First Day

I hope people in my grad program are down with He-Man and Masters of the Universe. If not, I'm out.

The first day of school can be pretty daunting for a child.  I remember my first day of pre-school. Oh, I cried like a messy little bitch. I remember just weeping into the shoulder of a stranger, as my mother drove away in that baby blue Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. I miss that damn car.

Anyway, this event and the 3 successive years toughened me up. I walked up to my kindergarten class like a straight up pro at getting abandoned by my parents and left with strangers entrusted with my care.  I was a mack with it.  Every kid I saw was crying like a ball of reckless and unhinged emotion.  It was really awesome.

I’m pretty sure I felt like the shit, despite not knowing what being the shit was.  I made fun of them all when I got home.   My parents actually picked their favorite tantrums. (Side Note: It’s strange how much you remember if you try hard enough.  It being true or not is a difficult thing to decipher.)

Now, middle school was much different.  I knew no one.  I was going to a “magnet” school, which, for those of you not listening, is a place they send noble savages to learn the ways of the West.  I had to assert myself.  This need to assert myself devolved into beating a kid down and missing out on a month and a half of school because of my parents’ unwillingness to send me to alternative education.  My parents might be humble immigrants, but they know a broken system when see one.  I didn’t have a hot start to my middle school career, and I ended up being quite the little shit during that time.  I got off on the wrong foot, and it just followed me throughout.  Of course, when you’re a teen you don’t know shit, so let’s just write it off as that and not as a reflection of my true character.

My first day of freshman year was really nothing of note.  I had my friends all set up.  They had all come with me from Paul Revere.  Westside had its lines drawn before we even got there.  It’s not like they didn’t change, but there was no wiggle room.  Everyone had everyone else pretty figured out.  I didn’t have to beat anyone down.


I start grad school on Thursday.  I’m sorta nervous.  I’m nervous in the “Can I do this?” way, not the “HOLY SHIT MOM AND DAD ARE GONE I’M GOING TO SHIT MY PANTS ASAP!!” way.  I’ve always been told that I belong in a PhD program, and I’m inclined to tell those people they’re crazy.  People that I’ve worked with have all the faith in the world in me, and I wish I shared their optimism.  But, it being me, I can’t help but think I’m doing the wrong thing here.  Maybe I’m fucking up by not going through a PhD program immediately.  Maybe, I’m just avoiding the inevitable–GETTING  REAL FUCKING JOB.  Who knows?  One thing is for certain, I will be dropping $40,000 for this fucking thing.  Ha.

I’m also concerned about my ability to make first impressions.  They usually go something like this:

Other Person:  Hi, I’m So-and-So Sally! I’m from Wherever-the-fuck, USA.

Me: Rad. I’m Dago.  I’m from Houston, so obviously what you just said is meaningless to me, since I’m from the greatest city on fucking EARTH.

OP: I like to do stuff that might be slightly interesting and in-line with your own beliefs/practices/work schedule.

Me: Oh, that’s legit. I’m a barista and a musicseller. So, I’m obviously a know-everything douche.  I play video games, talk in lolspeak and hate pretty much everything you listen to/read/watch/are about. Would you like to talk about something that we might both have experienced?

OP: I really like that show [insert lame show; probably Glee]. Oh, man, actually, let’s trade quotes from some movie we’ve both watched.

Me: [racist comment intended as a joke]

OP: Uh, haha, well, that’s nice. Y’know, I’m part Cherokee, right?

Me: Shit.

OP: …

Me: AWESOME! OK, I’m walking away now because you’re boring me.  Hope you find out about all the mean shit I said about you tomorrow. Cool. NICE MEETING YOU!

I can’t avoid bad first impressions.  I can’t.  It’s like my one great weakness.  You might say,”Just keep your mouth shut!”  Well, fuck you, ok? Alright, I didn’t mean that.  What I mean is… I can’t.  I can’t keep my mouth shut, and I need to work on that.  I need to learn how to just NOT BE ME.

I do know one thing.  I won’t be that annoying kid in class that has an answer for everything and is compeltely wrong EVERY GOD DAMN TIME.  Hate that guy.

I hope that I meet people in this program that love learning and have some of the same goals as I do.  I don’t want to feel out of place.  As many times as I claim my self-reliance and pride, I can’t help but want people around that are taking the same plunge as I am.

Hope no one makes fun of my Hello Kitty lunchbox,


One thought on “First Day”

  1. I wonder, too, how much weight plays in this, as well. As a fat man myself, and as a lover of nice, burley men, I wonder if not blending in often makes us have strange personalities. It’s something that’s especially highlighted in first encounters and new environments. Usually, I don’t put it as delicately, but you notice a pattern. Especially in theatre people. There’s always the fat, loud, insulting, possibly funny person.

    That aside, I’m sure grad school will go well. It sucks at first. It’s a lot of work, which tangibly translates into lots of time. But I think since you’re in an MLA program, there will be a good mix of adults in there too, or people that have had to grow up. The game’s not the same, and that’s pretty refreshing.

    Buena suerte, amigo.

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