When I was fifteen years old, I was going through a lot of contradictions internally. On the one hand I was rebelling against a very oppressive religious upbringing, and on the other hand beginning to explore the world in a new light. I was quite mature for my age, and regardless of my many idiotic actions, was intelligent as well.
I was attending at the time a continuation school, which is usually for kids who get into a lot of trouble. This was indeed why I was going to such a school, but it turned out to be my salvation in ways I had not predicted possible. When I first was enrolled, I sat down with a counselor who asked me what ‘I’ wanted most. I replied I wanted to be on my own, and support myself. To my shock and amazement, the counselor said that this could be arranged.
Within a few months I was renting a small space from someone, and attending college! I was now an emancipated minor, something that was much simpler to accomplish back in the early 80′s. It was an awesome feeling, having no one to tell me what to do, or how to live my life…I was free!
I always tended to look older than I was back then, and no one viewed me as a fifteen year old kid, even those who were aware of my age. My intelligence impressed my teachers, and when I actually attended class, I did quite well. My grades on average for my immediate work were almost always A+’s, but this did not reflect on my overall report cards, due to my lack of interests in attending regularly.
I was majoring in philosophy and political science, and though these were my key interests, I found myself quite bored. I spent most of my class time in the school library studying random subjects, meditating on the campus lawns, socializing, and partying. It didn’t help that I was involved in the school theater, as most of the actors and the instructor were throwing parties on a regular basis. Even my political science teacher would take the class out for pizza and beer.
Intelligence is a good thing, but it does not make up for lack of experience. Twice during my first years there I had made friends with two women, both who were old enough to be my mother. Both of these women tried to get into my pants if you can imagine, but due to my innocence/ignorance, I had no idea what was going on. Due to this fact, their moves were misinterpreted on my part, and nothing came of these situations.
I was invited a few times to what were referred to back in those days, as Crisco parties. Crisco parties were orgies set up on plastic sheeting, and enhanced with a 50 gallon barrel of Crisco…I am totally serious. I avoided these like the plague, and was never to experience one directly. In the theater department I was invited out on a date by a 32 year old man, who I later learned was gay. Evidently going out with straight women was his cover, and he figured a 15 year old kid wasn’t going to be wanting sex. We only had one date.
I had a wonderful relationship with the librarian. Since so much of my time in college was spent in the library, I got to know her quite well. We would talk about philosophy and religion, and she would send me off on book collecting projects regarding some religion or idea. At one point I was to tutor illiterate adults, and help them to read properly. Most of the staff and students liked me quite well, though I was to rarely take my three years of schooling there very seriously.
Public speaking was to be my most favorite class, and one class which I actually attended regularly. I was to get straight A+’s on every speech I gave, until the day the substitute teacher came. I had filled up little gelatin capsules with sugar, put them in sample packets, and distributed them to all of the students. The speech was to be on selling some kind of product, and mine was a drug to help you instantly sober up. Interestingly enough, I have recently read of such a product now existing.
The speech was absolutely genius, but unfortunately the substitute teacher was incredibly conservative. I know he wanted to give me a lower grade, but the quality of my performance forced him to give me an A, however with no plus on the end of it. I was very upset, as he had allowed his personal beliefs to get in the way of his judgment.
The school cafeteria was also one of my favorite hang outs, and I usually sat at the table where all the truly nerdy people congregated. At the time I honestly had no idea or concept as to what a nerd really was, but I have come to understand that I have always been one. I would enjoy conversations about philosophy, the paranormal, and even give impromptu psychic readings to other students. The latter did not last long however, as I was to come to understand that giving highly accurate readings was actually quite scary to most people.
It was in the school cafeteria that I was to meet Samson, right before my seventeenth birthday. Very soon after I moved in with Samson, who lived almost an hour from the school. We would take the bus every day, and spend time off and on together during school hours. Samson though being the con artist that he was, shortly thereafter was expelled due to a con he had pulled on a fellow student.
I think that college was in a way part of my growing up process, a medium to help me understand the world and where I was going. I had high ideals, and from that first year, was bent on finding the answers to creating a better world. I did not take the straight and narrow path to where I was going, but rather a wavy meandering road filled with good intentions. No degrees or actual benefits came out of it on paper, but I was to gain quite a number of experience points.
In the past I have wondered if I would have ended up any better off if I had taken college more seriously. Upon reflection though, I think everything worked out just the way it needed to. In the years that followed college I learned far more than any educational system could have provided. Instead of choosing to focus my energies toward a single career, I learned an incredible diversity of skills and knowledge that benefits me in more ways than I can count. Education is in the learning and mastering of information, not in a degree proving the knowledge of that information.