August 10, 1998

So here we are. Here I am, anyway. The last day of summer. Tomorrow school starts. Today I have to go to the school and get my schedule, show them a report card to prove I’ve already taken World Geography, and get them to mail a transcript to Central Texas College. No fun. Just seems like there’s no time when I’m in school. No time to do anything. But, when I think about it, my uncle who works for Nokia works from eight till six or later everyday. I go to school from eight till four everyday, so, put in perspective, if he has time to do stuff, then I should, too. Of course, he gets paid $70,000 or so a year to not have any free time during the week, whereas I get this wonderful feeling that I’m wasting half of my life on crap in return for my long hours. Another thing is how I always, at the beginning of every school year, start to romanticize about how great the year will be. How I’ll argue political points with Government teachers or how I’ll critique the great works of literature in awe of my classmates, or how I’ll get a girlfriend. Never happens. Not even the last thing in those. So, this year, I’ve made a point of not getting my hopes up about school. I know it’s going to suck, and if, for some reason, it should not suck, I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

What I find most funny about my summer is how the whole time I was in D/FW I loathed the Metroplex and the rampant commercialism and materialism contained therein. I saw kids walking around Grapevine Mills (a huge, pretty cool, aesthetically speaking, mall) and they’d be dressed in baggy clothes trying to look “alternative” and I just had to laugh to myself. These kids are, for the most part, offspring of very rich parents. Rich, by my standards, is a combined income of about $100,000 a year. Not only that, but the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex is probably the most conservative urban area in Texas. Anyway, I digress. The most funny thing is that, now that I’m back in Killeen, where only generals in the Army make any real money, and the people are poor enough to dress “alternative” because it’s cheap and it’s also more liberal, I wish I were back in D/FW.

Yesterday was pretty cool. My dad and I lowered twenty-two desks to fit second graders in my mom’s classroom and then we put bookcovers on eighty-eight books. It wasn’t much fun, but it was cool to spend time with my family after being away for two weeks straight. I also met the new second grade teacher who studied archaeology at the University of Texas and went on digs around the world, then worked at a museum in Dallas before becoming an elementary teacher. Earlier, before I met her, my mom had told me that she had said that when she worked in the museum in Dallas, she worked in the basement and it was so quiet that when she got home she had to turn on the TV or radio just for some noise. Not to sound superficial or anything, but she also said she made more money at the museum than she does after five years of teaching. She said the social science programs at the University of Texas are wonderful, that you work with some of the great minds in the field, and that it’s not like the Business School where it’s really cutthroat and they try to knock you out, in the social science programs, she said, they try to retain as many of their students as they can. A quick browse over the University of Texas Anthropology Department’s Website shows that Anthropology is considered a liberal art and, therefore, prepares you for a majority of careers, but not one definite career. Which is kind of scary. What the hell do I want to do?

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