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» Hatrack River Forum » Archives » Landmark Threads » My landmark, my confession, and my choice (Page 2)

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Author Topic: My landmark, my confession, and my choice
JonnyNotSoBravo
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Lalo-

I had previously posted a response here that included a few insults that you had delivered over the past few months. I thought I had to do this because you seemed to truly think that you hadn't delivered any insults. Because your email was private and blocked, I had to post them instead of emailing them to you. That was wrong of me.

I had asked Val last night why she thought Nick had posted what he did about you never flinging insults. She didn't know. I asked her why you had asked me to produce even one instance when you knew that if I did I'd have to post it. She didn't know. I suppose you could have been baiting me, to make me and yourself look bad for all eternity in your landmark, or even just to start up an argument. What kind of Lalo landmark would it be without controversy?

What really changed my mind about editing this post, though, was not her comments, but the comments of a whole bunch of people following Val's and Nick's posts. I knew that a lot of these people really knew you because they had often posted right after your most controversial posts. Yet they were very positive and congenial. My tone obviously needed to be revised.

Thus, belatedly, I realized that the obvious does not have to be stated, yet I could still be supportive while perhaps giving constructive criticism.

Good luck, Eddie! There's a whole wide world of experiences out there. Go get 'em!

[ April 26, 2004, 10:35 PM: Message edited by: JonnyNotSoBravo ]

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Nick
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quote:
So this is a reality check; it contains some honesty you probably won't find as much here because Hatrackers are too nice.
Sounds like you have some grudge issues man. Seriously. Eddie hasn't been the nicest person to me no, that's true. But he doesn't deserve you coming in here on your high horse judging him as if you're better. Let go of the grudge. I did.
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Valentine014
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Jonny, I am very disappointed that you felt the need to put that up on Eddie's landmark. To be remembered in the archives for the rest of Hatrack's lifespan.

This post of his was to commemerate a mile stone and you felt the need to prove your point here, that Eddie has made a few insults?

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Nick
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And if he bothers you so much with his insults about... take Bush for example:
quote:
I'm actually rather bewildered why people are so intent on believing Bush was something remarkable after September 11. Exactly what did he do? A trained monkey would have known to declare war on Afghanistan for harboring Osama bin Laden.
I actually agree with that. But if Clinton was in office, would he have the spine to declare war? Knowing the right thing to do and doing it are completely separate things. There now, you see? It's not so hard to refute "insults" like that.
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dkw
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Well blast. Now I have to revise my image of you from mid-twenties but sometimes acts about ten years behind his age to teenager whos mostly incredibly mature. Way to shatter my worldview!

Seriously, congratulations on the college acceptances and good luck wherever you decide to go. If I were a fairly godmother and this was your christening party, my gift to you would be patience, with yourself and others. But its not, so take that as unsolicited advice. Your life is nowhere near over, and I have no doubt that you will have a meaningful impact on the world.

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Ben
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i have my doubts...E-Slice is kind of an ass.

i say the sweetest things.

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Jenny Gardener
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Lalo, why do your posts always make me sigh? You flatter me by calling me a natural beauty. Like I said, I was a late-bloomer, so sometimes I'm narcissistic about what my body has become. But I've been the ugly duckling, just as you have. As a result, I seldom see flaws in people's bodies. Like you remarked, the ugliness usually comes when you don't treat yourself well. A person with a bright eye, a smile, and who is taking care of their hair, clothes, and skin, comes across as lovely regardless of physical dimensions. The smile does it, mostly. Think of how much more beautiful a person is when she or he smiles. Make a habit to smile at yourself a lot, even if it starts out as a grimace. And always smile at other people.

I think I only started being "beautiful" when I stopped caring what other people thought of me, and stopped pandering to what other people wanted me to be. It's when I started climbing on roofs, and fingerpainting in the basement, and running around in summer rainstorms in nothing but a slip. This was in college, when I was nineteen. I smiled at everyone on the way to class, and I stopped to draw my breath in awe at the morning-glories someone had planted on their fence. I balanced on ledges and edges, and I stopped shaving my legs. And I started doing a little dance all my own, and living closer to the bone. To what brought me pleasure and joy, and also simplicity. Shrugging off social expectations freed me to discover who I was myself. And I found that the more confident I was in myself, the more charm I seemed to possess. People responded, and they wanted to be around me. I was labeled a "free spirit", and I'd gladly invite people to play with me.

I don't know if such things would work for you, but it may be worth trying to stop looking at yourself in the mirror so much and instead focus on looking into people's eyes or up into the blue, blue sky, or into the depths of a flower. Notice, touch, smell, taste, and listen. Don't be afraid to take pleasure in the little things that cross your path. Practice joy, and like all skills, it will come easier to you.

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Megachirops
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I think Lalo would find it very liberating to run around in only a slip.

-o-

"and living closer to the bone"

Funny. The only place I've ever heard this phrase before is in a John Mellencamp song. Is this a regional thing?

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Kama
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Heh. I think one day, I'll post my pic from high school, too. Was not the Kama you know and adore.
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Beren One Hand
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Two words: Not. Possible.
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Jeni
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I've spent many, many hours of my last three years here at Hatrack -- and I've found that if I come away from this experience with nothing else, the friends I made in the process will have made it all worthwhile.

And you, Eddie, have been one of the most constant of those friends. My best friend, even, at least for a time. Though lately we do not as often spend hour upon hour whining about our lives and making witty quips (well, one of us making witty quips, anyway), I'll never forget those long nights. You've helped me along in times when I needed it the most, whether by knocking some much needed sense into my head or just lending an open ear. If I never did before, I'm letting you know now that it was greatly appreciated. And, quite honestly, I'm honored to have been a person you trust to turn to as well.

I remember my shock upon learning you were fifteen. After the shock wore off, I was simply impressed. People have commented here how well written your posts are, and, well, they were darn near as good back then, too. Certainly you remember my prodding you to be open about your age -- this was, after all, a forum of people who had read and loved Ender's Game. I understand now, though, why you refused, and even agree. Despite what I'm sure you've heard from some others, I don't think you should feel at all guilty about not being entirely open. Even in a community as close as this one, no one should feel pressured to reveal more about their personal lives than they feel necessary. It's part of the beauty of taking part in a forum, being able to converse openly and yet anonymously.

Also, don't worry so much about college. The financials will work themselves out eventually, and the costs you've listed certainly won't be the costs you pay. People concern themselves too much about choosing the Right School, I think. What ends up mattering more is that you take advantage of whatever opportunities your school offers, take the initiative to try all sorts of new things, and, of course, be open to making new friends from all walks of life. Look into programs you may be interested in, what the student body is like, and think about whether you could be happy there for four years, but don't overstress. It is possible to transfer.

I suspect that beginning college, the next big step in your life, will help lift your mood. It makes sense to feel old, I think, nearing the end of your high school career, becoming an adult, and concluding the first huge stage in your life. Once you arrive at whatever college you decide to attend, I believe you'll see all of the new paths that are open to you, all sorts of different people you can become, all different ways to begin the rest of your life. There's still a lot of time left.

While you're busy with all of that, don't forget to keep up with things here. After all, I doubt there's anyone else able to provide me with as much quotable material as yourself, eh?

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Frisco
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Eddie, if you don't stop with the angst and melodrama, I'm going to post those pictures of your beautiful mug you sent me a few weeks ago.

Interesting landmark. It's a side of you I rarely see. Odd, because I've felt the same way. I was going to be the biggest thing since the digital watch--I was going to take the world by storm and force people to know who I was.

And I told myself that my attutide would never change. That I'd set my mind and become what my 17-yeal-old self wanted to be or die trying. I saw people who looked as if they had given up because life was too hard, and I vowed that I'd not go so easily. And yet I found myself changing.

I found that no matter how much space we place between "want" and "need", they're really synonyms.

Everything I "wanted" to do was just something I needed to do to to meet my, or someone else's, expectations. And at some point in the ensuing breakdown I found a beauty in simplicity.

Not that you'll definitely have any sort of life-altering epiphanies, but if you start resenting yourself for the changes you make rather than embrace the what you may or may not see as growth, next thing you know, you'll paint your hair and fingernails black and be sitting in a dark apartment listening to emo and complaining about The Man.

But what do I know? No more than anyone else. I'm just a 24 year old nobody who, for some reason, is sitting up drunk-off-his-arse at 3:30 in the morning posting at an internet forum. [Razz]

But I'm happy. And most of the time I talk to you, you seem to be, too.

And I should be thanking you for all those frantic IMs pleading for help on an essay. Codgers like me enjoy few things more than a chance to strut a little of our experience.

So, yeah. I'm going to pass out now. I'll IM you as the rest of what I was going to say puts itself into coherent sentences.

quote:
That Man is a Success
Who has lived well,
laughed often and loved much;
Who has gained the respect of intelligent men
and the love of children;
Who has filled his niche
and accomplished his task;
Who leaves the world better than he found it,
whether by improved poppy, a perfect poem,
or a rescued soul;
Who never lacked appreciation of earth's beauty
or failed to express it.
Who looked for the best in others
and gave the best he had.


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Kama
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It's good to know that at least Frisco is of age.

I can't understand why I was being set up with Lalo at certain other forum, though, with everyone knowing he was 6 years younger than me.

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pooka
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Lalo, I was actually really relieved to learn you are 18. I thought you were a bright 20 something who had blown the chance to go to college. (Because it seemed improbable to me that you wouldn't have expressed an opinion on college if you had gone- it wasn't ever conscious on my part.) I'm happy for you that you applied to colleges that weren't a sure bet like I did. You have a lot more confidence than I did at your age.

When I was about 23, my forehead changed and my cheekbones came in. It was the one thing I wanted to send back through a time loop to myself as a 14 year old: "You will get cheekbones someday". I am sorry for you that you can't tap into whatever keeps Johnny Depp eternally beautiful. But masculinity has its upside as well.

I suppose that part of the problem with America is the dreams. We don't have a king and so young men have that drive to rise in the order knowing no ceiling, only to be harnessed by the emasculating net of civilization.

I appreciate you exposing yourself for us (have I been in the OOC thread yet?) and while I'm sure we will remain "complements" in most debates, I'm glad to know you better.

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Ralphie
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It's kind of disappointing already knowing "the big secret." I got done reading the post going, "Okay, okay. So WHAT'S THE SECRET!?"

I would make an entirely uninspired post in my own words, but instead I'm going to echo LadyDove's words. You need input. You're going to get it in college. It will make you not only witness other perspectives, but understand their value. Go get it, and make with it what you can to be happy.

You know that I completely understand the 'once beautiful' thing. It's tough when other people don't get it, especially when you've lost it and lost all the perks that came with it. But, as Tom said, you learn to be happy despite not looking how you want to look, and you realize that it's beauty's nature to be transient. ALL people will lose their looks. I have to say, when I start looking at the whole instead of the parts, I realize I'm sort of fortunate to have taught myself the tools to deal with losing my looks at a young age.

I lost my looks as a teenager, and then they came back in my mid twenties. But I'll lose them again, and at that point I'll know that's just the nature of physical beauty, and I have a hell of a lot more to me than that.

You'll be fine. Just remember that the most important quality is kindness. Everything else will take away as much as it gives you. But kindness always remains constant.

quote:
I thought my life was over at seventeen, too. Heck, I'd already dropped out of college by then.

I'll be thirty next year, and I can't say that I feel like my life's even particularly started; I've come to feel like I'm on the cusp of finally being where I want to be.

Me, too! (Except that thing about being thirty. [Razz] )
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Mrs.M
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Lalo, I can really relate to what you wrote about beauty. Physical beauty came very easily to me in my teens and I have to work at it now, in my 20s. Still, I'm more beautiful now than I ever was then. Partly because I'm in love and loved in return, but mostly because I have a better understanding of beauty that I did in my teens. It has so much less to do with your features than you think.

There's a quote that I send to people to whom I'm giving fashion and beauty advice. It's gender specific, but it certainly applies to men, as well.

quote:
Character contributes to beauty. It fortifies a woman as her youth fades. A mode of conduct, a standard of courage, discipline, fortitude, and integrity can do a great deal to make a woman beautiful.
-Jacqueline Bisset

Incidentally, I wouldn't feel badly about not applying to Columbia - I probably wouldn't if I could go back and do it all over again. BTW, you're also the first Gentile person I've ever known who has applied to Brandeis.

I'd probably go to UCSB if I were you - everyone I know who went there loved it. And let me say this - prestige matters in the job market. Having Columbia on my resume has opened a lot of doors for me and I have never not gotten a job that I applied for.

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msquared
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Lalo

I have to bug you about one thing, and believe it or not Tom and I agree on this.

There is nothing wrong with a barbque, a good brat and some slaw. Or some corn on the cob.

I turned 40 last year. What have I done with my life? Not a whole lot except I have a wonderful wife, two great kids that drive me crazy. Maybe I set lower goals, so that I am not disappointed when I don't reach them. I don't know. Is my life perfect. Hell no, but I do know that it is ok to sit back and enjoy life one cold beverage at a time.

msquared

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Dagonee
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Lalo,

If/when you go to college, I've got one piece of advice that may be helpful: don't think of it as a transitional phase or something to get through so you can get on with your "real life." College is 4 years, more than a fifth of your current life, and should be undertaken for its own sake.

I made the mistake of treating college as merely an obstacle to get through before they would let me in law school, and missed out on a lot that way.

Dagonee

[ April 26, 2004, 12:24 PM: Message edited by: Dagonee ]

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Zalmoxis
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Edds:

Yeah, you messed up about Berkeley and Columbia. And why Santa Barbara as the only UC? You know you could've done better -- if not Cal, then UCLA or Davis, or heck, even Santa Cruz.

So you're tough and ambitious and the gambling sort. Do what I did. Find a good community college -- one that feeds a lot of students to the school that you want to go to -- move to that area and go there. Get excellent grades. Develop a relationship with the few faculty members that are good and whose endorsement would mean something [and who help keep the experience from being absolutely boring]. Be the big fish in a huge pond full of small fish. And transfer.

Sure you miss out on those first two years. But, at least for me, it was a small price to pay. Plus there's the upside of coming in as a junior with plenty of energy and confidence. Quite a few of my classmates at Cal had been ground down by the competition of the first two years.

In addition, because of the ridiculously low fees at a community college, I was able to reserve all my financial aid for the two years at Cal.

Not the route for everyone. It's a gamble. And you have to work it and stay focused. But if money is seriously an issue -- and none of the above schools really excite you -- then it's the way to go.

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jebus202
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quote:
We don't have a king and so young men have that drive to rise in the order knowing no ceiling, only to be harnessed by the emasculating net of civilization.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, England!
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Lalo
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It's official. I've been accepted to NYU, the school of my dreams -- and the school that costs twice the amount UCSB does.

I don't know how long I have until I'm forced to make a choice, but I can't have long. Maybe a week or two.

UCSB's cheap(er), a hell of a lot more relaxed, and in a perfect environment for relaxation -- plus, my dad's offered to buy a kayak cheap from his boss should I attend the place. It's fairly prestigious, though not so much as it could be. No extremely strong programs that I know of, though I may well be ignorant of them. I'd be happy there, and laid back -- unfortunately, after four years, I'd hold a degree with little prestige and no particularly powerful influence in guiding me into a prestigious graduate school.

NYU's perfect. Liberal, a party, and prestigious as hell. It's the hell away from my life in California, which, all things considered, is a plus. Ridiculously strong programs in everything I'm interested in, namely a program equipped with heavy dabbling in economics and business, maybe strengthened with a minor in English or literature. It's smack-dab in the middle of New York City, where I've always wanted to live. Very diverse environment, very famous school, a degree from there will carry me a damn long way. Not to mention, I can't help but suspect the education I'll receive will be that much better for the presence of prestigious authors and political figures serving as guest lecturers and professors. As for matriculation, I stand a powerful chance of entering Stern business school if I graduate from NYU's undergraduate program.

Heh, dammit, this is looking like a familiar theme. Happiness vs. accomplishment. If I go to UCSB, I'm effectively writing off any real hope of prestige in my undergraduate degree, as well as slimming my chances of a prestigious graduate degree (in relation to my chances from NYU). On the other hand, I'll have a fun-filled, relaxed four years of kayaking, learning to surf, and partying. The education I receive will be extremely good, if not Ivy-League level, but I may be relatively hobbled in my choices for graduate school should I attend this UC.

NYU can take me wherever I need to go. It's not Ivy League, but its damn as good for anything I can consider -- namely, writing, law, or business. Good chances of a graduate degree from Stern, as well as cultivation of powerful connections in what internships I can get on Wall Street and such. However, I seriously doubt I'll get much down time, which I generally need -- I've grown rather dependent on a laid-back lifestyle, and I'm not sure how happy I'd be in the high-pressure world of New York. On the other hand, I'd no doubt have that much brighter of a long run if I worked my ass off for the next four, eight years.

Dammit.

As for costs, well, NYU's twice the cost of UCSB. My mother's offered to pay half of my college tuition if I attend UCSB, but I'm not sure if she can or will do so if I attend an out-of-state school with a price tag of $40k per year. My father is fairly divided over what I should do, as am I -- he thinks I should attend UCSB for the price, but is also highly supportive of attending NYU, knowing the prestige of the degree and the long-held hope of mine of attending the place.

Help me. Please. I need counsel.

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mackillian
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The counseling you need is beyond our reach.
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Rappin' Ronnie Reagan
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The Olsen twins are going to NYU. That might influence your decision.

edit: Also, is there not any way you can get a scholarship or financial aid?

[ May 13, 2004, 01:52 AM: Message edited by: Rappin' Ronnie Reagan ]

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Lalo
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Yeah, ha ha ha, you crazy dog you. Beyond the whole I-want-to-sleep-with-half-the-chicks-here issue -- any ideas which college I should attend?

I should add, there's a strong possibility I'll be accepted to BC soon, though I doubt my chances. Just to complicate the issue.

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Lalo
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quote:
Thus, belatedly, I realized that the obvious does not have to be stated, yet I could still be supportive while perhaps giving constructive criticism.
Hmm. Jonny's edited his posts from aggressive to the passive-aggressive.

Guy, I don't understand what problem you have with me, but hiding it for the sake of letting this thread look pretty doesn't help. I remember the gist of your earlier posts -- insisting I delight in insults, for example, by citing my comment that Melville's a "hack" -- and I'll write out a reply for you tomorrow. You and I need to talk. I'm not particularly anxious for your approval or friendship, but I'm interested in knowing what I've done to spark your anger.

As far as my last post, I dislike it the more I read it. My problem lies not so much with my inevitability of brutish ugliness as it does with the concept of aging and irretrievable loss. But that issue, too, I'll address tomorrow.

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Suneun
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What's the feasibility of financial aid from NYU?
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Lalo
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None, apparently. I filed NYU among my primary six with the FAFSA, but the assistant director of admissions doesn't seem to have it on file. Which is more than possible -- I filed the damn thing late. Originally, I didn't expect to file it at all -- I intended to work next year to save up some sort of reserves cushion for the intense debt I'm about to enter. I still might, but after I made that decision, my mother offered to pay half my tuition on the ultimatum that I attend school next year -- I think she's afraid I'll do as my brother did and wind up in the military.

I may yet take next year off, but that would mean deferring admission -- and to do that, I need to pick a school. I can file for financial aid next year, though even that's shaky -- my mother just received a large promotion, but her longstanding debt over the costs of raising two boys alone on a low salary cripples her ability to help me pay for college. But her income may be high enough to screw me for financial aid.

Oy.

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Suneun
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Yuck.

I'd say not to be worried about the work that you might have at NYU. With any luck, you'll choose classes you love, and that work won't be as big a burden as it seems. (I'm saying that as I'm procrastinating for studying for a Friday exam. Hah)

I'd lean towards NYU. But you should sit down and actually plan out the numbers... the cost of living, the realistic amount of money you can make during the year and summers, the kinds of loans you can take... Stuff like that.

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Ryuko
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I know what you mean about that.. I filed my FAFSA last year, but I didn't this year, and financial aid assignments are supposedly in our mailboxes right now. I'm too terrified to look. [Frown]
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tt&t
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Uni in NZ. Yeeeeup.

[Razz]

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Annie
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Ryu - it's not too late to file your FAFSA now. You're not eligible for the primo top special stuff, but there's still plenty of federal stuff, even pell grants if you qualify, left at this point.
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Lalo
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Hmm. Princeton Review's takes on the two schools.

New York University

What Students Say About...

quote:
Student Body

New York is one of the most diverse cities in the world and that doesn’t exclude the student body of NYU. “Everyone here is very unique—some you love, some you hate.” Students are individualistic and passionate, “but somehow this manages to bond us all,” and students create close friendships, writes one senior musical theater major. “People are cool and unique,” adds a sophomore. Students are “tolerant and open-minded” and develop neighborly relationships. Students see their peers as adventurous and focused, which “makes for some really interesting people.” A junior English major advises, “If you’re looking for an accepting community, this is it.” If students have any complaints, it is that their peers are sometimes apathetic about campus life, and “as a result, school spirit is negligible.” Still, it’s unlikely that anyone looking for a diverse educational experience will easily find one that surpasses the one found at NYU.

quote:
Academics

Most colleges would be honored to have a single world-renowned academic department. Then again, most aren’t New York University. The programs at NYU’s Stern School of Business and the Tisch School of the Arts are among the best undergraduate programs in the country. NYU professors are “very intelligent, informed, and open-minded.” They are both “witty” and “well-prepared” and, considering that many of them live in the city, “tend to be very accessible,” though some students complain that, because of the university’s size, profs occasionally get “lost in the crowd.” Explains one student, “They are helpful in guiding students . . . to careers, internships, grad school programs, good restaurants, movies, hairdressers, and all the best deals that New York City has to offer.” Undergrads also appreciate the fact that professors are often the authors of the textbooks used in class. A senior broadcast journalism major writes that though he harbors “a lifelong hatred towards school and education, I’ve enjoyed learning here.” Students not interested in an academic culture need not apply since, according to one junior, “as a freshman, I began doing work people don’t touch until grad school.” Students get practice as the vociferous liberals they are when dealing with the administration, as they must be “persistent and demanding” in order to get things done. Students rave about online registration, though some complain that upper-level classes close too quickly, “often with the speed of Japan’s bullet train.”

quote:
Campus Life

“What do we do for fun?” a senior theater major asks. “We do New York.” While studies are undeniably important, NYU is located in the heart of downtown Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, within shouting distance of hundreds of restaurants, theaters, clubs, and other cultural opportunities. Guess what that means. “Life here is never dull or routine,” a junior politics major writes, and “no student can say that she is bored.” Students who wish to commune with nature spend time bike riding or inline skating in Central Park. Sports fans not only attend college basketball games on campus (the university’s Division III women’s basketball team is among the best in the nation), but can also choose from any of the city’s professional baseball, basketball, football, and hockey teams. Numerous museums and theaters provide more cultural stimulation than a student can possibly absorb in four years. The city’s extensive concert scene assures that both local and national acts can be found somewhere every night of the year. Though there are plenty of on-campus activities, students downplay their importance because of the numerous off-campus opportunities. The lack of a defined campus allows the school to become a part of the city, which, in turn, allows students to smoothly coexist with fellow city dwellers. The tension between towns and campuses that are evident at other universities are nowhere to be found at NYU. While on-campus housing is expensive, the “apartment-style dorms” are often looked upon wistfully by those who end up in almost-as-costly off-campus housing.

quote:
National Ratings

#14 Diverse Student Population
#1 Gay Community Accepted
#17 Great College Theater
#9 Intercollegiate Sports Unpopular or Nonexistent
#9 Nobody Plays Intramural Sports
#13 Lots of Hard Liquor
#18 Party Schools
#18 Reefer Madness
#17 Birkenstock-Wearing, Tree-Hugging, Clove-Smoking Vegetarians
#1 Great College Towns

University of California, Santa Barbara

What Students Say About...

quote:
Student Body

Students’ bodies might be a more apt description of what’s on a UCSBer’s mind a good portion of the time. “Hot chicks”? Got ‘em. “Good looking guys?” That too. This isn’t to say students at Santa Barbara don’t appreciate their peers’ “open-mindedness” and “easy-going, laid-back” personalities, but at UCSB a premium seems to be placed on being nice looking, too. Some students complain about the amount of navel gazing (prettily pierced, of course) that goes on at the U.: “They are largely selfish and unmotivated, except to get what they want,” writes a senior; while a junior notes that “many don’t want to go outside of their own bubble.” Despite some complaints about diversity (“white is over-represented,” notes a senior) and substance use (“lots of pot smokers/alcoholics”), many UCSB students remark that their fellow students are “the most open-minded anywhere.”

quote:
Academics

“I came to this school expecting beer, beaches, and babes,” writes a sophomore. “I was thrilled to find exceptional teachers; eager, intellectual students—and beer, beaches, and babes!” While many of its undergrads did choose this “beautiful,” “laid-back” state school for reasons not quite academic (“sun,” “beach,” “girls/guys,” and “location” seem to be the decisive factors), the University of California at Santa Barbara, with its “friendly people,” “strong liberal faculty” and excellent programs in the sciences and math—as well as in foreign languages, English, theater, and writing—make the school a good choice for the sociable student looking for a solid liberal arts education. Faculty gets high marks all around, and though there’s no avoiding a couple of duds once in a while, UCSB students seem to take all things in stride. A first-year explains: “Most of my professors have been interesting, informative, and inspiring. Of course, there have been a few who have lulled me to sleep better than any soft bed I have ever encountered. In general, though, they get an A+—even if I wasn’t reciprocated with the same grade.” Administrators, too, are well liked—one senior claims that they seem “even stonier than the students”—and work hard to provide resources and services for UCSB’s traditional and nontraditional students. (However, the school could stand to improve its academic counseling and computer facilities, say undergrads.) Basically, academic success at UCSB “all depends on your approach,” concludes a wise freshman. “If you are motivated and determined, you will get the classes you want and the information and resources you need. If you sit around at the beach and just expect to get into all your classes, you will be ‘watching the waves’ for a while.”

quote:
Campus Life

“UCSB is the greatest place on earth. Nowhere else in the country can you get a college experience like here. Isla Vista is like Disneyland for 20-year-olds.” High praise coming from southern California, the land of fun and sun. UCSB has something of a reputation for taking the good life seriously—it’s the “University of Casual Sex and Beer,” joke undergrads—and the bustling, upscale communities of Isla Vista and Santa Barbara only serve to heighten the experience. “It’s a very big party school,” writes a second-year, “similar to a Bourbon Street atmosphere.” Many students claim that they spend the first few years “trying to find a balance between academics and social life,” not an easy task when you’ve got the beach, surfing, hiking, barbecues, football, Frisbee golf, parties, and downtown S.B. (not to mention L.A. in an hour and a half) luring you away. Of course, not everyone is so enamored of the outdoorsy, party-hearty culture; some students make it their business to get away, to “Vegas, L.A., San Diego,” all within a day’s drive of campus. Still, it’s hard to complain when the only campus improvement one freshman could think of is “moving sidewalks with back massage specialists everywhere.”

quote:
National Ratings

#16 Class Discussions Rare
#19 Great College Newspaper
#17 Lots of Beer
#20 Party Schools
#17 Reefer Madness


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BannaOj
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If you were motivated, you could get what you need out of UCSB, to get you into any grad school in the country.

The question is are you motivated enough? It is a hard thing to keep through four years of your life. Where do you think you will get better grades and how will that balance with the letters of recommendation from the more prestigious profs.

How well do you handle cold? It is definitely a factor in New York. If you are miserable when it is cold and gloomy you could easily get fantastically depressed there over a winter. I speak from experience and Oklahoma winters aren't nearly as bad as New York or Chicago winters.

I guess another thing, is how much do you want to change from the person you are now. In four years a lot of change takes place in your own thoughts and views on the world. I would hazard that less would take place at UCSB than if you went to NYU, just because of the comfort zone factor. Californians are different from most of the rest of the country and you will have culture shock when you move. NYU is the environment that is going to stretch you more for sure. It will be a huge change though, and the question is how far can you stretch before you snap?

AJ

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Farmgirl
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My supervisor (who sits right here next to me) -- his son attends NYU. Last year was his first year. He is loving it.(He's a great performer) Getting ready to move to a new housing arrangement out on Roosevelt Island (? is that right -- boss on the phone right now so I can't confirm that).

So if you have questions about it, ask me and I'll ask him, etc.

I think you should just GO -- just do it! Don't worry about the money, etc until you get there. Sometimes there are opportunities that come up that require you to just step out (I would say step of faith, but I know you're not religious) and see how the chips fall when you get there.

Farmgirl

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celia60
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If you really, really want NYU, you can make it happen. What's the residency requirement? If you take a year, or heck the next six months working and living somewhere in the state, will that significantly reduce your tuition while allowing you to save up some money? Then you're problem will be trying to find something to do with no degree that will actually pay enough to live on and let you save up.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
There is no sweeter joy than that of knowing you can make others do what you want
I used to believe that this was true. I've since learned different. I know of a joy ten times that.

Lalo, I don't know if I was ever explicitly told how old you were, but I always knew. It's going to sound condescending, but I've considered you a project. You've got so much potential. I've been watching and hoping that you'll grow into it. I'm telling you dude, I've been where you are and I'm where I am now, and I'm so much better/faster/stronger and above all happier now than I was then. I'm going to give you some advice. Feel free to tell me to yank off, but I think that it could help.

I don't think that what I've learned in my journey from where you are to where I am can be taught. I think that they can only be lived and often suffered through. I'm going to try to give some signposts that I think would have been helpful for me.

Life isn't a race or a contest or anything like that. It's a process. If you approach everything with an eye towards some goal in the future, you're never going to taste the joy and beauty in every single moment (even the really crappy ones) that you are living. The future comes in to it, no doubt (I'm as invested in changing the world as you), but as an aid to the present that helps give it structure, not as a replacement for it.

Beauty, like love or joy or meaning or some many other things, is about 10% about what's outside. You said it yourself, you're in externally one of the better situations you've found yourself in. The lie in our culture is that the external determines the "goodness" of your life. People living in dirt poor third world countries have more joy in their lives than many Americans do. It's about who you are, not, except in cases of serious deprivation, what you have. A person who is capable of joy can, and will, find happiness living in a mud hut. One without this capacity will hate life in a gold palace.

Most people's opinions are worth very little. You can get most people to like you or even give you what they call love by being attractive, funny, powerful, wealthy, etc. This type of regard is, of itself, barely worth having. It can at times be a useful tool, but it has little to say about your true worth. Trust me, you can get very tired of being an object of worship. After a while, you can grow to despair of being the funniest guy in the room.

There are people who see deeper than this. THey are few, but precious. Their respect is worth more than all the adulation in the world. When such as these know you, truely and deep down, in all your strong points and weaknesses, and find you worthy, this is something to find confidence in. This is yours to carry around with you through whatever the rest of the world thinks, even when you are no longer strong or young or beautiful.

These type of people don't glorify you because you are strong, nor do they hate or look down on you because you are weak. It is the total picture than earns their regard. When you have it, instead of being over them or them over you, you are on the same level. It's from there that you can really build things. It's in building things or in feeding them and seeing them grow, that it one of the greatest opportunities for joy.

Chief of importance here is to be such a person and to honestly be able to respect yourself. If you do, the rest will come.

WIth you Eddie, I always am afraid that you mistake weakness for strength. The need to have power over other people, to force them to see as you do, is weakness. If people can or have to be forced, their agreement is not worth having. Anger is usually a manifestation of fear and not something to be proud of, but rather something to overcome. Two of the strongest things I person can do is to admit that they don't know things, that they doubt what they think they know and to acknowledge that other people can disagree with them, even hold opposite views, and not be either wrong or supid/evil/deceived or whatever. Confidence is when you can admit your weaknesses and prize the strength of others, not when you deceive yourself into think you have no weaknesses and believe that all who don't agree with you are automatically wrong.

My advice is to always try to recognize when you are taking the easy path. Anger is easy, taking power from a situation is easy, seeing only the bad in people who disagree with you is easy. Eden's a dream, and a lying one at that. Growth, and believe it or not joy, comes from taking the hard way. Life is the meaning of life, but it only takes on this meaning if you struggle.

Ehhh...maybe I'm talking about of my rear here. Again, disregard anything you want to. I felt that saying this was important. I would love to see you develop into the person that I think you can be. I've seen too many people betray the light they carry because they bought into the stupid way the world seems to work.

[ May 13, 2004, 11:23 AM: Message edited by: MrSquicky ]

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Risuena
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quote:
If I go to UCSB, I'm effectively writing off any real hope of prestige in my undergraduate degree, as well as slimming my chances of a prestigious graduate degree (in relation to my chances from NYU).
First of all, prestige in your undergrad is not that important, particularly if you know you're going to go to graduate school. If you do decide to go to UCSB, it won't prevent you from getting into any grad school as long as you've got the grades to back it up.

If NYU is your dream school but you can't afford it, would it be possible to go somewhere else for a year or two and then transfer? That way you wouldn't rack up as much debt and you'd have the possibility of finding more financial aid.

And I have to say this because I learned it the hard way (and it's sounds like you're trying to follow in my footsteps) - always file the FAFSA and always file it as early as possible. Often schools will only give merit-based aid to people who filed the FAFSA. So file it even if you don't think you'll qualify for need-based aid.

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celia60
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quote:
it won't prevent you from getting into any grad school as long as you've got the grades to back it up.

True but incomplete. My 4.0 from a not-so prestigious university did get me into every school I applied to. It got me absolutely nothing in terms of funding, though. Just as with his current undergraduate situation, he could end up with an offer he can't take because he isn't in a position to afford it.
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Zalmoxis
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I agree with Celia.

And would add something that Eddie mentioned:

Prestigious schools have more prestigious, better internships and/or involvement in on-campus research -- and those can make a huge difference in opening up the door to career or grad school opportunities.

I've compared the internship/job opportunity book of UC Berkeley with the local Cal State. There's no comparison.

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saxon75
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It's definitely a trade-off. I went to a pretty prestigious school for undergrad, and while all of my friends got jobs pretty easily, many of us got turned away from good grad schools. If I had gone to an easier school and gotten a 4.0 I might be at MIT or Cal Tech for my Master's. As things are I have a really nice undergrad degree and am going to Cal State Long Beach for my Master's. ::shrug::
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Zalmoxis
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That's a good point, sax.

It all depends on how competitive you're going to be at the presitigious school. My fear for Eddie is that he might be tempted to let things slide a bit at UCSB.

Of course, if that's true then I guess my community college idea above might not work for him either. To make that work you have to be the top of your class, loved by all your profs and get straight A's.

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Alexa
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quote:
serving no purpose but consumption of the resources of the world and reproduction with another historically worthless bitch
What is the cause of such animosity towards women?
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Nick
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Maybe he just got screwed over by some woman, like I just did. I think that phrase is a rather fitting description of my ex, and might of his ex as well. Of course, I could be totally wrong about Eddie. [Dont Know]
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advice for robots
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My guess is that Eddie will be a pastor in 5 years.

Of course, I've been known to be wrong. [Smile]

[ May 13, 2004, 03:07 PM: Message edited by: advice for robots ]

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dkw
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Not unless he chooses a denomination with a lot shorter candidacy process than average. [Wink]
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katharina
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My guess is he'll be Mormon and on a mission in four.
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advice for robots
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Yep, that's doable.
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monteverdi
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Lalo, EWS,

My fresh tulip! Stretching your prestigious, fragile, neck out only to find yourself surrounded by acres of tulips! Reds, Yellows, Purples, Whites, all spelling out: WELCOME TO TALAHASEE, if anyone notices while walking on the promenade.

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Frisco
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Weird.

7 years ago about this time, I was sticking out my neck. I knew I needed to take a year off before college, but I was worried that Columbia wouldn't give me such a nice financial aid package as they had. So, off I went to NYC instead of staying close to home and going to K-State.

A year later, I dropped out and moved to Tallahassee. I can still picture the welcome flowers.

Will Little Eddie follow Big Eddie's path?

Perhaps we need another monteverde prophesy.

(actually, as monteverde's my grandmother's maiden name, I'm 1/4 monteverde. Maybe I should try my hand at prophesy.)

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Lalo
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I'm nowhere near as capable as Eddie -- if he dropped out when he knew he wasn't ready to commit to another four years of education, I certainly won't be able to perform, much less thrive in college.

I wrote this post in my LJ earlier, and the more I think on it, the more I'm enjoying the prospect. I have one hell of a love affair with the sea. Thoughts?

[I intentionally don't reply to posts like Squick's (or Jeni's or Eddie's or anyone else's) in this thread, since there's no possible way I could do it any sort of justice -- nor could I make even a pretense at addressing the number without impossible redundancy and/or inanity. Therefore, when I respond, I do so in general terms, so as to not show favoritism and reveal Squick as one of the best damn people I've had the pleasure to know. I'm above that.]

quote:
For those who don't follow my life events, I've been accepted to both NYU and UCSB (and waitlisted by BC, but that's a ridiculously unlikely shot). I'm torn between the two. NYU's prestigious, absolutely brilliant in any field I could possibly go into (namely English, literature, economics, business, political science, et. all), and in the middle of goddamn New York City. If I'm ever to accomplish anything with my life, NYU on my resume will almost certainly be a big boost in my attaining its achievement -- not only for the college's prestige, but also for the obscene number of connections I can make in NYC what with internships at Wall Street or hookers in Time Square. The latter will particularly help me should I ever go out to DC -- I'll need experience with whores if I'm to deal with Republicans. But yeah, NYU's everything I could want in a university. Unfortunately, it's not only impossibly expensive ($40k per year), it's also ridiculously high-pressure, or so I hear -- and I don't do well under pressure. Well, granted, I don't generally operate at all except under pressure, but I'm also fairly miserable when I'm forced to attain more with my life than fun and games -- add this to my general angsty gotta-do-something-with-my-life-before-I-shuffle-off-this-mortal-coil sentiment, and you got one confused-ass Mexican gringo.

UCSB's benefits aren't quite the polar opposite of NYU's perks, but they're not far from it. Of course UCSB's very prestigious in its own right, and half the cost of NYU (at a current $20k, though with probable cost increases in the future thanks to Ahnuld's education budget cuts) but it has all of, what, three Nobel laureates to boast of? Granted, I may stand a strong chance of transferring to Berkeley after two years, but then I'd just have the same problem then as I do now -- a choice between a difficult but powerful university and a laid-back, easygoing college. I don't intend to demean UCSB -- it really is excellent -- but it's not in the same tier as Berkeley or NYU.

But it's also fun. A ridiculous amount of fun. If I go there, I'll be right next to the beach, and I have a standing offer from my father out in Redlands to buy a kayak from his boss for cheap, should I choose to attend the place. Don't ask me why a guy in Redlands would have a kayak. But damn. UCSB's one hell of a four-year party. Isla Vista is populated by the most gorgeous women I've ever seen. I can learn to surf. I can take lonely romantic moonlit walks along the beach. I can make love on the moonlit beach. I can kayak out alone in the moonlight. There's a whole crapload of things I can do regarding moonlight and that beach should I choose to go to the damn place.

But do I want to? UCSB's not shameful, at all, but it won't draw the admiration an NYU degree would. There are no connections to be made, save those to rich blonde daddy's girls -- while they'll no doubt be entertaining while they last, I should at least pretend to think of the long-term ramifications of my B.A. For example, if I go to NYU, I have a ridiculously strong chance of making it into Stern business school, one of the, what is it, top ten business schools in the country? Just ridiculous. It's an important consideration to take into account -- but then, am I even going to have a business career? The only skill I'm half-talented in is writing, and even then, I'm not Melville reborn. NYU's got strong programs for that, too, of course -- and I could always apply for law school upon graduating NYU undergrad with a strong chance of acceptance thanks to my alma mater -- but, eh. I've no idea what I want to do with my life.

Increasingly, I find myself dreaming of deferring admission. I of course stand to risk what financial aid my mother's willing to offer me, but then, I'm not her puppet. She hasn't been my mother and I haven't been her son for years -- if she wants to believe she's a good person by paying for whatever percentage of my college tuition, I'm fine with it, but I'm nowhere near delusional enough to believe she's paying for my sake over her own. I need her money, but not at the cost of my pride and autonomy -- worse comes to worst, I'll shoulder the burden myself.

No. The more I think about it, the more I realize I don't know what I want to do with my life. I've no idea what I'm good at, and even less knowledge of what I enjoy. I need to experience life before I train for a professional career for it. I risk god knows how many thousands of dollars if I train for a profession I come to hate. No. I can't gamble. I'll register at both universities, and defer admission at both -- one year from today, I'll choose whichever one is more appropriate for me as befits my newfound experience.

I have a standing fantasy of reliving Melville's life. The chance of commercial whaling is of course beyond me -- or is it? -- but there's no reason why I can't take on a job as a fisherman for a season. Heh, at least not beyond my impossible seasickness -- but that'll go away as I gain my sea legs. I can extend my summer bike tour, and maybe tap DC and run a quick detour through the South to hit New Orleans and Pearce and etceteras. I can visit New Zealand, maybe -- maybe work my way there on a freighter or something.

Hmm. I'm a strong young man, I shouldn't have too much trouble getting employment as manual labor. And if I get a boss who's willing to tolerate my initial seasickness for two weeks, I may yet get a chance to live that dream.

Of course, heh, this takes away from my just-ended dream job of a counter man at Subway -- and I do so hate to take away from the glamour of my resume. Heh. I can do all the romantic crap I've wanted to do in this coming year. Why not? I have no standing commitments. I have nobody worth staying for, nor any responsibilities I'd leave unfulfilled. I have so little time and so much less youth -- why not live life to its fullest while I have the chance? I doubt I'll make much money, but then, this isn't about money. This is about getting horribly sick on a boat. This is about exploration of the wide world, come hell and high water. This is about giving my life a shot at petty romance before it settles into the tired rhythm of sitcoms and car repair that so characterizes and caricaturizes modern American life. This is about knowing happiness and discovering satisfaction. This is about what remnants of my soul I haven't yet sold.

Goddammit. This is about what few high points in my life I'll ever have.

I need to know what I can do before I decide who I'll become. I need money for college in any case -- no job I'm experienced for will pay much, but it'll pay something. And the money's secondary, anyway, to the importance of life experience in my underlived universe.

Damn. So am I decided? Am I going to defer admission and become a fisherman, of all possible jobs? There's any number of easier jobs available I can think of offhand, but none with the excitement or romance of the sea -- goddamn, I must read Melville too much. Why am I so in love with this idea? I'm a terrible seaman, all dirty jokes aside. I get sick in goddamn powerboat cruises around a bay. And I'll go stir-crazy on a tiny boat with nowhere to go and less to do, between my no doubt to-be-constant barfing periods. But heh. Jesus. It's a must. I'll do it.

This means travelling light. This means I can't have my computer, nor anything of actual value -- I'll be forced to live on essentially the same provisions I have for my bike trip. Somewhere to sleep, clothes to wear, a journal, and books -- but no television but that provided by someone else. No Internet. No car. Probably rare meals but those I filch from the catches. Will I have enough money to rent an apartment? Will I do this at all? The more I think about it, the crazier it becomes -- heh. Good.

Let's test my mettle.


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