college

People aren’t born racist

Back when I was 18, I had a choice of three colleges I was going to go to: Kentucky Wesleyan College (KWC), Western Illinois, and the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP). Our family was relatively poor — my dad didn’t even have money to pay the bill for my oldest sister’s wedding that summer — so I went to KWC, which seemed like it might be the cheapest. Every once in a while I wonder what life would have been like if I didn’t go to KWC first, even though I eventually graduated from Texas A&M and lived in Texas for three years. So this morning I’m thinking about the people of El Paso.

The thing about people who kill other people is that they’re not born that way. You can easily imagine babies and young children who are black, white, hispanic, asian, middle eastern, etc., all playing together with no racist thoughts. They’re just children, so they naturally play together. People are made racist by their family, friends, and society, including the hate speech of the current president of the United States.

My condolences to the people of El Paso.

My college admission story

My college admission story is that my dad said, “Son, go to college, I’ll figure out a way to pay for it.” Then after my freshman year he said, “Sorry, it turns out I can’t really afford to pay for it. Go get yourself some more grants and loans, and keep up the good work. May the Force be with you.”

Joe from Tennessee (a college story) alvin July 28, 2018 - 1:29pm

Straight out of high school in Illinois I made the decision to go to a college in Kentucky. In high school I had never known anyone with a southern accent, so it was really neat to hear everyone talk. (I had also never seen a revival tent, but that’s a story for another time.)

One guy at school — I think his name was Joe — came from Tennessee. He would later become famous for loudly chasing his roommate down our dorm hallway with a baseball bat at 2am because he thought the roommate was too loud when he came back in after a night out.

Joe’s accent was so thick I could barely understand what he was saying, and one day in something of a Seinfeld skit I ended up going to the shopping mall with him just because I would nod my head “yes” and say things like “uh-huh” when I didn’t understand him. Fortunately this was before he attacked his roommate with the bat, and his roommate had a sweet 1950s car that we borrowed, so it was a fun ride, even if I didn’t understand most of it.

Now I think there’s at least a slight chance that Joe might be my new neighbor. He looks like him, and I can’t understand a word he says. But this time I’m being careful not to agree to anything.

A dream about Don Monk, college professor

Have you ever felt like you were having someone else’s dream? This morning (July 24, 2017) I was having a “back to school (college)” dream, and thought, okay, whatever, I’m bored, I’ll go with it.

The short story is that when I woke up I remembered that one of the teachers was named Don Monk. I figured that was a name made up by my brain, but I googled it just now and found two college professors with that name, one at Rutgers, and the other just down the road at the University of Colorado, Boulder.