January 05, 2007

From the history files: 2002 sucked.

Did you know that UC Berkeley revokes graduates' library privileges even before their final transcripts are ready? I find that unseemly, partly because I still have five books checked out of which I'm convinced at least three aren't in my possession. I also think it's absurd that someone can be trusted to work in the library but not to borrow books from it; I'm presently engaged in a no-win wrestling bout with my own moral sensibilities over whether to keep an interesting book I just found at my desk and read it while I'm supposed to be working, or demagnetize it and take it home on the sly, since I can't simply legitimately borrow it. Unless, that is, I want to pay $30 per year to the California Alumni Association and receive all sorts of financial solicitations and unwanted publications so that I can pretend I'm paying for something other than just keeping my damn library card. Good grief.

That is not the point of this entry. The point of this entry is that, having gotten impatient waiting for transcripts to be sorted out, I've gone and calculated my final GPA on my own. My recent improvement has paid off; I am now a decent, respectable if not impressive, 3.0 student. Which is funny, really, because for both of these last two semesters I've gotten 3.9 semesterly GPAs and no grade lower than an A-. My first two years here were solid (decent, respectable) B averages -- how in god's name did it take such phenomenal work just to come out with the same fair-to-middling grades I started with?

The answer is right in front of you: 2002 sucked. When I calculated my GPA I thought it might be fun to come up with a number for every semester. The first two years were downright mundane. The last year left bright spots on my retinas. In between was a veritable dark age, a sinkhole of academic slippage that slid through mediocrity and out the other side into criminal negligence. I had a 2.3 semester. That was bad. Resolved not to repeat that offense, I instead made the next semester an outstandingly horrendous 1.75. In percentage terms, that's a 44%. Not content merely to fail a class, I failed even to pass my semester on average.

Why isn't really all that exciting: depression, unmotivation (which is not entirely the same as a mere absence of motivation), a certain contrary self-destructiveness. The short term for all of this in my personal language is "2002". It just wasn't very good. But when I came up with these numbers they gave me such an illicit thrill of horribleness that I thought I'd give you an opportunity to gawk with me. Some people read about serial killers, some watch war movies, and others crane their necks at car crashes. I've heard that terror and tragedy make normal life seem more precious. Me, I just look back at my grades. 2002. Eeeeek! 2002! Aaaaaaaahhhh! 20--no! No! I can't look anymore! I'll have nightmares!

Posted by dianna at January 5, 2007 12:47 PM

Congratulations on another great semester!

After I graduated I started checking books out to the clerk account and taking them home. Then Peter asked me to stop doing that when a patron came looking for a book and I wasn't there to explain why it was sitting on my bookshelf at home and not at the clerk desk.

To allay any fears you may have about missing out on exciting pleas for money, you'll be getting all sorts of financial solitications and unwanted publicants from the California Alumni Association regardless of whether you join or not. Somehow I've gotten onto their science and technology newsletter mailing list, which is quite odd given that I managed to arrange my classes so that I went all four years at Cal without taking a single lab class.

I had one lousy semester, Fall of 2001. That was when, among other shitty things that happened, I got a C- in a math class because I had discussion section at 8 AM. Discussion was when we turned in homework. On multiple occasions I stayed up until 3 or 4 in the morning doing my math homework, then slept through the section where I would have turned it in. Consistently missing discussion also meant that I missed 90% of the class's quizes. I'm now marginally better about sleep management.

Posted by: Zach at January 5, 2007 02:30 PM

Danke. It's good to know about the inevitability of alumni association donation requests; I suppose I may as well go ahead and pay for the library privileges while practicing my "fuck off, I don't know who you are, this is Ned's House of Crullers and Doilies, would you like to place an order?" phone speech.

Actually, I'd kind of like to have a house of crullers and doilies. It sounds like fun. Maybe some day we could expand into the whole donut and lace market, but, you know, one step at a time. I'd hate to overextend myself by overestimating what's potentially a very modest demand. Not like crullers and doilies; man, those things just about walk out the door.

Posted by: Dianna at January 5, 2007 11:08 PM

Two questions:

1. I assume the crullers will be made on-site. What self-respecting crullery doesn't make their own product? But what of the doilies? Will they be hand-made on-site, or will you merely be a doiley reseller?

2. Will you be limiting your doughnut selection to crullers, or will bear claws, beignets, and berliners be available?

Posted by: Zach at January 6, 2007 02:17 AM