Is there a level above full-time?

My maternal grandfather used to give my brother a hard time pretty regularly about the number of credit hours he was taking at university. See, my grandfather was superhuman and once did something absurd like 24 quarter hours at one go. Ok, that statistic is actually a fabrication. I have no idea how many his record was. But it was high. And anything less was a shame worth poking fun at. It's a weird way of looking at education, not really caring about what the courses were, just the sheer volume. But it's also a beautiful way of framing it, too, as a quest for lots and lots of knowledge regardless of the content.

Gramps, the only grandparent I knew, passed away just before my senior year of high school. So, he wasn't able to give me a hard time about my enrollment. Not that he'd have much room to criticize me. The lightest semester I ever had was 13 credits. But that one doesn't really count, because that was 13 credits of independent study via correspondence course. My lightest load when actually in school was 18 hours. And my last semester of BYU, I took 21 credit hours, comprised of 8 different classes. And I don't remember being all that busy. Granted, four hours were religion courses (which, by the way, were not required, but seemed interesting) and four was ASL 101, the Platonic gut course. But, still, that's a lot of hours in a classroom.

I bring all this up mostly to make myself feel like the prospect of taking 20 hours this fall is not completely crazy. Because a. I've done it before, b. it'll make Gramps proud of me and c. it means I get to take a class combining math and literature. Math and literature? I'm squealing with excitement over the prospect. Plus, they're most humanities courses. Which, if you're quirky and can write half decent you can pass without even trying. [Dear people studying real things in school, like physics or engineering or even English, you're dumb. Don't you know they'll give out degrees for watching movies? I have one of them!]

Oh, but warning's fair for the people around me: when it turns out that jumping into third year Hebrew after five years of studying the language is really short-sighted or I discover that I've lost all my writing skillz or I want to kill myself that first week in December when I'll inevitably have to write something like 150 pages worth of papers in 10 days, you're going to hear me moan about it. When you do, just start asking me funny stories for my professors and I'll feel much better. Or, alternatively, give me a list of baked goods to produce. I'm never more productive in my life than when I'm totally snowed under with coursework. And, hey, if I fail at school this time, I can always go back to being an adult, right?

Nell Gywn redux

Things that I am generally good at:

  • Fitting things I have recently read/heard into conversations
  • Getting people to talk about themselves
  • Flirting
  • Selecting good presents
Things that I generally fail at
  • Keeping myself productively occupied for 40 hours a week
  • Relationships of all stripes
  • Sticking with projects beyond my level of interest in them
  • Being serious even when seriousness is required
Now, I don't really believe in reincarnation, but I'm pretty sure I was either meant to be, or already was, a courtesan in a royal court somewhere.

Trying to flap the unflappable

So, a couple of days ago, I had to call and talk to a financial aid person at the University of Utah. This conversation ensued:

financial aid guy: Have you filled out the FERPA release online?
me: No, I don't think I have.
fag: Alright, go ahead and log into your Campus Information System and you'll see a link in the middle of the screen that says FERPA. Let me know when you've found it.
me: Ok. [moments later] Found it.
fag: Great. Go ahead and enter a PIN there and then, if you want to list anyone else to give them access to your information you can. If you have, say, a parent or a wife you want to be able to call and get information.
me: That's awfully heteronormative of you. How do you know I don't have a husband?
fag: Oh, yeah, if you have a life partner, feel free to put them in there.

I proceeded to laugh and assure him that I was joking. But, I was impressed how quickly he could come up with "life partner". Though, I wonder, also, is life partner really equivalent to wife? I mean, marriage licenses aside, doesn't it seem like it would take longer for someone to become a life partner, perhaps years, rather than the minutes it takes to make someone your wife?

Also, a fair warning to all future customer service people: if you keep me waiting, I will try to make things slightly uncomfortable for you. I know, I know, it's not your fault, but it'll mostly be through jokes like this. So, really, no lasting damage.