Little failures
Even though I knew it was coming, I dreaded watching one of my last NU classes drop from my schedule. I held the matter off as long as I could. When I got back to school and parsed through my transcript, expecting to find I only needed two more credits to graduate, I saw that I needed five – and then I realized this was a mistake, based on the school never giving me marks for my internship at Money magazine.

These little annoyances happen to me at least twice a day. Someone will be late sending in a check to the newspaper. Someone will turn in a story late. Mail won’t be delivered to the office, and I’ll have to call to see what happened to it. Usually, I grimace and wait for the crap to stop falling. But this time, I used the extra uncertainty to linger. While an advisor cleared up my missing three credits, assuring me that I’d completed them after all, I went to the class I was planning to drop.

It was a tearjerker. The High Middle Ages professor was middle-aged and arch, walking and talking like Joel Gray. When he passed out the anachronistic syllabus (literally – he had written “Winter 2002” on it) and started in on how he liked to teach, I had to kick myself and remember that this class would make it impossible for me to enjoy my last months of school. There was no way to begin my job, transition a new newspaper staff, look for an apartment in Port Townshend and pass my intensive final seminars if I stuck with this time-consuming history class.

That didn’t prevent it from attaining some poignance. The thing is, ever since journalism began to envelop me in early 2001, I had been wishing for more time to just take classes and study. I enjoyed it. I especially enjoyed classes about esoteric subjects and obscure histories. In my whole college career I never took one film class or one “easy A” class. Twice, I purposely got into classes taught by a radical black professor for the kick of being the one libertarian in a room of lefties. Back in Spring I’d gotten into a seminar on Marx and Lenin that was, unfortunately, cancelled for lack of interest. But I really enjoyed taking these classes. I liked writing papers. Hell, I wish there was a way I could have just soaked in them without worrying about deadlines or my career.

I stopped worrying earlier tonight. Now I’m down to three classes, one more than I need to graduate. The future portends no more testing – when I want to learn or read, I’ll be inspiring myself to do so.

Aha. This is what I like about blogging. Now that it’s written down, I realize that my previous thought was ridiculous.