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Friday, January 4, 2002

I'm better at these big decisions when I get a chance to ease into them. December was just a bit hectic this year (this year?), and I didn't really have time to think about school. I did the same thing last semester without the benefit of a good excuse. There was no Christmas in July, as far as I can recall.

So here we are again with the start of classes just over a week away, and I have none. No classes, that is. You can argue amongst yourselves about whether I have class. I don't think I want to hear what the consensus is.

It looks like I won't be taking that algebra course. It looks way like it, because the school wouldn't let me sign up without taking a math placement test. They offer the test almost every day for the next three weeks, but I need time to work up to these things. Dropping everything and showing up with my number two pencil would be so unlike me.

My choices now dwindle to bagging the whole idea and staying out another semester, or finding some class I'm not all that enthused about and enrolling just because they'll have me. Whatever. The best thing I can do now is stop obsessing about it and make a decision. Do you see the problem? Making a decision now means making a decision with time running short. It means settling for a second choice. It means...

It means staying home nights, I guess, taking the test some time between now and July, and getting a fresh start in the fall semester. Every time I go through the course schedule I get less inspired. The classes that seem halfway interesting (that I haven't already taken) are either offered only during the day, or the have a prerequisite — usually the algebra class I wanted to take. So I'm kind of fixated on that, and nothing else stirs me.

The breaking point was when I asked myself why I couldn't sit in a geography class for three hours every Wednesday night. Geography? (That's physical geography. Cultural geography sounds infinitely more interesting, but of course it's two mornings a week, which would conflict just slightly with my work schedule.)

That proves that my main reason for taking any class would be to have a place to go once a week. I don't want it to take up a lot of time or force me to do things I'm ill suited for, like standing up in front of a group and giving a report. That's a deal breaker, and it's one reason I won't take an English class. The other reason is, I won't take anything with "communication" or "discussion" (or "advanced" or "extra fees") in the course description.

I keep picturing myself in one of these classes, like history or philosophy, and having nothing to say. Or having something to say and not being able to say it. It's a performance anxiety I've carried since sixth grade, and a big part of the reason I failed as a student teacher. Once I've passed the point where I can dazzle a teacher with my written work, I turn into a big frozen lump.

Anyway, I don't seem to be in the mood to put any more energy into this project now. Maybe I'd be better off to go sit in a movie theater one night each week. Or a bar. I really want to take a bunch of math classes in a row, because I think they'd be fun and easy. Shamelessly, I'm here to admit that I want to go to school but I don't want to work hard. That's what it's come down to.


The first great sunset of 2002.

Am I overthinking this? I can find some excuse not to take almost every class listed in the schedule. I must be subconsciously looking for those excuses. Now, unfortunately, I'm conscious of the phenomenon, and that makes it even worse. It's time to surrender, since that seems to be the only way to break the cycle. Let's move on to some other dilemma, and worry that to death for a few days.

It's too bad they don't have a class in rationalizing. I could teach it.

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