Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Dust

Ryan the Rocket Scientist, through some miracle of technology and extortion, has managed to open some of my document files of college writing. This is not entirely a good thing. I sucked then. (I suck now, of course, but at that point I often sucked while hung over, thereby increasing the suckage factor by one thousand percent.)

Some of this stuff is a decade old (Shut. Up.) and was stored on three and a half inch Mac-formatted floppy disks, so finding a way to unlock it was like trying to translate the Rosetta Stone. I tired every computer store in town and a printing service, and they all sounded upbeat and interested at first and then I held up my floppies and then they laughed at me.

But Ryan got it open, and I remembered some of it word for word. Others were more along the lines of "Huh. I... wrote that." I found a love letter to an ex that makes me want to die and a class schedule from 1997 has me starting my educational day at 9:15 and ending it at 7:30, back when when I had energy and actually gave a crap.

O, Tink The Scholar! I was the same age of some of my current students when I wrote this stuff, and you know what... I sounded kind of like them. I believe there is some sort of cosmic machine out there spitting out essays from twenty-one year olds that start with the sentence "All members of humankind agree that..."

Mostly, I heard them screaming after me when I discovered a term paper file titled "I don't want to write this paper."

It also functioned as a technological time capsule. This was before profs caught wise to Acts of Font Expansion, see, and more than a few papers were written in enormous Courier, bolded Helvetica. I had never seen a paper margin I could not widen.

There were Observer columns and internship resumes and a political science paper on the womens' movement in Iran entitled: "Women As a Windsock." Man. I can't believe nobody hired me to professorize right out of school.

wondering how we're going to open all these Word documents in 2016 at: mb@blondechampagne.com

11 comments:

HelloBettyLou said...

I love to find my old papers and notebooks, that's why I save everything, the walk down memory lane is fun. You get to laugh at yourself often and remember how good your handwriting used to be.

Paul Adams said...
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Joe Berenguer said...
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Pam said...
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Laney said...

At least you weren't too much of an angry rebel. I was. I look back now at what I wrote...Ugh, what was I thinking? How did I pass? Oh, yeah I have nice legs!

tamar said...

Once my English teacher (in high school) told us to write an instructional paper. He told us we could use 'you' in our papers. Of course I used him in my paper (titled: How to properly suck up to Mr G___.) My defense: You said we could use YOU in our papers!

He laughed his butt off. I had everything from rubbing his bald spot, to organizing his desk. He loved it. I find it from time to time and I love rereading it.

red pill junkie said...

I have saved my sketch-books from when I was in college, and I am amazed that I thought ANY of those ideas was worth the graphite spent in drawing them. It was after I got out of college (and kicked out of several jobs) that I started to not-suck at what I do.

On the other hand, back then I used to fill all my note-books with doodles and cartoons, and had even the stamina to include a polytical cartoon in the school paper once a week. Now I wish I had that eagerness to do something in the weekends aside of sleeping til noon and play Xbox. Dayjobs are like vampires.

patty m. said...

I look back at my college papers and think "Woah. I sounded smart! Did I really know all this once?" My high school poetry on the other hand... Sheesh. Of course, my attempts at poetry now are almost equally as lame.

Rick said...

When I retired from the circus (Air Force), I went back to college. One of the classes I had to take was a remedial writing course because during the placement exams I was unable to write an essay about "a day that ended too soon." I quite honestly could not remember such a day and I wrote a page and a half explaining why I could not write the essay they wanted. After my first remedial essay, the prof asked why I was in her class. Naturally, I wrote her an essay with all the detail, four-part harmonies, along with 27 8x10 color glossy photographs with a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was. Well, I had fun the class; she let me write about anything I wanted. It was cool. Strangely, everything I've written since has sucked.

Anonymous said...

MB, I want to read that old love letter... It was to Kevin, wasn't it? :) Kevin was so dreeeeaaaammmmyyy... :D Love, CST

Anonymous said...

In a scary turn of events, in 2016 we'll open all these Word documents on a Mac after wandering around town trying to find someone who still can get at them.

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