Sep 20, 2010

Notes on Fall in Davis

Hello, my friends. I've been noticing the undergrads are starting to appear around Davis, as classes for the fall quarter are starting soon. I have to admit that I automatically look down my nose at almost all of them except the ones that I know personally, the girls that babysit my kids, for example. (Sidebar: Dang, these hippie Coop whole wheat hempy graham crackers taste hecka like molasses. Feh.)

So, yesterday, for example, I was out and about thinking bad thoughts about the undergrads in Target, the ones buying torch lamps and mini-fridges and "storage solutions." I realize that I am projecting a bit - I am unforgiving to them because I am still pretty ruthless when it comes to my estimation of my former self. You know, that collegiate self who'd make me shrivel to see a video tape of her, the way you cringe when you hear your own voice on an answering machine. That self who was really, really trying to figure out how to Be an Adult and Have Fun simultaneously. Maybe I'm jealous of College Me because that girl got to sit around in the Music Library until lunchtime and then go eat on the grass while watching attractive young people walk around campus. Or I'm jealous of how College Me got challenged more often to step outside her social comfort zone by going to weird artsy parties instead of chatting endlessly one-on-one with friends. College Me also got to live in the Coops and with friends in cool shared housing, which was really very fun; however, I'm way too far past that now -- past my ability to live in a kitchen that smells like cumin and Simple Green at all times, past my ability to sit on a couch that has major cooties (other than Carmen's) and beyond the me who could have face-time with all those people at 9 in the morning.

So, in the name of fairness, I'm going to also articulate some awesome things about College Me. I think CM took full advantage of what Cal had to offer. I'm proud of her for sticking around in African Drumming class for several semesters even though frankly she found the crowd there intimidating. She took Indonesian Gamelan, Tennis, Printmaking, French, Music Theory, Welsh Mythology, Math, Russian, Physics, Modern Dance (shout out to abh), Ballet (shout out to May), Italian, Victorian Children's Literature, Ceramic Sculpture, Tae Kwon Do, and all kinds of other stuff. I'm proud that she kept auditioning for various a Capella groups even though it never really panned out (sorry, Anna), and that she sang choral stuff for two years with no prior experience. Oh, and the whole Architecture curriculum, too; I almost forgot about that.

Now, this may just prove that CM was a privileged, soft dilettante. True. But she totally carpediemed those college years. And you know what else? This came up in a conversation with Sara the other day -- she was able to really use that time to learn for learning's sake. That concept had its downside, too, given how much trouble she had channeling her collegiate energy into a fulfilling job after college. But being excited simply to learn new things is a gift. I think a lot of her friends had that gift, too, even the ones who didn't have the luxury of messing around so much with things outside their majors.

So, basically, rock on you silly Davis undergrads! Go study basket weaving. Carry on with your Contact Improv. Cruise around on your bikes with no helmet while texting (no, wait, stop doing that, please). I may still look down my nose at you, but it's only 'cause I'm jealous..

Update 8:40pm -- How did I forget about yoga? Tomorrow, then.


Blogger lil miss dubin opined...

I signed up for African drumming figuring if you could do it, I could do it. It turns out that was an incorrect assumption.

BTW, I often feel like I could have gotten ahead at my career if I had figured out journalism was my thing in college and done some career-advancement-type stuff like write for the Daily Cal. But thank heaven I didn't, because that was the last time in life I just got to learn for its own sake, which is one way to know you're really alive, if you ask me.

BTW, CM had inferior hair and no poise or self respect when it came to dating and also was a hypochondriac, but overall she ruled. I'm pretty jealous of her.

10:32 PM  

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