Monday, February 11, 2013

Why I Dropped Out Of College (Sweet Funky Story Time)

Gather round, gather round. It's time for "Sweet Funky Story Time" time!

Something just knocked loose several repressed memories of amusing events that happened to me when I attended college. I felt compelled to recount the happenings right here on my blog. (Something also knocked loose an acid flashback, so this might take longer to type out than I intend.) These occurrences occurred in 2007, but I remember them like they happened yesterday.....if yesterday was over 5 years ago.

Ah, 2007...the year I graduated high school, the year I went to my first music festival, and the year I started my first semester of college....and the year I dropped out of college. And the year of the pig.

In 2007, I started my first semester of college 3 short months after graduating high school. While I had intended to take a year or two off....maybe get a part time job, then travel, then form a band and start playing shows, then find a girlfriend and/or gaggle of groupies to smash and watch Netflix with before moving on to college...I was forced to abandon this idealistic teenage utopia to pursue academics.

For circumstances out of my control, I was obligated to jump right into college. The reason for this was if I wanted to utilize the scholarship I had been awarded (due to my MCAS scores), I had to use it that Fall, immediately after graduating. I understand College Scholarships need to have expiration dates, but less than a year? Really?

I just couldn't fathom why I had to use my Abigail Adams Scholarship immediately after graduating for it to count. I mean, surely I should wait for a year, so I could maybe....

 ...research the major I would choose to base the rest of my life around, instead of blindly investing thousands of dollars into one of the random colleges the scholarship foundation allows you to choose from.

But this luxury wasn't afforded to the people awarded with the Abigail Adams scholarship, oh no. We couldn't even.....

.....mull over said investment of said thousands of dollars we'd be pouring into the advancement of our education before shipping ourselves off. No need to reach a satisfactory conclusion of why we should be attending college in the first place, wasting a mediocre scholarship is irrational!

Us recipients of the Abigail Adams scholarship....we had to either immediately utilize the mediocre discount this scholarship afforded us, or abandon it entirely. FUCK.

Forced to act fast, I picked the best school out of the grocery list of undesirable colleges. Not a single school on this list had a "Filmscore Composition" based major. Or any music based major at all. Being an ignorant teenager at the time (I'm a slightly less ignorant 24 year old now), I barely attempted to make it to class or tough it out. Which I regret at this point, being slightly less ignorant. And here's why.

 Logically, all I had to do was attend one full semester at this college - just tough out ONE YEAR at the discounted rate afforded to me with my crappy scholarship - and then I could easily transfer somewhere else. My exemplary attendance and exceptional grades would make it easy, of course, (HA!) to transfer to a college with a legitimate music program and an overall focus on art. But I was too stubborn and rebellious, and bailed relatively fast.

The initial thrill of seeing hot chicks literally everywhere wore off when I realized most of these hot chicks preferred Puerto Ricans. It was also around that point I realized I had no game.  Not in this setting, at least. But I knew where my game did work.See, the weekend before I started college I had attended my first ever musical. It was a glorious weekend called "Moe Down 8." And it changed my life forever.

That weekend before I started college was literally one of the craziest in my entire life. I spent that weekend before partying on a mountain in New York. Tripping on acid.....jamming electric guitar leads around campfires on my mini-amp and drowning out all the pussies playing acoustic guitars signed by Dave Matthews......hitting on random hippie chicks, snorting random powders.

It was a 10,000+ person party with constant music, constant shenanigans, and all the funnest aspects possible of social interaction rolled into the setting of a 3-day concert celebrating anarchy. This was the utopia I had searched my entire life to find - an almost "No holds barred, friendly stoner anarchy," all-weekend party with great tunes, great boobs, and great que-ludes.

To go directly from THAT world.....into the college was like jumping into an ice cold pool of hot sauce. The college world of privileged yuppie fucks, all stressed out about their grades and seamlessly blending into one gooey mess of mainstream, cliche college was a recipe for disaster. There was no way I was gonna last, and I knew it subconsciously at the time. Hell, I consciously knew I subconsciously wouldn't succeed in college. But I decided to run with it anyways, if only since I had an appetite for self-destruction.

The first event that rings clear in my minds eye was taking "Music Appreciation" class. It was worth a half credit, and I figured it sounded fun, but I had definitely curbed my enthusiasm consider "Viking History 101" turned out to be some retarded bullshit taught by some cunt of a teacher.

Upon arriving to my first day of "Music Appreciation" class, I chose a seat in the back of the room, placed down my mini-amp on my desk and leaned my un-sheated electric guitar on the back wall. My eyes were now fixed upon the shiny Grand Piano sitting in the corner of the room, looking so inviting, as if no one had ever laid a hand on her before. I sat down and quickly began playing the piano part that opens the first verse in Meat Loafs "Bat Out Of Hell," and was quickly reprimanded by the old teacher who sat at their desk.


I was taken aback. This certainly was no music appreciation class. Had I been an appallingly bad pianist, striking off key notes and mashing keys, I would understand the scolding tone. But I was tearing through the delicate piano musings of Jim Steinman with ease, my fingers hitting the G-Spot of every key it touched. 

I sat down, deciding to bring things up a notch. I had something more epic in mind that casually pointing out the hypocrisy of showcasing a piano in a classroom called "Music Appreciation," and then yelling at anyone who plays it.

The teacher began to run through attendance, but not before explaining to the class something along the lines of...

"I don't want you saying anything other than 'Present.' There will be no 'Heres,' 'Yos,' or 'Whats ups."

Oh god, this setup was perfect. My last name starts with an 'R,' so it took him a dozen names to finally reach me. But when he did, I sure as fuck didn't say "Present." I cranked my mini-amp and ripped a tasty, intense, 5 second guitar lick that had the entire class in stitches. Needless to say, the reaction of the teacher wasn't pleasant. I left the class after a short shpiel explaining how I'd be changing my class to something with a less counterfeit title.

Now I'm not sure if it was later on that same day, or another day entirely, but I remember ALL FRESHMAN STUDENTS were required to go to the auditorium for an assembly with the head of the college security. First week of class safety lecture, blah blah blah. Apparently you needed to attend 8 out of 10 of these assemblies throughout each semester for a credit or something. I don't remember that detail. I do remember, in vivid detail, how the assembly went though.

Me and the stoner kids I had become friends with at college had just finished smoking a bowl, and we headed into the auditorium. I still had my good ol' electric guitar and mini-amp with me, attached to my belt. I found my cousin and her hot friends and sat with them, as more freshmen continued to pile into the auditorium. After a few minutes sitting, the head of security of the college, this really cunty lady, start flipping out, yelling at people to move from the back of the auditorium to the front seats, leaving no empty seats. She starts literally pointing out at each person, and telling them to move forward.

I see this as an opportunity to make a good first impression. I turn on the mini-amp, crank the distortion and volume, and start playing "Eye of the Tiger" as this lady barks out orders. She appears completely un-phased by this, never faltering as she continues to bark out her fascist, makeshift seating arrangement orally to the befuddled freshmen as she makes it up in her head.

Finally, she catches wind of what's going on, and so have a number of students. The auditorium gets noticeably quieter, further amplifying the fact SOMEONE IS BLATANTLY PLAYING THE GUITAR RIFF TO EYE OF THE TIGER IN AN IRONIC FASHION.

I hear stifled chuckles and giggles, but no outburst of laughter, not now. The showdown has only just begun.


I turn off the guitar, stand up, and start making my way toward an empty seat.


There was no way I was going to leave my electric guitar sitting unattended in the back of an auditorium filled with several hundred college freshmen. Everyone waited for my reaction.

"This is an $800 guitar, ma'am. I turned off the amp, I won't play it again during the assembly. I can't leave it unattended, someone might try to steal it if I-"

She angrily cuts me off.


I lift up the tiny bag-pack the college provided all freshmen, hold it aloft, and do the same with my guitar, demonstrating visually how the guitar dwarfed the generic college book bag.

"It clearly won't fit."

People start laughing now, the situation has turned quite absurd, with her looking like an idiot and me coming across as the cheeky cunt I am. She gets even more visibly flustered than she was when she was barking out orders like a Nazi.


8 out of 10, eh? Looks like it'll be 8 out of 9, WSC. I gathered my book bags and coat, stood up, and started to make for the exit. Everyone is generally amused, with hushed chatter and stifled laughter proving particularly suitable ambience.


"You just told me I would have to leave if I refused to put this guitar in the back of the auditorium unattended where it could be stolen. And it obviously can't physically fit inside the bag. So, given that I can't bend the laws of physics, I refuse. And I'm leaving."



The outburst caught her by surprise, and I swelled the volume of the guitar up and hit a massive power chord on my way out of the auditorium, as the confused freshman laughed out of both twisted respect and general awkwardness.

Three weeks later I stopped going to class because it was fucking boring.

And that's the story of how several instances of bad-timing ultimately lead to my disinterest in finishing college.



1 comment:

If you should strike me down I will become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.