Column: Flushing my mental toilet

Say goodbye to the verb charts and vocab lists.

Like many other students here at MU, I was encouraged (forced) to take multiple general education courses. Also, like many other students here at MU, I somewhat resent that requirement.

Now that my fourth semester has begun, I no longer spend 50 minutes each day in the pit of Arts and Science pretending to understand foreign languages or three hours every week trying to stay awake during a slideshow about craters on Mars. My classes this semester pertain to my majors and minor. You know, the stuff I really want to learn.

It feels like I transferred schools. Suddenly, I don’t mind waking up at the ungodly hour of 10 a.m. I don’t frown as fiercely on my trek through the frozen tundra between Middlebush and Physics. Guys, I actually felt a tinge of excitement while browsing a syllabus.

Unfortunately, there is an entire section of my brain filled with information I no longer have much use for. Now, I understand that all information is useful and we are required to take general education courses because the learning process is an important experience (at least, I think that’s what the brochure said), but do I really need to know the life cycle of a star when it comes time to put my (pending) English and sociology degrees to use? Probably not. It’s nice to have a repertoire of fun facts to whip out at parties, but I’d much rather make room in my brain for the use of symbolism in classic literature and memorizing the works of Dylan Thomas.

But that’s just my own personal cup of tea, spiced chai with honey and steamed soy milk, to be exact. Maybe you are into tracking the motion of stars or have a passion for conjugating verbs. That’s fine. You just won’t find me in class with you. In the same way that I did not particularly find enjoyment in the content of some foreign language and science lab classes, another student may not take kindly to analyzing the norms of social media.

This is the part of my college career that I will forever refer to as “flushing my mental toilet.” Here is where I say goodbye to those verb charts and vocabulary lists.

As a symbol of my commitment to things I will likely regret forgetting, I filled a trash bag with my used and unsellable textbooks and set them free into the dumpster outside my apartment. I shed a single happy tear and waved adios as the sanitation worker drove away with the previous banes of my existence sloshing within the grimy walls of a garbage truck.

Maybe one day I’ll look back and miss waking up at 7 a.m. and having mental breakdowns when I realize I had online homework due at 11:59 p.m. the previous night. But today is not that day. Nor is tomorrow. Nor the day after. One day I may need to know how to conjugate irregular verbs in the past perfect tense of another language. But, that is not happening today or any time soon.

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