Eighteen Versus Twenty-Four

I’m almost finished with my first class of trade school. I even finished the final project already. Despite my anxiety about the next course, I am glad this first one is almost over. Though, I’m disappointed I genuinely struggled with the “Student Success” half of it. Of course, I attended trade school to avoid such classes, but four weeks is better than two years of them.

One thing I hate my high school for is making life sound so black and white. They pushed the idea everyone who is successful goes to college, that there’s no other way, that there’s no excuse not to go, that community college is a waste (it was referred to as “the 13th grade”), and that all incoming college students were our age. What a load of trash. And I say that with zero fondness for community college.

I’m still getting over the feeling of being an “older” student, but I must admit I think I’m doing well because I’m not 18 years old in college. While I went to college for bad reasons to begin with (family pressure), there was more to it than that. I was also burned out from 14 years of mandatory schooling since the age of 5. Birth, if you count daycare, preschool, and head start. I didn’t want to go to any school anymore! I wanted to work, make some money, and go to college later! Obviously, that plan fell apart and I despise retail with an intensity that matches the sun’s, but I don’t regret it. I had more freedom as an uneducated part-time retail worker than as a jobless college student. If I had the personality for retail to be a lifelong career, I’d go for it and never have chosen to return to school. Unfortunately, being an introvert means that’s the equivalent of hell.

Having some years off of school let me have some experiences I couldn’t do while in school. And while not all of them were pleasant, it was still a nice, long break from being confined to one place for nine hours. It’s insanely ironic how being surrounded by hundreds of people for over a decade of your life can turn you into a misanthrope. I think my preschool self who was happier building blocks alone than being forced to “make friends” was on to something.

Experiencing something besides school (and bullying) let me feel more motivated and focused when I returned to school. Sure, I still have my grievances. I hate having to wake up at 6 AM and I wish I could’ve stayed with the first group of classmates I started with. But unlike my mandatory school days, schoolwork is not my life. It’s part of it, but I’m not forced to make it all of it. Again, the irony is insane. I get my schoolwork out of the way as quickly (and meticulously) as I can, to the point I will work through lunch to finish it. High school and under? Classwork and schoolwork was a battle to get me to finish if I wasn’t interested in the subject. I know some people do well under pressure, but I think I’m proving time and again I’m not one of them. It seems I do well when the pressure is off. That, and when I feel what I’m doing is worth my while. I still remember almost nothing I learned in high school, and what I do remember is limited to the Italian and French classes I took.

So, I don’t mind being a “non-traditional” student, as it’s called. I’m actually glad I can pay for my own schooling. It means no one needs to keep tabs on it besides me. Want to know my grades? None of your business!

Maturity? Not In This House!

Sometimes, it feels like no one in this house ever left high school. My relatives love to gossip about and judge other people either on the phone or behind their backs. You’d expect such behavior from someone my age, not three men in middle and late adulthood. Yet it almost seems like a competition in this household.

I know everyone makes snap judgments from time to time – I’m no exception – but gossiping and shots get tiresome after a while, and it makes wish some people knew the expression “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Of course, everyone does something worthy of criticism every now and then, but that’s not what the problem is in this house. It’s mean-spiritedness and nothing more.

Ironically, my family then wonders why I prefer not to tell them anything instead of opening up to them. Why should I? Nobody wants to talk to someone who they know has a habit of talking about others behind their backs. You can’t throw judgments left and right, yet wonder why no one confided in or trusts you. And, of course, the hypocrisy is when someone does the same behavior to them, they get upset.

I guess all things considered, it’s really a part of human nature, but it’s no less annoying.

Materialism?

Going by dictionary definition, being materialistic means:

  1. excessively concerned with material possessions; money-oriented.

I don’t think that sounds like me. However, sometimes, I do feel materialistic. When I have days where I feel like my mind is a battlefield, I try to keep myself going by remembering things I have to look forward to, but the first thing that pops into my mind are material things. Even my list of little things to live for consists mostly of material things, and nearly half of the things on my bucket list require money as well.

Right now, what I’m looking forward to is getting an iPad Air in April. If things go well, it should happen. It’s not all I have going for me, but it’s all I can think of when worse becomes worst and I’m ready to punt myself out a window. An iPad is something I’ve wanted since my second high school began giving them to students in 2012. I have to admit it’s sort of a revenge thing. Well, not revenge, but my school gave out the iPad 2 with restrictions placed that made the darn thing worthless for out of school entertainment (good grades equaled the privilege to take them home). If I got an iPad Air, not only would I have the better device, but it’d be mine and mine alone. Sort like childish teasing. “Nyah, nyah! My iPad’s better than yours and you can’t have it!” Heh. Just thinking about that makes me laugh a bit.

Of course, if I don’t get it, I’m not going to end it all, but I will be disappointed. Not because I won’t be able to laugh at my old school, but because it is something I genuinely want for myself. Basically, it feels like something I’ve earned just for making it to that point.

I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. On one hand, as I said, it is something that keeps me going and I am buying it myself. On the other hand, I don’t like that I seem to be kept going only by material things. Then again, I guess the same could be said about living for anything or anyone besides one’s self. I know it’s a common thing for parents to say they can’t live without their children. While the loss of a child is a pain I’ll never know (and do not want to), I still don’t like the idea of being ready to kill my own self over someone else, regardless of my relation to that person.

But a materialistic person doesn’t necessarily live for possessions, correct? They will do nearly, if not absolutely, anything to get money or material, but they don’t live for it. A materialistic person would do whatever possible to get back something that was lost than settle for disappointment and move on, I’d think. Or maybe that is also living for materials. Hmm. Maybe I’m over-thinking again.

In any case, I think I’m on a good level. As long as I am aware and try to watch myself, I don’t think I need to worry.

My Ending Grades

Since it’s the end of the year, I figure “what the heck” and decided there was no harm in showing my grades. Since it’s my last year and I’ll be wiped out of the system, I may as well have something to remember.

Kaye's Grades and Attendance

I know what the grade is for my Physiology exam and I passed. My teacher just hasn’t entered it yet. Also, my attendance isn’t bad, but I still don’t think it needs to be seen.