Age Twenty

I graduated community college with an associate’s degree in selected studies in 2000, and transferred to the big university.

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Yes, I got a real cap, gown, and graduation ceremony. So much for the lie that community colleges aren’t real institutions of learning.

I actually graduated by the skin of my teeth. I needed one more science course to graduate, and I picked botany. Huge mistake. I failed that class miserably, after assuming it would be as fun and easy as zoology. I hadn’t gotten an A in zoology either, but a C+ was better than nothing, and pretty damn good for me, considering science hadn’t been one of my strong suits in years.

My parents forced me to do some more heavy-duty studying to pass that class, and I was so stressed-out about the whole situation that I threw up on at least one night. To this day, one of the only things I remember from that class is that the tomato is classified as a berry. I got a D- and was able to collect my diploma. I saw the professor at the graduation, but I didn’t go over to thank him on bended knee for saving my ass by letting me pass.

At the university, I lived in Upper Central, located on top of three gigantic-ass hills. Upper Central was next door to Orchard. At least I didn’t live in the uppermost dorms of Upper Central, one of which had a major reputation as a pothead dorm. They had a Jolly Roger flying on the roof, wild residents, and everything.

I started out on the Native American floor, on the second floor of my first dorm. As much as I enjoyed the specialized residential community, I eventually was moved to the fourth floor and a single. That floor was a freaking nightmare, with everyone staying up till like 3 AM and being loud enough to wake the dead. I moved to the first floor after like two weeks.

During my junior year of university, I became a serious Who freak and wrote the 9th, 10th, and 11th books in my Max’s House series. And I continued playing endless amounts of Solitaire games and Tetris on the dear ’93 Mac, which still worked beautifully, albeit a little more slowly. None of the other computers my family or I had after the first two felt so special and like dear friends.

That computer was able to go on the Internet, albeit with a dial-up modem. It couldn’t handle very large or content-heavy websites, but it was definitely able to go online in a limited capacity. Someday I’m going to buy back both the ’84 and ’93 Macs, even if they won’t be able to do everything modern machines can.

Proving how vintage I am: I call the first decade of the 21st century the Aughts, though I’m calling it “2000s” for tagging and categorization purposes here.

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