What does the world cost? Oh well, then we'll just take a small coke.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Please Do Not Feed the Genii

I'm a college student. I go to community college. I sleep in. I stay up late. I'm particular about my soda. I never run less than 5 programs at a time, at least one of which must always be a chat window. I'm through high school. I have vague plans about the future. My eating habits are disgusting. I have held down a few jobs and am currently unemployed.

Until recently, I was proud to be one of thousands of generic faces milling across the face of American academia. I had gone through the proper rites of passage - high school graduation, SAT, AP, driving, offending people. I took pride in my status as a college bum. I was part of a certain group. Until recently, I had an identity.

All this was shattered yesterday when I took a leisurely trip to the computer lab yesterday. As I strolled merrily down the metaphorically rose-strewn path besides hundreds of students just like me in all but the really important ways, I saw something that made my blood ran cold. It was a ten-year old.

That's right, a ten-year old.

Okay, I don't know how old he was.

But he was young. Short, fresh-faced, wearing a clip-on tie and a sunny disposition (among other things). His backpack was crammed so full that the Calculus II book was sticking out the side. I stopped dead in my tracks, horrified, as he walked by. Then I turned around and ran after him.

"You!" I cried, clapping a hand on his shoulder. "Aren't you a little far from home? Where are your parents?"

"Excuse me," The boy said with snobby, nasal voice, brushing my hand aside like a rotten leaf. "I am on my way to class."

"Class where? Kindergarten?"

"No," He said patiently. "Here at college."

I snorted derisively. "You? You're just out of diapers."

"I did not need diapers. My parents enrolled me in an Intensive Infant Advancement program so I was potty trained by ten weeks. I skipped most elements of childhood in a two-year Accelerated Development course, and pushed through three grades a year, which gave me an extra year to ace seven AP tests and three CLEPs. And my SAT, of course."

"You've got to be joking."

"I don't joke. Who has got the time anymore?"

"But how old are you? Ten?"

"Eight and three quarters tomorrow."

"So you're a college student? A real one?"

"That questions implies a host of epistemological and normative quandaries. Overlooking those, I will tell you that I am indeed a college student as real as any of the others in this crowd. Now, please excuse me. I do not want to miss my organic chemistry class. It is my favorite field. I already have an idea for a thesis." With that, the little bugger turned and toddled away into the mob.

I watched him go, horrified. My sense of well-being hasn't improved much since. Being a college student used to mean something. But here's someone who doesn't cheat on tests - not because he doesn't know how, but because it would probably decrease his accuracy. He doesn't drink beer - not because he chooses not to, but because his liver would explode if he did. I'm sure he keeps regular hours, wears matching socks, and gets plenty of fiber in his diet. My whole frame of reference has been shattered. I no longer know who I am or where I am going. I am lost. I am a leaf on the wind.


adrialien said...

isn't that the most horrible thing ever?

Anonymous said...

Poor kid...

mumble's the word said...

Sounds like he's not trying too hard not to be obnoxious, too. Kind of sad, when people get educated that quickly. It's not growing up; it's educational steroids.

LDer said...

WHAT?!?!? He ONLY CLEPed out of three classes?!?!? I can't believe it! He could have CLEPed out of his entire freshman year, or an equal number of credits. Poor child. He should have just taken the rest. Avoiding the higher path (or the harder tests) isn't the best way to go.

Christopher Yerziklewski said...

I am thinking you were always lost like a leaf in the wind. When you started you only had vague plans about your future. You were lost, you are lost, you will probably always be lost. Life's hard, then you die.

Anonymous said...

What does this have to do with a Genii...He must be home schooled.

mumble's the word said...

I thought "genii" was supposed to be plural of "genius."

Guitarbob said...

sonds like me... hehe