I’ve maintained my habit of minimizing work in boring subjects, skateboarding along the rim of the failure chasm. This has always worked out for me in the past, but I was sick several times this year. On top of that, I was away several times due to the various competitions. I’ve missed a lot of school, and so managed fail a couple of classes. One of them was a harmless elective. Unfortunately, the other was not, and so I’m going to be one credit short.
I don’t attend the cap & gown ceremony. When the school year ends, I still have a couple more months of schooling to complete.
Summer school is something of a joke. It’s a safety net for kids who end just a credit or two shy of the graduation requirements. It wouldn’t make sense to have all of these kids repeat an entire year of school for just a couple of classes, so they’re all dumped into a classroom and given another shot at it. Summer school is designed to meet the letter of the law with regards to content and class time, while flagrantly disregarding the spirit of the law by teaching the easiest possible material for the shortest possible time and evaluated using the easiest possible tests. Usually the test is given at the end of the lecture, meaning you could suffer from amnesia every night without ever harming your grade.
School is strange in the summer. It’s mid-July now. It’s hot, and quiet here. The hallways are empty. The bulletin boards are bare. The PA system never speaks. The classrooms are all dark, except for our room of misfits, dunces, and slackers. Mom drives me here every morning (I still don’t have my license) and I’m here until about lunchtime. I actually like this class. It’s run by Mr. Iron, who is a great lecturer. I had him for science back in eighth grade, and I remember his class fondly. Plus, his name is cool.
The pacing of the class is fairly aggressive compared to the standard fast-moving day of 40-minute classes. Here we have an hour of lecture, then a ten minute break, then another lecture. One day of this class counts as three days of a standard class. The material is easy, but it’s hard to sit still for that long. I’m always glad when the break interval comes around.
I step away from the bank of urinals and turn to the row of sinks to wash my hands. I stop because C, the second-biggest guy in the school and a stereotypical football player, is pissing in one of the sinks. There’s no established protocol for using a sink when someone else is pissing in a different sink, but it feels like a breach of manners to sidle up next to him.
“What are you doing?” asks J, the largest guy in the school and also a member of the football team.
C shrugs, “Pissing in the sink.”
J nods. “I’m never using that sink again.”
I wonder what will become of these guys once we graduate. They’re gods now, towering men with big muscles and early facial hair. I’d never really considered what would happen to them when we reached the ultimate end. Assuming they don’t end up playing pro football, what will they do? There isn’t a huge demand for guys who are tall, aggressive, and… not particularly scholarly.
The summer semester ends, and I graduate without ceremony. It’s an inglorious end to an inglorious school career. It’s been a long and ridiculous road, but I’m done.
People are telling me I need a degree to get a job in “computers”. Teachers. Parents. Basically every adult I know is asking me where I plan to go to college. I have no idea. Having finally escaped this school, do I really need to seek out another? And pay for it? For four more years?
A few weeks before graduation I was judged to be too immature to make decisions about whether or not I should be allowed to leave school on account of a mind-destroying headache. I needed a pass to be allowed to walk down the hall to the bathroom. Now I’m being asked to make decisions that will cost tens of thousands of dollars and impact the rest of my life. Isn’t there some sort of transition between these two extremes?
Everyone else seems to know where they want to go to school, even the kids who have no idea what they want to do for a living. They pick out a school and a degree, and will work out the details later. I know exactly what I want to do, and I would begin doing it right now if I could. I don’t know how compare colleges, I don’t know how to apply to colleges, and I don’t know how to pay for college.
I need to figure this out soon.
id Software Coding Style
When the source code for Doom 3 was released, we got a look at some of the style conventions used by the developers. Here I analyze this style and explain what it all means.
Marvel's Civil War
Team Cap or Team Iron Man? More importantly, what basis would you use for making that decision?
The plot of this game isn't just dumb, it's actively hostile to the player. This game hates you and thinks you are stupid.
The product of fandom run unchecked, this novel began as a short story and grew into something of a cult hit.
Crash Dot Com
Back in 1999, I rode the dot-com bubble. Got rich. Worked hard. Went crazy. Turned poor. It was fun.