You see, I went to Reed College. For those who don't know, Reed College isn't only a left-leaning small liberal arts school nestled in southeast Portland, it's also the most highly concentrated area for intellectual snobbery in the entire nation (unofficially). Every freshman at Reed is required to take a humanities course featuring ancient Greek and Roman literature, and it was in this very class that I met some amazing people who helped me confirm my cellar dweller status: my good friend Jenny who, without a doubt, is the most interesting person I know (she could give the Dos Equis guy a run for his money), my friend Nico (who was so smart that his comments and observations were generally followed by that reverent silence and head nod reserved for the truly insightful), among others. But it was also the class that quickly made me realize this sad fact:
I was, without a doubt, the dumbest person at Reed College.
That particular day, the humanities class was discussing the meaning and importance of artwork emblazoned on Greek pottery. Now, this artwork didn't feature actual pictures of humans, cities, animals or anything like that, no, they were mostly random squiggles and circles similar to designs you might see in the bargain bin at Walmart. The entire class was dissecting the meaning of each brushstroke, each squiggle and relating it, somehow, back to Ancient Greek culture. It all seemed like a lot of bullshit to me, so when finally asked my opinion, I responded with this genius statement:
"I dunno, maybe they just thought it looked nice."
And I suddenly felt like the guy who asked for the jelly in that Polaner All Fruit commercial:
And see the woman at the end there? The one who almost faints? My classmate Lily had pretty much the same exact reaction. I'd make fun of Lily, but I'm sure she's actually doing something pretty cool with her life right now, while I'm blogging and comparing myself to a kid with down syndrome who won a race at the Special Olympics. So, really, I guess she wins, the kid wins, I lose (and if there is a hell, I'm going to it). Nevertheless, Lily didn't need to announce to our Spanish class that I was a moron later that day. "You weren't just wrong, you were so wrong, so unbelievably wrong, I think I've seen gorillas who fling shit at the zoo who are smarter than you," I believed she exclaimed. Well, I'm paraphrasing the last part, but the first part is verbatim. But hey, I'd have bet 5 bucks that I could have wrecked her in a Saved By The Bell trivia contest! And, well, I'd bet 10 bucks she wouldn't have given a shit about that.
|I'm not ashamed|
Anyway, much of the next four years, more or less, mirrored that moment. I somehow graduated from that place, much to the chagrin of that professor who recommended I fail out of the English program because I couldn't interpret poetry for the life of me. (Oh, this poem was about a woman menstruating? Hmm, are you sure it wasn't about boiling potatoes? Really, are you sure because I coulda...a metaphor? What's a metaphor?)
So, yeah, I suppose this entire post is dedicated to those who suggest I go to grad school. I wonder if you'll think twice next time the thought crosses your mind.