Tuesday, August 24


Yesterday evening, I wrote room number "2204" on the back of my hand with a calligraphy marker, unsuccessfully rooted around in one of our file cabinets for a usable notebook, checked my purse for a pen, and thus concluded my preparations for this semester.

For the past three or so semesters, school has snuck up on me. It's a weird state of being, considering 17 of my first 21 years were spent as a full-time student. Funny how bearing responsibility for an underage nudist a kid and a malfunctioning refrigerator disrupts one's focus. 

Another thing? Tuition. While my graduate program is the least expensive in the University of North Carolina system, um, yikes. As undergraduates, we sail along unwittingly accruing tens of thousands of dollars in debt, oblivious to the fact that it'll take eight times as many years to pay it all back. Upon reflection, the food should have been a lot better.

Since I refused to take out more loans for graduate work, tuition has become a major consideration prompting many unforeseen dilemmas: Should I broaden my knowledge base this fall, or replace the fridge? What's more cost effective, paying for tuition or taking a leave of absence and having my undergrad loans angrily awaken from the cozy sleep of deferment? 

So the school casually increasing tuition by several hundred dollars was a real kick to what my brother would call The Crotchal Area. Because the checking account is the groin of the modern family unit.

Anyway, after class my friend Rebecca walked with me to the campus music department, where Noah was hanging out in one of the practice rooms. When we finally found him (45 minutes later—because cell phone companies don't think you need service inside buildings), we spent a few minutes faffing around with our "Fix You" arrangement. As it happens, our aging yet beloved $100 Craigslist piano can't hold a candle to the buttery smoothness and warm tone of the Yamaha uprights in the university's practice rooms. Incidentally, did you know piano keys aren't supposed to stick when you play them?

Seeing as I'm determined to get my money's worth this semester, I'll brave the underground halls filled with the sounds of expert pianists, operatic baritones, violinists and saxophonists to sit at one of those Yamahas and fumble through my simple little tunes.

You know you've gotten old when you feel uncool in the band department.
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Slamdunk said...

That sounds like a great way to spend time. I would sneak into our school's music building to practice my Piano 101 late at night, and enjoyed the time--though I am sure anyway close by did not.

Locusts and Wild Honey said...

I briefly considered getting my MBA. My boss said the company would chip in. I priced it out and realized it would cost 75K, even after the corporate contribution.

I laughed so hard and felt like this was the end of the matter.

My boss said, "Don't let anything stand in the way of your dreams!"

I laughed again. Adorable lad!

Get your money's worth. I think that's the best plan.

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