To Learn About the Stars

1. What year are you? (1st year of college, high school senior, returning adult student, etc.)

I’m not really sure what “year” I am; my path towards an associates degree has wound through a dark forest of part-time jobs and piece-meal credit hours.  By my calculations, this should be my last semester, accepting I’m able to snag a math class during the summer.

2. What is your life’s ambition? (biology degree, stay-at-home parent, undecided, etc.)

My ambitions transcend the American plantation so it’s hard to define myself in terms of a “career”.  “Oh..lookah me, massa..I’m a gunna be a cotton pickah…” That is to say – I’ll probably wind up getting a useless degree in the humanities.  Probably philosophy.  Or worse, I might major in “classics” and spend my time trying to impress the ladies with snippets of Latin…which wont work because the ladies want guys with jobs.  (As a side note, what does that say about the state of Western Civilization?  Those who read Homer, Horace, or Plato will have to do so in public libraries and go back to their box under the bridge when they’re done).  But I don’t want to end on a cynical note, so a modest organic farm, a yard full of kids (and dogs), a beautiful wife, a front-porch with a view of the sunset, maybe I can manage to publish a novel or two…I think that’s my ambition.  And despite the state of the modern West, it doesn’t seem unobtainable.

(Did I mention I’d like to build a silo-sized telescope and teach my as-of-yet hypothetical children about the stars?  This class will come in handy for that, I’m sure).

3. Why are you taking this class? (to fulfill a science requirement, just interested in astronomy, GI bill, etc.)

Ten long years in the Navy, as a photographer, earned me just enough GI Bill benefits to cover an associates degree.  I hear President Obama’s trying to push through a bill giving one to students for free.  Whatever the merits of that plan (or, …er… non-merits)… if I had to spend 10 years to get mine, everyone should!  Anything free gets so saturated in society it becomes worthless.

But why am I taking *this* class and not some other science (like physics or chemistry)?  Maybe it’s because it’s being offered in — (which is more convenient for me)?  Or maybe it’s because my head has been in the clouds for so long, I feel more at home up there and might get a better grade in the end?

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2 Responses to To Learn About the Stars

  1. Alan J. Perrick says:

    But I don’t want to end on a cynical note

    Very good, “Shotgun,” as you can’t out-Diogenes Diogenes. Leave that sort of asceticism for the pagans!

  2. anonymous says:

    In Illinois, the map and pell grants together cover more than the cost of most community colleges. In my case, each semester I had several hundred dollars left over, which they mailed to me in check form. In other words, I actually got PAID to go to community college.

    Now, I did not abuse this generosity, and I worked hard and continued on to eventually get a BS, an MS, and soon a PhD. (These were all far from free, obviously.) However, I hear that some people take advantage of the system by enrolling in community college, getting their refund check, and then dropping their classes. It’s a good way for them to get $800 or so without doing any actual work.

    I’m not sure why I’m telling you this. It’s not to make you feel bad, although no doubt that will be one of the consequences. I guess I just thought you might appreciate the twistedness of it.


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