Friday, May 11, 2012

Blog facelift?

Paul says my blog template is out-of-date and out-of-shape ("... but charming!"). I kind of like that it's prehistoric in Internet-terms. A former friend designed it for me back when we were in high school. I wonder where he is now? Making millions, probably (see: Arty Ziff).

It's sort of tragic (and frugal!) that I've kept this journal going for so long, using it to work out my myriad issues instead of expensive therapy (coincidentally, Paul's dad is a psychiatrist). Speaking of Paul's dad, he thinks it's stupid that young people need university degrees nowadays to be an office bitch. "Why do you need to go to school to be a secretary?" he asked, not expecting an answer.

"They're called receptionists/coordinators/assistants nowadays," I said. "I just saw an ad requiring a college or university degree to be a babysitter."

Paul says his parents are getting more and more impatient with him since all their friends' children are moving on with their lives. (His cousin already has two kids.) My mom calls me nearly everyday, pleading with me to go back to school: "Employers will respect you more. Make mommy happy, go to law school!" Oh yeah? Let me jump right on that. Sign me up for more short-term fixes and long-term burdens.

My best friend, LL, is currently in NYC working at a corporate law firm to pay off her debt incurred at Harvard. She plans to quit in a year or two to pursue more human rights-related cases. (That world is so beyond my sphere of experience, it's as if I'm reading a sci-fi synopsis stored in a particularly strange-looking book jacket.)  Anyway, she said she met up with alumnae from her alma mater and these ambitious ladies all had graduate degrees. (Please hold the side of surprise.)

"Maybe you want to think about getting one?" she suggested. The thing is, these women are all professionals and getting another degree is simply another accepted (expected?) convention on the road to, I dunno, ultimate power? World domination? A water tower filled with jewels and gold coins? (Hell if I know what goes on behind those shiny mahogany doors and Prada dressing rooms.)

I know everyone means well, but it's difficult for me to reconcile my belief system and the one based on an implicit paradigm that equates good grades with personal success. I did well in school, but a 3.8 GPA could not have done less for me. (Maybe life would've been different if I rounded that shit up: "You do good in school?" "4.0, sir." "Here's a handful of money, meet me on my yacht.")

My sister is dropping out of university soon. At first, our family cut her some slack because her friend died in a freak accident the summer before freshman year. However, this is her second year and her grades just aren't picking up. (Funny, 'cause she had the grades to get into this prestigious school.) She does the readings (and I believe her), but nothing's clicking. She didn't have the marks to stay in her major and only Geography would accept her when she switched (my mom insisted that she get a degree, any degree at this point). But even that isn't helping her stay on track. She's terrified of telling our parents.

I told her, Fuck it, you're not meant for university.  I know she's done some event planning and enjoyed doing it, so I told her to use her student loans to get a college certificate for that and start her own damn business. "That way," I said, "you don't have to take shit from no one." (Granted, she has a lot more tolerance for shit-taking/-talking than I do.)  I think it's better for her anyway. Her people-pleasing prowess was getting on my fuckin' nerves. It was rendering her impotent in making her own choices and turned her into an arrogant, mouthy know-it-all (oh right, a teenager).

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