There’s a time and a place for everything. It’s called college.
– Chef’s views of post-secondary education, from an episode of South Park
Greetings, y’all! ‘Tis I, the Scarecrow, coming at you in print once more. I’m wondering if I should keep the name, seeing as to how in the last issue of the Dag, our kind editors went and blew my secret identity. I think I will keep it, because it’s like that issue of Batman: I draw strength from the mask. Also, since it is probably common knowledge by now that I lost the election I’ve been devoting my life to, this column was originally going to be a mean, bitter piece about how I recounted what I did wrong, and I was going to make fun of the winner of that fateful election. But, I’m over it now, and I would like to extend my congratulations to the good Mr. Nichols.
So, if I’m not whining over my election defeat, why is this column called The Obsession? What more do I have to complain about? Are you sure you want to continue this line of questioning, because I am going to tell you what more I have to whine about. Well, I am a four year student, and I just did something that I never thought I’d do. I never saw myself as that kind of person, but I went ahead and did it. I always looked down on those who did do it, and scoffed them for their views. But, now that I am one of them, I have a better understanding of why they do it, and what drives them to it. For you see, for the first time ever, I, Scare Crow, have dropped a course. Yes. It’s something I’m not proud of, but I have done it nonetheless.
It all started innocently enough. I was young. I was foolish. It was March. I was deciding my timetable for this semester. And there, I saw it. The fifth course I needed to pad things out. I had taken the pre-requisites, and besides, CSC 210: Algorithm Analysis and Data Structures sounded like fun. So, I signed up for it, unaware of the dark path that I was starting.
The summer passed. I returned to this place in September. I started having my doubts about the course as soon as I saw how much the textbooks cost. My god, those CSC books cost a pretty penny! Fortunately, I knew someone who had already taken the course, and I was able to sucker him into lending me those books. Which reminds me, now that I’ve dropped that course I have to get those books back to him, and along with something nice to show my appreciation. Let’s see, what can I get him? He likes his caffeine, so probably just a can of coffee would be enough. But I digress. Where was I ranting to again?
Oh yeah, dropping a course. Well, the month of September was dragging on, and the workload in this course was just getting higher and higher. My workload, period, was getting higher and higher. I found that, in my lecture time, my mind was starting to wander. Rather than focus on my classes, I was off in space, fighting off the dreaded Dominion invaders and getting snugly with Dax. I have now reached a point where I can pick a Dax, because the new one, Ezri Dax, that just joined Deep Space Nine isn’t so bad herself. But, again I digress. I’m doing that too much! You can tell it’s getting late. I should be in bed, but no, I’m staying awake in my underwear writing this because I had an “inspiration.” Oh, the life of a tortured artist! Where was I again? Oh yeah, dropping a class. There will be no further interruptions.
So, back to the topic, I had reached the point where I started looking over my program planning forms and wondering “Do I really need this course?” The answer was a large and loud NO! I could drop that class, and still get out of here in April. So, I was getting all poised to drop it, when I got a funny feeling in the pit of my stomach. Uh oh, it was my overactive morals acting up again! “You can’t drop this class,” my morals said. “You’ve never dropped a class. It would be wrong.” I can’t help but listen to my morals, mainly because they won’t shut up. So, looking for outside opinions, I started harassing all my friends with this following question: “I’m in this course. The workload is just too much for me. I don’t need the course at all to graduate. Should I drop it?” I started keeping score, and in the end it was almost unanimous. I had 12 for drop it, and one for keep it. Actually, that one for keep it doesn’t really count. He overheard me asking someone else, and decided to offer his own opinion. So, really, I had 12 for drop it, and none for keep it. 12 is the magic number required to shut up my morals, so I decided to go for it.
Then, came the hardest part: getting the prof to sign my add/drop form. Another reason I’ve never dropped a class is because I’m afraid I’ll offend the prof. Think about it. When you drop a class, you could potentially be sending a message to the prof that you don’t like him/her. I just don’t like offending people who have power over me. But then, why should I worry about that? After quitting the class, the prof no longer has power over me. So, I marched up to that prof, handed in my first assignment, and presented my add/drop form. Without much fuss, he signed it, and I went on my way. But, as I was walking out the door, the prof said “And good luck in your further pursuits, Scarecrow!” D’oh! Curse the Dag for printing my true identity!
And that’s it! Everything else went smoother than I could ask for, and I have now dropped a course. How do I feel in the end? Well, it’s actually kind of liberating. I feel free! Freer than I’ve felt in a long time! I also feel fresh, but I don’t think that has anything to do dropping the class. So, what have I learned from this experience? Well, I think the fifth person I asked summed it up best. He told me “Scarecrow, people drop classes everyday. Quit obsessing over this and just drop the damn course!” That’s the lesson. Quit obsessing. My life isn’t as interesting as I’d like to think is. And I think I’ll end it on that note. Clayton Skinner probably has another story about how he’s (not) a homosexual, and I should make room for it. So, until next article, good-night, everybody!
And don’t forget, if you didn’t this column, then you’ll probably hate my show, Chaos in a Box with the Scarecrow, Wednesdays at 10 on 89.1 FM. And, check out my website, http://listen.to/chaosinabox.