Friday, April 23, 2010

People touching people they don't know . . .I got issues.

     I can be a touchy feely guy.  I love touching my friends.  Pat on the back.  Hugs.  Leg humping (awkward . . . yet known to happen).  However, I don't like people I don't know touching me.  I dislike people I barely know touching me.  I gained this phobia from working in restaurants.  It's true.  The following is a true story.

     I saw a table walk in.  I was in the back of the house (restaurant area where all the "magic" happens).  I walk over meet, greet, food and beverage order.  Before I bring their drinks, I wash my hands.  Drop them off, being careful not to touch the rims of the glass (personal pet peeve,  that s--t is unsanitary).  Go to the back to prep some other stuff.  Check on the table.  Before I go back, I decide to wash my hands in the bathroom, in the front of the house (dining area).  I go in, use the bathroom stall, come out and wash.  During this process, the guy that I am serving came in, took a leak.  As I am washing, he finishes up and walks out of the bathroom, WITHOUT WASHING HIS HANDS!

     I try not to panic.  S--t is disgusting.  But, whatever.  I drop off the food. Everything is swell.  I am watching this guy eat and I am just a little repulsed.  Now, let me explain.  I have been places where soap and water have not been readily available.  I can excuse that.  But if there is soap or, at the minimum, water, use it.  At the end of the meal, the guy wanted to thank me and shake my hand and give compliments.  While he was doing this, my only thought was, "Please. Take your DICK BEATERS OFF OF ME, you nasty pig."

     I wish I had a witty end to this story, but I don't. Washing hands is beneficial.  It prevents the spread of disease.   Just do it.  And, because of people like that, I can't trust you touching me if I don't know you.  Even at that, I will ask you if you washed your hands.  And I will smell them, jerk. And if I don't believe you, I have sanitizer in my bag.  I don't care if you get offended.  Give your H1N1 to someone else.  

     Below is a video that really explains this situations in restaurants.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Awkward Older Pervyness

     We will call her Christina.
     She could be of any race.  I will only say the Christina is 18 and smoking hot.  Or 21 and smoking hot.  Just know that she is young (to me).  She sits next to me in class or I met her through classmates.  Or she chatted me up in a in a bar.  We parlay.  

     I am always upfront about my age and status.  She makes the comment that age is not a big issue.  She says that I don’t look thirty-five.  I take the compliment.  I return same, in a non-sexual way.  She mentions that her parents are in their early forties.  I say, “Cool.”  I make jokes that I am close to her parents’ age.  She says it doesn't bother her.  We can still hang out.  I say, “O.K.”  We exchange numbers.  

     She wants to know what’s up with me. 

     I am just trying to keep it cool and on the friend level.  

     And I am responsible. And adult.  But, at times, I can’t help thinking...,

     “Dammit, you are freaking hot.”  

     I am so glad I am not me in my 20’s.  At least . . . that is what I tell myself.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

So, I missed a deadline?

O.K. So I missed my first deadline for posting.  I promise to be better about that.  But, hey!  I am new to writing deadlines for things that I am not required to do.  But to make up for that, this will be a double post week.  I may even do that today.  YAY!!!

                So…speaking of missing deadlines, I messed up major.  I had a paper due last Monday.  Consequence of e-mailing it in late was a 20% reduction in grade, OFF THE TOP.  Mid week, of the week it was due, I e-mail the professor about his stipulation for “scholarly sources” using a news/journal website as an example.  I also asked him his definition of scholarly. He said the journal was fine and news sources were great.  So, I wrote this paper, sourced the paper and had it ready to turn in.  On the due day, I go to class.  For some reason, in the e-mail I sent the professor, I neglected to ask him to clarify what he meant by scholarly sources, exactly.  So, in class, I asked him.  He wanted six, peer-reviewed, journal citations.

  “OH $h!t”, went through my mind.  

     I only had two and many newspaper/magazine sources.  This paper was due at midnight of due day.  E-mailed.  This class is all electronic.  So, at seven in the evening, I am in the library trying to find sources.  At eleven, I am back in the dorm accessing the online electronic journals.  At two in the morning, after reading/skimming HUNDREDS of pages of journals, trying to find relative sources, I am twenty minutes away from finishing the paper.  The entire time, I am praying that the professor will give leeway/consideration to the fact it was in before s/he woke up.    As I am accessing my last journal, the screen responds, “Webpage Unavailable.  No internet connection.  Would you like to run a diagnosis?”


     This fail was brought to you mostly by me, because I didn’t completely follow through on my assignment as early as I should have.  But I would be remiss if I didn’t thank the internet service that is provided by a company that services the internet to the dorms.  Who I won’t name.  But it starts with and “A” and its name means, “The point in an orbit around the Earth that is most distant from the Earth.”

Proper Preparation Prevents (Piss) Poor Performance. 


Friday, April 2, 2010

I go to Network Night . . . awkwardness insues.

     So, since I have been here, I have been given the opportunity to go to Job Fairs and Network nights.  Some of these are open to all majors, some open to specific ones.  These job fairs are also open to Alumni of the college.  If you have ever been to one in the "real world" it is just the same on campus.  As an older student or alumni, you tend to stick out.  This is how it goes down.  First, you attend the seminar/open house/panel.  This usually has a list of employers who will speak for a few minutes, unless there are many.  Then, you would have a sheet of employers emailed to you ahead of time.  After the discussion, there is a period where snacks are provided while the panel goes out to their respective tables.  Then comes the inevitable discusion that goes like this.

ME: (thinking)  O.K.  Make sure you make eye contact.  Smile, but not too much.  You only have a moment to make a good impression. *breathe*

Person Behind Me: "Hiiiii.  I couldn't help but notice that you had some good questions in the seminar.  What's your major?"

ME: "International Studies.  And you?"

PBM: *Insert Major"

ME:  "Wow, Interesting . . ." * Insert small talk and  laugh*

PBM: *Insert more bs small talk and return nervous laughter*

ME:  "I'm a junior.  I'm a little bit older."

PBM:  "Really?  How old?"

Me: "Thirty Five"

      Awkward pause.

PBM: "Really, I thought you were, like, twenty six, tops!"

ME: "Thank you.  Chalk it up to heavy drinking.  It kept me preserved.  Just joking."

PBM: "So, why are you here?  Why did you come back to school?"

     At his moment, I never know what to really say.  I don't want to tell my life story, but at the same time, I didn't want to say that life is all wine and roses.  What to do . . what to do.

ME: "I don't want to work at a restaurant all my life. And I have worked with way too many Liberal Arts majors as a bartender and waiter who can't get jobs.   I want options so I can do better for myself.  And the job market is tough without a good degree.  And even that is not guaranteed."

PBM: "Umm . .  I am graduating in May with a *Insert Liberal Arts Degree* "

     Awkward silence as he/she contemplates how life will be and me wishing I didn't have to be here, at this moment.

Musings on Financial Aid

     I am on financial aid.  I am not ashamed to admit it.  In order to try to graduate in a timely manner, I am taking aid fort the last 1 1/2 years of school.  Why 1 1/2?  Because, like many older students, I put myself through community college while working full time.  I got my Associates Degree.  Now, I am at University. 

     So, I opened up my school e-mail to find that I am close to my maximum credit limit and am in danger of falling out of the Financial Aid program.  Scratching my head, I walked over to the Financial Aid Office to find out what was going on.  This semester was the second semester that I have taken aid.  How could I be over the limit?

      Some of you who are reading this are probably wondering what cap I'm talking about.

     It goes like this.  As a student, if you are eligible to receive aid (Pell Grants and scholarships) you have to graduate with under a certain amount of credits, depending on your major (if you are Pre-med, your cap would be higher).  I was approaching that cap.  I asked how could I be approaching that cap since I have never taken aid before?  Well here is the scoop.  Perhaps some of you failed out of school the first time and this is your second shot at school (like me).  But here is something they don't tell you:  If you retake classes you failed, even if you paid for them out of pocket, they still count towards your credit cap for aid.  Even if you have NEVER taken it before.  It is a catch twenty-two.  They want us to go to school, but you don't get credit for not leaching of aid while doing it.  However, people can be on aid for six years before they graduate.  Money they don't have to pay back or pay back on generous terms.  And if you want to appeal the cap, you have to have a very compelling reason (death in the family, traumatizing event at school, etc.).  Where is the parity in that?

     So, what does that mean for yours truly?  My aid will run out in Spring 2011, 1 1/2 semesters short of graduation.  Which means that I will have to get a job, or a paid internship.  I am not opposed.  Except, the way the formula tends to work is based on income.  You can be penalized for making too much money, even though you are going to school full time.  Which means you don't get as much aid.  Which means you may not finish as fast as you want because you can't afford it.  Or, you take out massive loans. 

     It is kinda like the welfare system.  Penalize people for trying not to use too much, reward those who won't try.

     Welcome to another wonderful part of being an older student.  Enjoy your stay.