1,000 miles: step 32

With two weeks left in this spring semester, it is no wonder my days are getting shorter. (And I wouldn’t be totally off since mother nature still has days it believes winter hasn’t left Virginia). I don’t care much for these final days of school; they’re intended to stress out the already stressed out college student.

But because there is no Claudia-clone to replace me during these hectic weeks, and nor would that be fair to the said Claudia-clone, I have to survive. I refuse to go through it alone. In fact, it is such a pleasure to attend a college so diverse–and that’s expected from community colleges. Everyone copes with stress in unique ways, a result of their individual experience with stress. My favorite is laughter. On the days when my bubbly nature has wavered, the humor of my classmates and teachers pull me through.

For instance, today, my history professor was explaining the importance of digesting quotations for readers in essays, including our final paper due next week. He used the example of placing yourself in the scenario of a court case: A man has been killed, and another man, Billy, has left his prints on the gun whose bullet killed the first man. Your lawyer displays the gun in question, and says to the judge, “This gun has the fingerprints of Billy.” Our professor then asked us what we expected our lawyer to say next. Nearly everyone missed his analogy.

Two things happened:

  • Many were confused about what the scenario represented or missed the part in which the lawyer was defending us
  • Many of us didn’t know what the lawyer was supposed to say next, this was me until I heard the suggestions from the students in confusion about the scenario. This is what the lawyer would have said next, according to one confused student:

Although the fingerprints of my clients aren’t here, she might have used gloves to kill John.

At this suggestion, and the ones that followed, I burst out laughing. It was at that moment that it was finally clear to me what the lawyer would have to say. And after our professor retold the scenario, everyone understand that the lawyer had to explain the evidence:

The presence of Billy’s fingerprints, and the lack of my client’s fingerprints proves that my client is innocent.

Now, I don’t know how that would satisfy a judge in the real world, but in terms of writing papers, hanging quotes are a big No. You never include a quote without interpreting it and showing its relevance. I learned that years ago, and still couldn’t finish “my” lawyer’s statement. And yet, I’m glad it didn’t click because that would have meant I would have blurted out a proper answer…. and miss such a beautiful moment of confusion.

My classmates are young, middle-aged, and old. Of all the races and places you can imagine. Of all the stages you can imagine: first years, transfers, back-to-school, retired. They are single-mom’s, working teenagers, international students on their own, grandparents looking for fulfillment.

Then there’s students like me: students in waiting, on hold, unsure of the next step. I’ve learned to cope with uncertainty because it is part of everyone’s life. I also know that I’ve been through too much to give in simply because there’s no promise of better days.

And I’m in no condition to complain because in this world, someone is always suffering, and unfortunately, it is almost a guarantee that their suffering is worse than mine or yours. Have you lifted anyone up today, dear-reader?

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