A wise pessimist once said, “all good things must come to an end.” Unfortunately for us, he was right, and the one thing ending all too fast is summer.
The leaves are already turning, for crying out loud. I mean, at least wait until September before teasing me with the thought of another icy winter.
Now, is it me, or did this summer just kind of breeze by? It must have been the heat. Too many days indoors made me lose track of time I guess. But it could be worse. I could be going away somewhere I vowed I would never go back to, a place of confinement, boredom, cliques and disease. I could be going back to school.
I’m getting a cold just thinking about it. But don’t worry yourself too much. If I remember my high school biology, I can’t contaminate you through the newspaper. Unless I’m the guy delivering it, I suppose. I guess you’re lucky I’m lazy. But I’m getting off topic.
Back-to-school time was always stressful for me. Some say I brought it on myself, but I like to think that I just knew better than the teachers. I mean, is Shakespeare really relevant to today’s youth? And really, doesn’t it seem at least a little ironic that he’s a staple in English classes across the nation? He uses a dead dialect for crying out loud, and then, “doth raise thine voice towards wee babes that cannot spellith correctily?” Flimshaw I say. But nay, I digress, there is nothing thou can do execptith to just powerith throughith.
The other thing that bothered me about going back to school was the plethora of “advice” that was given to me, be it in print, or on TV. “Do your best.” or my favorite, “Study! Study! Study!” Which, if you want to get technical about it, means, just read the stupid textbook until you have memorized all you need to know for the test and will subsequently forget afterwards. Come on. Admit it. How many of you really remember the Pythagorean theorem? That’s what I thought. And if you did remember it, when was the last time you applied it to something in real life?
But this “advice,” which consisted mainly of buzzwords and positivity, (which, thinking about it, is probably why I hate politics) served no purpose, and always left me wanting some “practical” advice about the coming year. Well, you are in luck young reader, because that is exactly what I’m going to give you.
To the high school student, I give you this advice. Weekends are for fun and weekdays are for school. Just get through it. It will eventually be over, and get to college, where you can happily manipulate your schedule for maximum time off while still maintaining “full-time student” status.
There, quick, succinct and truthful.
To the college student, I give you this advice. Remember, you pay colleges a ton of money, but they refuse to use this money on “your” butt. Seriously, bring your own toilet paper. You spend thousands a semester to attend classes, the least colleges could do is stock the restrooms with toilet paper that wasn’t a generic sandpaper substitute.
Also, dollar menus are an inexpensive source of food, and learn to play a guitar. Chicks dig it.
Chris Hamble is a freelance writer and humor columnist serving newspapers in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and is a lifelong Stillwater resident.