trailer trash intelligentsia
stole that title line from geekward ho, and plan on using it in conversation regularly.

this is rather long, but hopefully interesting. at least, once i get to the point, anyway...i'm going to attempt to describe to you what the atmosphere of a community college is like. if you've never attended one, you're missing an interesting experience. i know what the popular conception of community college is, and while the buildings aren't very pretty and the educational standard probably isn't as high as a "real" college, i'm glad i decided to go there.

breifly, here's why. first off, i don't really need the top of the crop teaching me pre-calculus, i can get just as much out of this as i can from an intro class at a university. and they have it set up so that classes here will transfer to just about anywhere. second, it's cheap as hell. third, the schedule is more flexible since they cater more to workin' folks. and fourth, i needed to get in at the drop of a hat, wanting to get on with my life and not waiting for a lengthy application process.

so, two years here, then, barring any unforseen circumstances, it's off to work on my sheepskin at a real school, potentially even a really good one (i have my best-scenario sights on carnegie mellon, they pull about 10 to 15 people per year coming out of the community college i'm in).

anywho, enough about me, back to the point. i mentioned earlier that i had one well misspent year at a public school, so comparing the atmosphere of this school to a self-proclaimed "party school" is interesting. the most obvious difference is the income disparity, most of the folks there certainly don't have much money. there's a higher minority percentage, a higher handicapped and esl percentage, and the average i.q. is probably lower than at a university. that's the surface stuff. the diversity goes much deeper, in my english class alone we have two high school kids (yeah, that cute girl across the room is 16), a bunch in their mid to late twenties, some with kids, and a retired port authority driver with four grandkids going back to school because she wants to work with children. also in the same class, we have the usual american whites, browns and blacks, as well as an indian (like india indian, not "native american"), a woman from somewhere in eastern europe, and a guy from ireland. i'm not normally big on the whole diversity for diversity's sake thing, but that group makes for some interesting conversations.

but beneath all that, the spirit is different. i remember my time at the university being a very laissez-faire affair, you went to class to pass time between the weekends. the general opinion among a lot of people was that they were at school either to party, or to make friends, or because their parents made them, or just because that's what people are suppossed to do after high school. sure, there were plenty of kids there to actually learn, but i would say overall that motivation often took a back seat to social concerns and societal expectations.

not so at the community college. the underlying emotion in a classroom here is a driven, stubborn, almost desperate need to do what they're there to do, and well. the high school kids are driven by an exceptionally early desire to get ahead, they know what they have to do to be successful and don't intend to let anything stop them. and as for the adults, most seem to know that this is it, their last chance. there's no going back to the parent's house if you don't succeed, no safety net, you're at the point where you move ahead and become a productive person or spend the rest of your life chained to that register at the local quick-e-mart. often there's mouths to feed, jobs to be held, bills to pay, many have passed on or screwed up earlier chances and know it now, have paid for it and now approach school as a mature person looking down the barrell of their future. the sheer grim willful determination is a total 180 from the carefree, lazily cheery atmosphere of a university classroom, and is at once both depressing and inspiring.

if you take the time to notice it, that is. most have something else they need to do.


howdy, thanks for stopping by. what you're looking at is the intermittent ramblings of an iraqi vet, college student, goth-poseur, comic book reading, cheesy horror loving, punk listening, right-leaning, tech-obsessed, poorly typing, proudly self-proclaimed geek. occasionally, probably due to these odd combinations, i like to think i have some interesting things to say; this is where they wind up.

"I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us...We need the books that affect us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside of us.

ace o spades hq
bargain-basement allahpundit
a small victory
army of mom
babalu blog
beautiful atrocities
being american in t o
belmont club
blame bush!
castle argghhh!
citizen smash
the command post
common sense runs wild
curmudgeonly & skeptical, r
curmudgeonly & skeptical, pg-13
dean's world
drill sergeant rob
exit zero
enjoy every sandwich
feisty repartee
fistful of fortnights
free will
four right wing wacos
ghost of a flea
half the sins of mankind
the hatemonger's quarterly
hog on ice
house of plum
id's cage
ilyka damen
incoherant ramblings
in dc journal
the jawa report
knowledge is power
lileks bleat
the llama butchers
memento moron
the mudville gazette
naked villainy
nerf-coated world
those damned pajama people
professor chaos
professor shade
the protocols of the yuppies of zion
protein wisdom
the queen of all evil
seven inches of sense
shinobi, who is a f'n numbers ninja, yo
tall dark and mathteriouth
the nose on your face
the thearapist
this is class warfare
texas best grok
tim worstall
way off bass

other must reads: