Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Junk in my Trunk

There is an orange in my car trunk…and I have no idea how it got there. I never put food in my trunk, and no one else drives my car. I noticed it about a week ago. I opened my trunk and was like, "What? Where did you come from?"

Normal people would have just thrown it away, or maybe even eaten it. Not me. I just slammed the trunk shut and forgot about it. Next day, I opened my trunk, and there it was. Still. I shrugged, threw my book bag in, and shut the trunk. Next day, the orange was STILL there!!! I mean, you would think the thing would just eventually disappear the same way it appeared.

I thought about getting rid of it. I mean, I am not going to eat it. I don't need an orange in my trunk. However, you just never know. What if I become citrus deprived someday? I could just go to my trunk, open it and hey look an orange!!!

Every day for the past week, I have opened my trunk, looked at the orange slowly decaying in there and slammed the hatch. I now feel somewhat like a scientist. The orange has now become an experiment to my otherwise dull life. How long can the thing survive in the depths of my trunk? Right now it's slightly wrinkly and discolored, but it still musters the strength to greet me with it's orangy glow. I just couldn't throw it away now…it's a part of my life.

I figure I will let the orange die in my trunk and maybe another fruit will appear. Who knows, maybe my car is like the goose that laid the golden egg….except with fruit. My car could get famous, and I just can't risk that fame by throwing away my miracle orange.

The Girl who loved lace, the Girl whose job was killing her, and the Girl who hated washing dishes

I am a woman, and I can turn on my computer, listen to my ipod, and use my hair dryer...hear me type!

March 24th has been deemed in the blogging world as "Women in technology blogging day."

(On a side note, is there really such a thing as a "blogging world"? I mean if there would have to be metaphysical since there is no "blogging earth" rotating around the "blogging sun." And if there is a metaphysical blogging world, how was it made? With a big bang/computer crash? With a spoken/written word? Who is the God of blog? These are the questions I ask myself when I am this sleep deprived.)

March 24th is set aside to celebrate one particular woman's journey in technology- Ada Lovelace. The first thing you might notice about this woman is her name. Apparently, she loved lace. Perhaps she wore it everyday. Maybe she liked tying her shoelaces. Maybe she made her own lace since she was that awesome. What ever the case was, I think she just had weird lace fetishes.

Ada Lovelace born on Dec. 10, 1815 was the only child of famous poet Lord Byron and his wife Anne. She is widely known for building her own computer coding program. Lord Byron disowned her at a young age which most likely gave her daddy issues, which probably drove her to study more in an attempt to prove herself.

She is considered by most scholars to be the first official computer programmer. She translated an Italian mathematician's notes on the first "Analytical Engine," adding her own notes and sections which were later studied by programmers and considered to be very advanced for her time. She also wrote detailed descriptions for future computers and codes.

This girl beats Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, hands down. If she was alive today, she would probably own her own computer company called "Lace." Just think, we could have had the "Ilace," or the "laceberry." Want lace? There's an app. for that. Sadly, she died from too much bloodletting and therefore could not invent those wonderful ideas.

Second lady to honor on this day of women and technology - Marie Curie. She is the woman who can truly claim the phrase, "my work is killing me!"

Marie Sklodowska Curie, born Nov. 7, 1867, won two Nobel prizes, one in physics and one in chemistry. She discovered radiology by isolating polonium and radium. Interestingly, she named "polonium" after her native country, Poland. Using these radio-active elements, she blazed the trail in cancer research.

Probably the cutest thing about Marie was her love life. Her instructor at the School of Physics and Chemistry was Pierre Curie. He was studying magnetism and she became very interested in his research. She soon could not resist his "polar side" (har har har) and they were married. Nothing says love more than the fascinating world of cancer and magnets.

After their wedding, they scarcely left their research nest. Sadly, Pierre was killed by a horse-drawn vehicle. Marie finally died from radioactive poisoning. She died trying to save the lives of cancer victims. For that, I tip my metaphysical blogging hat to you, Marie.

The third lady of technology is personally my favorite- Josephine Cochran. In 1850, a rather rudimentary machine had been invented to supposedly wash dishes. However, it was hardly practical and very cumbersome.

I don't know about you, but I HATE washing dishes. You have to touch yucky food that people nibbled on, and you have to scrub pans with oil that no matter how much you suds and scrub, the oily residue will ALWAYS be there!!! They were the enemy of my childhood, because instead of being about to play outside after dinner, I had to do the dishes. Oh and just when I would finish the dishes for one meal and feel good about my accomplishments- BAM! Different meal, more dishes. Now I see I am not the only one who hates this task.

Josephine Cochran is quoted in saying, "If no one else is going to invent a dish washing machine, I'll do it myself!" She went on to market her mechanical dishwasher at the famous World Fair and started her own company that eventually became KitchenAid. All I can say go girl!!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Tik Tok on the Clock ~ Please Stop

6:30 a.m. ~ My phone vibrates under my pillow. I jar awake and groan. Tuesday. Bleck. I grab whatever clothes don't smell too bad and hit the shower.

I know some girls are fashionistas and it takes them two hours to get ready for their glamorous day- me, it takes 30 minutes from the time I climb out of bed to the time I pile into my car. I know someday I will regret looking like something that just out from under a rock, like the day I turn 40 and I am still single. But for right now, I don't own enough awesome clothes and make-up to look pretty, so I just wear whatever is lying on my bedroom floor.

7:15 a.m. ~ Starbucks. It's almost scary that the barista knows my order. Grande Peppermint Mocha, nonfat, with whip. I love my drink. I have it every day. The Grande part is so that I am not pigging out on the Venti size, but enough to fill me up with warm coffee, chocolatey goodness. The peppermint part counteracts any bad breathe the coffee part will inflict. And the mocha part - duh, I am a girl, I need my chocolate. The nonfat part is so that I can have the whip cream part. My day starts out with balance.

7:17 a.m.~ Driving to school, radio blasting. This is seriously the best part of my day. I have all of my homework ready, my phone isn't ringing. It's just me, my car, and the music. Tik Tok ALWAYS, and I do mean ALWAYS comes on the radio. I don't know how I feel about this song. I think it's one of those things that by the time the chorus kicks in, you just have to be car dancing. The lyrics are lame, I mean it's about a party. That's it. A party. No love story, no deep, emotional pull for you to find yourself. Just brushing your teeth with alcohol...which I am sure can only lead to cavities.

7:30 a.m. ~ Get to school. Run to the library. Check e-mails. Delete the junk. Answer the e-mails from the boss. Check facebook. Roll eyes at all the relationship changes/babies born/sleepless ramblings from all of my 300+ friends. Yes, I get it, you have a life. I don't.

8:00 a.m. ~ Go to class. I have a confession to make. It's hard for me to pay attention in class. I have eye sight issues, so half the time I can't see what the teacher is pointing to on the board, I can't read the equations and when the teacher just teaches by talking I can't follow what they are saying. I am a visually-impaired visual learner. Don't cry for me, just know that if you want me to learn, hand me a book. I love to read. The book is close to my face, the words make sense and learning occurs.

12:35 p.m. Lunch. Lately, I haven't been able to eat until dinner. I have no idea why I am not hungry. Besides my heavenly peppermint mocha, my first meal is dinner. I know it's unhealthy. Note, I am not trying to lose weight or be a weirdo, I simply am not hungry til about 3 p.m. So I head to the library and work on tax accounting/article writing/facebooking/music videoing/job hunting. This is such an awkward part of my day. I don't have enough time to jump into a large assignment because I have to leave soon to babysit. However, it's too large of a chunk of time to waste. So I listen to music and prattle around on the miscellaneous agenda.

Oh and I hum. I can't help it. In the library, you are supposed to be absolutely silent. But I hate silence, so I hum. It's usually a melodyless tune, one with no rhythm or climax. I probably annoy others around me. In fact, I know I do. But they sometimes annoy me with their glares and pointy looks. So I figure we are even. Sorry fellow studier- I mean no harm-I just need my humming. Kinda how a kid needs to suck their thumb.

2:50 p.m. ~ Chaperoning. I don't really babysit because the kids really don't need to be watched. This is awkward because when I tell people I chaperone, I think they think of me with a fancy sailor hat sitting in front in a suit saying "Where to, miss?" If I say babysitting, the kids grimace because they are "all grown up."

They do however need someone with a driver's license and that's where I come in. I pick four girls up from two school, drive them to their houses, watch Full House for an hour while they change into their ballet clothes and eat a snack, and then make the drive into Canyon Country. Not very exciting, but it gives me $100 per week for spending money.

My job does allow me to view the world of junior highers. They are full of "OMG!! He totally sat next to me in history today. He was like, 'are you going to text me?' and I was like 'uh no, I don't want to' and he was like ' well then I will just wait until you do' and I was like ' that is sooo sweet!!' I totally hope he asks me out!" If you think that was just an exaggerated teen conversation, let me assure you I heard it come from the three giggling girls in my back seat. Every day I thank the Lord Almighty that I am no longer in junior high.

5:30 p.m. ~ The girls are safe at ballet and my eyelids are getting heavy. I haven't eaten and I am getting hungry. I drive back to school, eat dinner in about 10 minutes and head back to the library. I will then stay in the library until midnight doing research, writing, figuring out the 8 billion tax exemptions that the government uses to keep people like me from ever becoming a tax professional.

I do on occasion sneak in a couple of youtubes, hulus, groovesharks and googletalks. My friends definitely help me get through the day.

Midnight~ Drive back home. Tik Tok comes back on the radio. I groan...until "TIK TOK ON THE CLOCK, DON'T STOP...." comes on and I have to sing along at the top of my lungs. The end to my day is very similar to the start of my day. This is my circle of life.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Verbitizing Facebook/Twitter

What they should actually be teaching in school - how to write a facebook/twitter status, how to text with 100% accuracy under your desk where your teacher can't see your frivolous actions, how to google words you don't know how to spell- like Onomatopoeia (man, I LOVE that word!). These are the big concerns of the student body.

I think we need to add classes like "Facebook 122 - How to create a fan page" or "Twitter 204- How much is too much when it comes to tweets." "Youtube 422, how to find the funniest hamster dance video."

Another thing, I have no idea how to "verbize" what I am doing on Facebook/Twitter. Am I tweeting, twittering, updating twitter, twitterpating (bambi reference) , twixing...WHAT AM I DOING?!?!

Facebook, once just a noun, "Hey, look! I am on Facebook!" Has now become a verb of some sort "I am Facebooking!!" Really, am I "Facebooking"? Does that mean I am in the act of performing daily time-wasting functions on a social site that sucks the life out of billions of people world-wide? Is Facebooking really the only word that we could come up with as a society to describe what we do with every second of our free time? Did I just "facebooked?", or did you just get "facebooked?" Where are the grammar rules for my social networking lifestyle?

You know that famous excuse used by students, "I'll never use this in real life!!" Boy was I wrong when I said that about most of my assignments. "Alegebra, psssshhh, no one uses that anymore!!!" Or... "Computer science, dude that's just a fad, just wait five years!" If we added facebook/twitter/youtube class, students wouldn't have these excusees anymore, and I would get to learn how to verbitize all of my social networking activities.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

First car love: Hatred and Duct tape

My first car holds that "man's best friend" position in my heart. My little 2003 Ford Focus has been through a lot. It taught me how to drive, how to get my license, how to taxi kids back and forth, how to drive on long, windy roads and scream at my steering wheel. It gives me the freedom to go where I want, when I want.

However, as much as I love and adore my car, I hate and abhor this beast and gas guzzler. My car is a tiny sedan and should easily get 25 miles to the gallon, but I am lucky to get 18 mpg on a good day, driving with the wind propelling me and going downhill. This thing lurches forward for no reason as it tries to shift down. It can go 60 mph in about two minutes, and don't let the spoiler on the back fool you. I couldn't win a race against a motor scooter with my hunk of metal.

I have replaced the driver side mirror mechanics, the rear axil, the brakes/tires, motor mount, transmission, brake routers. This thing is a tempermental piece of machinery, and I love it regardless of it's quirks and downfalls. It's been there for me when I needed a drive to relief the pressures of school, friends and life.

To my first car, may you eventually die when I have enough money to get a much nicer car. Until then, please hold still so I can duct tape you some more. (Yes, I have duct taped my car before.)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Please don't compliment the Interns, they might get excited

It's true, I am a sucker for compliments and affirmation. You tell me that "Hey, I like your outfit today," and I will smile for the rest of the day. Being a student means that most of my work will go completely unnoticed. I have interned at three different places over the last year and a half, and most of my work could have been done by any one with half a brain. I get it. I am not doing the work of champions. Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to demean the places I have worked (in fact I probably wouldn't be able to get a job after college if it wasn't for them), but it's a fact of life-interns do the work of slaves.

I don't mind it really. I mean, everyone has to start somewhere. Starting at the bottom allows for plenty of growth and learning experiences. It also cultures a certain amount of respect for those who have developed their careers and expertise.

But compliments. Man, if you tell me that you liked how I put that sentence together, or that you thought my idea was a good 9, baby. This phenomenon does have it's disadvantages. I am constantly trying to look for opportunities to be noticed and appreciated. While that in and of itself is not bad, I can feel rather prideful or worst, hurt, when my work isn't set apart or considered the best.

The other day, I was working and was given an opportunity to do some work for editors at a newspaper. It wasn't some big job, just making phone calls and inputing data. I jumped on that chance so fast it would make your head spin. The jobs are rather menial and not very glamorous, but to me, editors asking me if I would do the job was them trusting in my abilities. I interpreted it as a compliment. They were just dumping work on an intern, but I saw it as a glorious bequeathing of a honorable responsibility. "Yes your Majesty, I would be honored to do this task, thank you, I shalt not let you down."

So next time you see me, sure give me a compliment. Just don't be surprised if I float off to the clouds to lovingly add to my beautiful collection of assorted compliments.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I'm sorry I say I'm sorry

Hello, my name is Emily Philpot, and I say I'm sorry.

It happened, we were in second grade. My bestest childhood friend confronted me on the playground. "You say 'I'm sorry' too much!" It's true. If I walk towards someone, and we do that awkward side-shuffle/fake-out football move....I say I'm sorry. If your day has been going badly, even though none of it was because of me....I say I'm sorry. If you are mad, I say I am sorry. If you sneeze....I say I'm sorry. If I squeeze by you while you talk to that other person, oblivious to the rest of the world who is trying to move on with their lives while you spread out in the middle of the hall, yes....I say I'm sorry.

Can I blame my parents for instilling a humble and meek spirit into my life? Okay, maybe I do say it in excess, and I admit that at times it can be annoying. But truthfully, I don't think people say it enough, and I am just making up for that.

Think of those annoying messages that you get when you call customer service. "Thank you for calling our service department. We only have one employee and he is on coffee break. Thank you for being patient with us. Your call is important to us, so please keep holding. We are so very sorry for the inconvenience. We apologize for the wait. We are sure it won't be much longer, Starbucks is right around the corner and he is usually pretty quick about getting coffee."

To me, that's the part that is ingenuine. That reeks of un-sorryiness. (Yes, I know those aren't words-but they works, so deal.....I'm sorry) They really aren't sorry that they are making you wait, they just say that to check off their "politeness" box of the day. "Yes mom, I was polite today, I had 145 customers hear 'We are sorry for the wait.'"

But even with all the fake politeness, people still attack me for apologizing for real stuff. "You are sorry my day is going badly?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! WHYYYYYY?!?!?!?!?! You didn't do anything, you scum!!!!! It's not your fault!!!!! So just SHUT UP!!! I don't want to hear it!!!!"

"What?!?!?!?!?! You say you are sorry for squeezing by me and my boyfriend as we make-out right here in a public place? WHYYYYYYY?!?!?!?!?! It's not your fault we love each other!!!!!!!! STOP SAYING 'I'M SORRY!!!' It's so annoying to hear a polite person!!!!! Go AWAY!!!!"

You may think i exaggerate with these reactions, but trust me. I have been chewed out countless times by people insisting that I should not say a polite "I'm sorry" in passing.

So to the world, I will say it one more time. I'm sorry for saying I'm sorry.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

If you give your mom a robe

If you give your mom a robe….make sure you keep the receipt.

She will want to try it on to see if it looks good, even though technically no one will see her in it. She will hate the color, even though the color she actually wants does not exist. She will bend over to see if the hem is straight, which bending over will ensure that the hem will in fact NOT be straight and there will be much ado about quality.

She will twist around to see all angles of the fluffy, green robe that you searched high-and-low for. Nevermind the fact that you found the very last one being sold on earth and it was even on clearance and you found three matching nightgowns that were also on clearance. Your money that you earned babysitting screaming kids is irrelevant if you give your mom a robe.

She will ask your opinion on how she looks. Granted, she has tried on the robe over her big sweatshirt and jeans. She looks like a fluffy, over-stuffed Eskimo, but you don't want to return the robe that you searched 10 stores for, so you say it looks comfy. She won't believe you.

She will ask dad how it looks, and you will look at him and give him the pleading puppy face. He will chuckle and say, "I love you in anything." She decides to keep the robe.

The next day, you will be woken up by your dad and instructed to return the robe. If you give your mom a robe, make sure it's purple and slimming and the hem is straight and it looks good at every angle and it can be worn inside out and still look good.

If you give your mom a robe, make sure you keep the receipt.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Entry-level Curse: You are Scum

Unexperienced. It's the cuss word for all recent graduates. If you are like me, you are hitting the job boards with vigor and polished resumes that shine with potential. Here I am a graduating senior with my shiny business degree, and I have to go through "the cycle" again.

By "the cycle," I refer to the circle that every person has had to face since their first day of preschool. It starts at the bottom as a lowly "entry" level preschool postion. From preschool, you get to graduate into the "big kids" school-elementary level education. Each year, you become a bigger and more "grown-up" mature young person. The first graders now look at you in awe as you stand in your sixth grade line at recess.

THEN it happens. You are moved to junior high. You are now a pip-squeak beneath all of the eighth graders and ::shivers::: high schoolers. No fears, you end up a senior in high school and you are on the top of your game. You are the role model for every scared little freshman that cowers in your very presence. Life is awesome, and you rule the school. However, that nasty graduation thing happens and :::Boom::: you have been lowered to that pathetic freshman-level status once again. You suck, you don't know who the cool teachers are, you don't know where the computer lab is. You are just a little lost puppy. But hey, senior year comes and once again you can scholarly recommend teachers, textbooks, courses and clubs to all of those visiting high school seniors and feel so very awesome in all of your glory and knowledge. :::Boom::: Graduation.

Now you get to look for an entry-level job. Forget all of those awesome Manager/Senior executive/VP/ Director positions. Psssshhh you are scum. You don't deserve those lofty positions. You get to be an assistant, or if you are lucky… a "coordinator" (whatever that actually means). You will file papers that will probably never need to be looked at again, you get to organize databases of people who have already changed their addresses/names/phone numbers/identities and the data you just entered is already outdated and completely pointless but you do get to demonstrate your deep knowledge of copy/paste functions. This is why you went through 20+ years of education and internships for: to grovel at company doorsteps waiting for a job crumble to be tossed your way. Because entry-level jobs are just that awesome and worth the wait.

Entry-level jobs. You go on that careerbuilder/monster/craigslist/juju Web site and search for that job that just SCREAMS "YOU!!!!" You see "We are searching for an energetic, enthusiastic, excited, ecstatic, enthused individual who is passionate about [insert industry here coffee/wine/sales/computers/ puppies/sewer systems/ phone lines/fax machines/ screaming children] The ideal candidate must know the ins-and-outs of every operating system ever invented (of course with this they use a whole bunch of acrynoms that they probably looked up on the internet to make them look more tech-savvy), must speak fluent Chinese/Spanish/English/German, must know how to use every photo-editing software ever invented, must be very, very organized and can clean-up after any other messy, higher-up employees, have immaculate writing skills (and here is where the company recruiter misspells one of the words or puts in an extra comma and you roll your eyes at their inadequacies) and you must have at least five years of experience (yes you must have experience even though this is an entry-level position, we want knowledge and wisdom, people!!!) working under great bosses who have taught you how to run the company and you were their best employee and you are willing to work for $12 an hour even though you have student loans to pay off."

Perfect!!! This job is sooooo you!!!! You even call a friend about how excited you are about how perfect of a job you found.

The ad will then go on to use adjectives and words that you [or any other normal human being] have never even heard of. "We are looking for someone who can perform organizational, optimizational, functionary performances on the systemoptics of the central components of front-runner, cutting-edge capabilities for our various itemized processes and productions." Huh? You then question your degree and everything that your teachers/parents/friends/church/ books ever taught you. Are you dumb? Why haven't you ever heard of these duties in all of your education? You must be a failure. You should probably just go work at Burger King now because you don't even know what "systemoptics" is. Silly you for even considering getting a job that wants you to perform "optimizational functionary performances."

You decide to apply anyways. I mean, the worst they can say is "no," right? So you write a perfect cover letter boasting of all of your accomplishments and feats that you have ever done since second grade when your teacher proclaimed that "you have potential!" You include every experience you can think of. "Oh you want me to have experience in the wine public relations arena? Well, I happen to have a friend whose dad drinks wine. I have even seen him drink both white and red wine. I am very qualified for this position and am available for interviews anytime. Seriously. Call me right now if you want to, I will pick up the phone. I will even answer my phone after midnight if it means getting this job. I will buy you a puppy if you hire me."

Two weeks goes by and no calls, no e-mails. No one cares about you or your pathetic degree in Business Administration. You start to apply for even the jobs that you didn't really want but at least are something to get you by. Still, nothing. Job searching turns into a psychological war field of desires and emotions. You cry yourself to sleep because no one loves you. THEN the phone rings. Interview? YES, of course you are available!!! You can meet them any time, any place. Yes, you will buy them coffee.

You then receive an inspirational talk about pyramid schemes and "no pressure sales calls." This product [cars/insurance/cleaning supplies/body parts/onion rings/jump ropes] practically sells itself. A baby could sell this, so we think you are PERFECT for this job. You only need to contribute $30 to invest in your future and your training for a great career. You have the potential (see your second grade teacher was RIGHT!!!) to make $1 million dollars in your very first year!!!!!! Just think what you could do with that money!!!!! Now go bug all of your friends and tell them about this amazing product and how it can change their lives forever. Trust us, we wouldn't lie to you to make a profit.

Job searching. It's the curse on humanity. Enjoy the hunt. J

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Success Dressed in Amish Clothing

Power heels, laptops, Blackberries, expensive haircuts – these are probably the objects that you assign to success. Success in America means material wealth and visible happiness. We love our convenience and our shiny technology. I don't know about you, but I can't even write a term paper without a Starbucks, a texting conversation with a best friend and a good pop track playing in my earbuds attached to my attractive netbook.

Meet Amos Miller, the opposite of your stereotypical, "type A" businessman. Amos Miller doesn't own a cell phone, he doesn't drive a car, he doesn't have a Web site and he runs a $1.8 million business known as Miller Farm. Amos is Amish, which means that his business challenges the moral standards abided to by his community. His farm specializes in the "nutrient-dense food" that is giving organic food a run for their money. Amos hires non-Amish drivers to take his food to national food conventions and trade shows where he advertises this unique idea of "purity in food." Orders come in on the only farm landline and are shipped out using FedEx.

Community elders are concerned with the amount of profit Amos is receiving because it corrupts the simplicity of their lives. Amos admits that he hates the city and prefers the comfort of his farm. For the complete story, please read his story in Businessweek.

I actually think this is a more complex story that goes much deeper than Businessweek went. Here is a man who is benefiting from the supply/demand magic of a capitalistic society but his religion shuns the evils of wealth. In the story, Amos admits to owning a generator and a phone which is modern technology (though of course not as advanced as some modern farms) but he doesn't have a computer, an email address or other modern novelties.

The Amish have a very exclusive community that centers on simplicity but they run rather suspiciously profitable ventures. Do you see the inconsistencies? Think about Amish quilts. My grandma LOVES Amish quilts and buys one every time she goes back east. These quilts are made by people who don't want anything to do with the modern world, but they can sell those pretty blankets for over $500 a piece to that "evil" market! I am not saying this is wrong, but I just think the Amish will have to eventually make a decision whether or not to court the curious American public with their wholesome goods.

A note on the "nutrient-dense-going-green-organic-recycle-everything" movement. Today, I went to the grocery store. I admit that I am rather easily influenced by attractive packaging and I was drawn to a box of "peanut-butter crèmes." (This was a cutesy way of saying peanut-butter cookies.) The box was very organic-looking and promised the most natural and healthy experience. It was made of 100% recycled materials and the box was probably much more nutritious than the cookies themselves. Well, I bought the cookies and took them home. After opening this pretty box that was saving the world and turning it green and whatever, I found a plastic-and-foil-wrapped cookie sleeve inside. They may have saved the planet with the box, but the clunky inside container is going to pollute some landfill after I finish these rather ordinary-tasting "crèmes." I realize we are "taking it one step at a time" (which is how the box put it) but I just thought that there was irony in the whole situation.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Ironic Lifestyle of the American College Student

He had in his pocket exactly $23. This was the leftovers from a birthday card from grandma and a carefully saved monthly budgeted allowance from mom and dad. Today was Monday and he was counting on a paycheck from a local coffee shop to come in on Friday. However, this poor fellow was in college. Money seemed to seep out of his fingers like soda from a cheap Seven-eleven cup left in his car all week.

Monday came and went and he felt victorious, not one penny spent.

Tuesday, however, there was a birthday party in one of the dorm lounges. He was required to buy a card, balloons and steamers. Twelve dollars later, there was a nice celebration of a fellow collegian turning a rather insignificant age of 19, completed with a rather painful off-key rendition of "Happy Birthday." The dozen, 12 in. - diameter balloons, $1 greeting card that said "Happy Birthday, Punk!" and bright red streamers made for a nice touch.

Wednesday was started off with a balance of $11 crumpled bills in his pocket and with the week half over, this college student felt rather proud of his saving abilities. However, his buddies begged him to go on a late-night food run which cost him $5.78. The brother-bonding was intense and there was much fist-bumping, slaps on the back and grandiose tales of skateboard tricks and basketball feats and of course girls. Night well worth the money invested. Homework and fast food were finished around 3 a.m.

Five hours later, Thursday came with a food hangover and an early morning test in American Literature. The test time was spent trying to muffle the growling of an angered stomach and half-hearted answers to questions about poets and novelists that didn't directly impact the life or thoughts of this average student.

Thursday's starting balance was $5.22 and he was sure that he could make it until Friday's glorious delivery of a $72 paycheck. However, night came and the guys were going to the video store. Entertainment was calling, and the call of the newest x-box shoot 'em up game was rather tempting. All homework for the week had been completed so it was time to celebrate the near-end of another week.

But wait! The rental for the game was $7! Should he forfeit the privilege of beating seven levels of a critically acclaimed game of epic proportions? Then he realized that he had $3.25 in laundry quarters. Sniffing his t-shirt, he winced a little. He made his decision. The battle against aliens and robots should not be ignored, and he could always spray on some cologne to mask his scent for one more week. Add the $3.25 to the previous balance of $5.22 and he was $8.47 rich! He even had money left over for a $0.80 vending machine pop-tart snack! Bonus!

Friday arrived with a whopping $0.67 balance. He nervously approached his mailbox and peeked inside. There it was, in all it's glory. Another week had been survived on a college kid's budget.