Sunday, August 5, 2012

Community college

It was in my 12th grade AP English class, as I was forced to listen to my horrible classmates list off all the colleges they were applying to, when I suddenly realized I didn't have a plan for myself.  High school was a miserable experience I was trying so hard to merely endure, it was as if I never considered it actually ended.

That's how I wound up at community college.

It was a small two-year college in rural Maryland only twenty minutes from my parents house.  Though not at all prestigious and though many people just "ended up" there, for 18-year-old me it was a good fit.  I was painfully shy back then, but in the two years I was there, I grew more confident in myself and had the opportunity to explore a variety of interests before eventually settling on a pre-engineering curriculum.

To this day, some of my favorite courses and instructors of all time were at my community college. I took art history with elderly folks, photography with stoners and old lesbian couples, a poetry writing workshop with working professionals and some guy I had a crush on in high school, and chemistry lab with one of the middle-aged moms from my neighborhood (who ended up being one of my favorite lab partners ever).

My community college experience grounded me. It helped me realize that you can't judge anyone for their educational background, or lack thereof, and success should never be measured against the same guidelines. Everyone has a different path in life and often the ones who take the longer or more scenic path are the most interesting people to talk to.  Have you met a 22-year-old first year graduate student who did everything right?  They're the worst.  (I kid, I kid.)

I love the show "Community" because it shows how diverse and interesting the community college experience is.  Every character is at a different point in their life and comes from a different background, yet they manage to bond over their common experience of taking a class together.

Also the show is funny as hell.

From Wikipedia, on the development of the show:
The premise of Community was based on [series creator] Harmon's real-life experiences. In an attempt to save his relationship with his then-girlfriend, he enrolled in Glendale Community College northeast of Los Angeles, where they would take Spanish together.[14] Harmon got involved in a study group and, somewhat against his own instincts, became closely connected to the group of people with whom he had very little in common. "I was in this group with these knuckleheads and I started really liking them," he explains, "even though they had nothing to do with the film industry and I had nothing to gain from them and nothing to offer them."[16] With this as the background, Harmon wrote the show with a main character largely based on himself. He had, like Jeff, been self-centered and independent to the extreme before he realized the value of connecting with other people.[16]
Sidenote: I never met a Joel McHale at community college.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.