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Home Schooling by Ray Printer Friendly

Classes have started back up, which means I’m a full-time student once again. Not worth writing about, really, but I’m sure I’ll be bitching and moaning about it in the near future, anyway. Most of my classes are online this semester, so we’ll see how that all works out. So far, so good, but it’s only the first day. It’s kind of strange doing the online thing, because the teachers send you a link and you follow it to a “meeting.” Once you get to the proper web page, you sit there and listen to them talk. Sometimes, there will be a picture of them in the corner, and other times the screen will show you what they see on their computer monitor. They record these sessions so that I don’t even have to attend really—I just have to log on and listen to the lecture at my leisure. Although, really, I like the idea of sitting around in my underwear and listening to some stranger tell me about web page design.

Like I said—not too exciting.

I started writing this post on Tuesday, but then stopped because it was time to start an online session, and because I take this shit seriously, I gave it my undivided attention. I’m resuming on Thursday. Twelve noon, to be exact. I have one class that I take in a physical classroom. It’s a computer class that runs from noon to 2:40, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Now you may be wondering, if I take this shit as seriously as I say I do, and if I’m supposed to be in class right now, why the hell am I at home writing this post. Ha ha ha ha—I’m glad you asked. I carry with me a curse. I call it “the first week curse,” and the long and short of it is this: I cannot, and I mean, cannot get to my classes when I’m supposed to my first week of school. Basically, it means that the first impression my teachers get of me is a bad one.

Last semester, it was a flat tire. The guy said it would be fixed in plenty of time, and I was fool enough to believe him. This was actually followed by all that bullshit with my back self-destructing, so I got to miss a whole lot more class, as well. This worked out well, because even though I got to spend the entire semester busting my ass, dedicating hours and hours of studying through a haze of hydrocodone and working double hard to maintain, it still looked like I was a slacker.

This semester, I was determined to attend every class. Not only is it a subject that I really enjoy, but I also like the teacher. Did, anyway—we’ll have to see how it goes when I go back next week, especially considering that the majority of our orientation class period was spent discussing how the most important thing to do for this class is to show up!

How anal am I about this? Last night, I gathered my school stuff together, and put it in a pile by the door. I was doing laundry, so I put the clothes that I was going to wear in a neat little pile, too. This isn’t all that difficult, considering that most of my wardrobe consists of shorts and t-shirts, but I made sure that I had clean stuff to wear. I woke up early this morning, planning on getting to class a half-hour early, because the teacher had mentioned that he has written professionally, and I was curious to see what he had written.

At twenty after eleven this morning, I was showered, dressed, books in hand, and ready to go to class. I reached into the little tray where I keep my car keys. Not there.

I put my books down and walked over to my shelf—sometimes, if I’m in a hurry, I’ll put my keys up there. Not this time. Hm.

Okay, last night, I brought in groceries, perhaps I put my keys somewhere in the kitchen. I checked on top of the refrigerator, on every counter, in the pantry, and because I’m neurotic, I even checked in the vegetable drawer, just in case. Not there.

I went through the pockets of all the pants I had washed last night. I searched through the washer and the drier. I looked under the bed, even though there’s absolutely no reason they would have been there. I checked behind the couch, under the couch, behind the TV. I searched my desk, under my desk, behind my desk, and around my desk.

I don’t mind telling you that by this point, I was flipping out. Couch cushions scattered across the living room floor, laundry strewn about the entire house, books tipped off shelves—it looked like a robbery.

All the while, I’m calling my princess frantically, hoping that she knows where my keys are. The time coincides with when she takes her school kids to lunch, though, so I couldn’t reach her in her classroom. I called her cell, not expecting her to pick up—the ringer on her phone is turned on approximately ½% of the time. She turns it off for any reason whatsoever, it’s like three months before she turns it on again.

With fifteen minutes left until class starts, I break down and email my teacher, explaining to him that I can’t get to class because I don’t have my keys. I outline for him what I think happened, and assure him that this will not happen again. Then, I continue my search.

At 11:59, I finally reached my princess in her classroom. “How are you?” She asked.

“Not good—I can’t find my keys. Have you seen them?”

“No. I don’t know where they would be.”

“You didn’t accidentally grab them?”

“No. Let me check, though.” I heard her walk away from the phone, I heard her messing around, and then I heard, very softly, “Oh…there they are.”

She got back on the line and said, “I’m sorry—I have them. I have all the keys.”

I sigh, because I can’t think of anything else to say.

“When does class start?”

“Right now.”

“Would it be worth me coming home, or would it be too late by the time you got there?”

“It’d be too late.”

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay—I understand that you want me to fail.”

“That’s not true.”

“I know. Okay, I’ll talk to you later.”

So that’s what I’m doing here. I’m stranded. And pissed off.

The most infuriating part is that she was trying to be nice to me. See, we have two cars that we drive. One is a 2002 Saturn that we bought when we first moved here, named Eddie. The other is an old Cadillac that’s on loan from Trey. I call that one The Big Blue Beast. He got it awhile back when he was originally planning on moving to Ft. Worth. He didn’t end up moving at that time, and was kind enough to let me use it for school until he did eventually move. He lives in Ft. Worth now, and I still have his car. Why? I honestly don’t know, but I’m not complaining.

Point is, my princess took the Caddy to work this morning so I would be able to drive the smaller Saturn to the college campus. I generally take the Caddy to school, but she was doing this to be nice, see, so I wouldn’t have to add the worry of maneuvering a gigantic vehicle around the campus parking lot to my trepidation of going back to school. In the midst of grabbing her various keys for work—school keys, Caddy keys, apartment keys—she somehow managed to grab my set. It should be mentioned here that this is probably my fault. While her keys will end up anywhere from the closet to the laundry room to the floor, almost under the couch, mine are always in the exact same place: the little bowl directly by the front door. I put them here because it makes them easy to find. Perhaps too easy, as demonstrated by the fact that while she was going to work this morning, she ended up with them. So probably I should just shut up and accept responsibility, right?

When a favor goes wrong, that’s the worst. Because you can’t even get mad about it without seeming like a complete asshole. Thanks for trying to help me, but piss off! See? Sounds mean.

Speaking of mean, this post was originally supposed to be about how a fat lady stepped on me while I was trying to buy an Algebra book. That story would have been loads more entertaining, but I had to vent. I’m assuming my princess will show up with drugs and prostitutes as a peace offering, but just in case, I had to let off some steam so I can be social when she gets home. I’ve heard that the key to a successful marriage is suppressing your feelings, but I prefer to spew mine out on unsuspecting, innocent bystanders.

You know—you.

posted 1/17/08


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