Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Today the wife and I had an incoming student orientation to attend at the college we're going to be taking courses from. It sounded like it might produce some useful information, and supposedly our attendance was mandatory. We were soundly disappointed by its focus on the 17-18 year old crowd (which we expected, of course), but in general I felt ignored because I am in the Aviation department and not a single mention was made of the department. The people putting on the orientation were all students and graduates of the Mass Communications and Graphic Design elements of our institution, so a little bias is to be expected (who doesn't favor their preferred area, after all?), but it felt more like we were being preached to than given useful information.

A representative from Monster College (a subsidiary of was there to speak to us and give a demonstration. He was dressed in a decent suit of 1950-1960 cut, his hair was slicked back in a realistic pompadour, and he certainly was good at public speaking... just not to a smallish community college crowd. His information and presentation were geared towards large institutions (say Texas A&M), and his inability to impress any other information on us besides the fact that we should be active in our fields from day one and that our GPAs are now more important than ever before (thanks to a series of computational tools that prospective employers use).

When the Master of Ceremonies announced that it was time for everyone to don their free T-shirts and take a group photo before break time, the wife and I were most unimpressed. Many of the more serious students were of like mind to us, and we left as soon as it became apparent that no second roll call would be made. After some attempted errands ended in failure, we've returned home and I have a late lunch cooking in the kitchen.

What has colored my day as an okay day, however, was our early morning walk. Normally, the wife and I have been getting to the track shortly before the time we were due to the orientation. Today we opted to cut our sleep short and go for our customary walk before sunrise. The weather was cool and calm, and we observed a small family of near-feral cats on both our way to and from the track.

Those kittens and the amazingly cool (for this time of year) temperatures on the morning of this hot Texas day have me feeling better about my situation and my place in things than I feel I otherwise would. Even on a day when I felt lousy, didn't want to go anywhere or do anything, and certainly felt railroaded into going to something I surely felt was a waste of my time by the end of it (if not before), a small pack of kittens playing in the grass outside someone's home brightened my day.

I can only hope that I can be of similar service to someone in my life. Even just once, it would make me feel better about how much I believe I should serve society and those within it. Hopefully it would be more dignified than wrestling in the dewy grass, but still... the image is there.

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