Texas Instruments

by Nic Olson

I’m a full time student again, and this time I’m doing it right. Doing it right, which means, not studying yet learning, not spending yet drinking beer, and getting paid yet not ‘working’. I now might have a harder time going back to a post secondary education with a bunch of suckers who pay thousands for an education you could gain from YouTube, especially when I can get paid to go to school. I’ve figured it all out…

I always had a pretty good attendance record, rarely skipped class, rarely late and rarely asleep, and it is still about the same but instead of fear of parents coming down on me, I’ve got the weight of the entire government, the new Quebec, and my paychecks. It is the same pressure, but sans puberty, and with adulthood.

I had a flashback of Chemistry30, grade 12 Chemistry, the other day and I have something I feel I need to admit. I had a friend who required a grade twelve science to graduate, final semester and dreams of graduation swirled in our heads like our hormones told them to. I tried to teach him everything to pass the class, but all he wanted to do was to mix random chemicals and hope for an explosion, or steal the formaldehyde frogs and put them in girls purses and lockers, both of which we did. It was hopeless, so each test, quiz or exam I would finish the first five questions, write the answers on my graphing calculator and he would subtley ask for my calculator out loud, I’d hand it to him and he’d have the answers.  Typed out for short answer question or A, B, C or D for multiple
choice, even on the government regulated final examination. Needless to say, he passed the class with ease and we pulled off one of the greatest cheats in christian high school history. We were a real team, and now he is making 6 figures for his wife and two kids by creating underground explosions searching for precious minerals, and I’m back to complaining about teachers, their outfits and their teaching methods. Oh, the irony.

Now, watching a 40 year old American in my French class cheat by speaking English in French speaking activities, I realize that cheating when you’re naive, trying to graduate high school, and don’t care about chemistry is one thing, but when the class is voluntary, a language, and midlife it is different. It is a whole new world of pathetic, highlighted by pride and laziness. I hope to never be that man. Being bilingual is something I’ve wanted for a while, and now I’ve got a chance to get it. I’ll try not to cheat.

About a year and a half ago I felt my death was imminent. I was sure I wouldn’t last long. Now, despite what my palms were read as, the feeling has returned. I am not exactly sure what it is, but it is specific and it is there. The mob, possibly the Hells Angels are on the horizon, caused by my overactive conscience and a bad call centre. I talked with a young Mormon man on the metro for fifteen minutes the other day and he told me about how he knew the church was perfect because it was run by God. Russians with 80’s outfits are teaching me French. Dreams about it all.  Experiencing everything I feel like I need to in a life time. $4 loaves of bread, etc… My apocalypse seems forthcoming.

I may have cheated in high school, cheated death once when climbing a mountain, but the feeling is back, and if I ever become fluent in two languages, doom awaits me. You can only cheat so much.