I failed it in Barton;
the test was very baaaaad.
What in the hell? Barton is a converted aircraft hangar now used for ROTC at Cornell. My calc final freshman year was held there. And I dinnae so much fail it as bomb it so bad I nearly levelled the hangar.
What if I hadn't? "Where would I be...?" to quote the strains of Cake running through my mind right now. The question is, would I have BARELY passed, or done well? That's really a deeper question, with its roots in the onset of my depression.
I burned out on Calc in high school. I took the same class three years in a row after basically hitting the ceiling of what my high school offered as a sophomore. I didn't pay much attention the next two years, and pretty much forgot it all. Whoops! Come the Calc BC AP test, I couldn't remember how to integrate. It stayed like that in college. I could answer any question in physics, as long as I could dodge the calculus. It's not even like I didn't know the stuff; what was frustrating was how I'd forgotten it. And I knew I was still "smart"; I'd be dozing off in my nighttime physics section, hear a question, answer, and go back to dozing. I managed to "forge" class participation in this manner, and still had a B in physics at that point.
But why? I was already growing disillusioned with the sciences. I'd worked in enough labs to know that the cool science was out there, but that you would have to beg and scrounge and cut corners and do all sorts of things to do one little project for your whole life. I wanted to change things. Now. But had I not had slipping grades, would I have made the decision to switch? Probably not. But my grades did fail.
So I took up psych, and peer counseling. Goodie, I could make a change there and now. I was affecting people's lives; counseling, BOO-YAH. Again, why why why why? I did not want to be a therapist. And I was still disillusioned with research. Had my grades stayed, I probably would have been a lab tech grad student of so-so calibre doing boring research till I developed a morbid distaste for life. And as for psych? I would be a graduate by now, probably not in grad school; out in the world, alone, trying to scrape a living somewhere in North Jersey. Because I would have been directionless, so I would have just gone home.
But I'm not directionless now. There is a steady westward pull in my heart. If I'd been busy studying, I would never have made the acquaintance of the woman I love. Well, shit.
I'm not some kind of Voltaire character, holding that everything is for the best. I don't put stock in the external world like that. Maybe you'd guessed as much from my apathy about god. I think it's up to the individual to find what's good in a situation, and use it. So I'm something of an opportunist. Whatever. It pleases me to do so, and I'm my own lord and master to whatever degree I can assert the title.
My mood right now? King Crimson and Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. Mostly "I Talk to the Wind" and "Epitaph" and I think I will listen to Tarkus for another two hours tonight. And you all are like "Huh?" Well, fuck you. I'm not being pretentious that much anymore. I'm sick of it. But this is good music for my mood.
"I talk to the wind... My words are all carried away I talk to the wind... The wind does not hear The wind can not hear..."
It's not the words, though. It is, but it's the music so much more. So much that the words dwindle and fade until they are just notes of the melody to accentuate the sadness, emptiness, and sense of loss.
I feel like re-reading the King in Yellow. This album (Crimson King, not Yellow King) goes well with it. Kings and colors. If you'll follow, Blue Oyster Cult goes well with Lovecraft, and Soundgarden's Superunknown goes well with King. Actually, I like Soundgarden AND BOC with Lovecraft, and KC and BOC with King in Yellow. I don't have King music yet. And I haven't dreamt of him in a while. Maybe that's because (scroll back) it appears I've been writing. Go me.
No, I don't have that fiction to write yet, but that story will come. Right now, I am writing my story.