school, some invisible hand tries to pound the interesting out of us, and most of us never make it out alive. This post is going in a different direction than I intended, so I'll just stop now before it degenerates into a diatribe about how trendy and lame the popular kids are. Kill everyone twice! Don't trust anyone under 30! Pina coladas for all!