Monday, July 16, 2007

Proof That I Have Class

Tomorrow night, for the first time in over 12 years, I will be entering a classroom as a student. At a college. You know, I'm taking a class. Where I am not the teacher.

Whenever people ask what I am taking, I say, "Mandarin." And the reason I say this is simple: because that is what I am taking.

But last night, Paul asked me "Why don't you just say Chinese? No one knows what Mandarin is."

So, I am taking Mandarin Chinese. (Because I can't just say Chinese... is there really such a thing?)


I'm very excited about it, but last week when I went to get my student ID, I kept looking around at all the young people and feeling very out of place. I wasn't wearing any tight-fitting clothing. My belly was not showing. None of my body parts were pierced. The only highlights in my hair were gray. And I did not have any cutting-edge technology attached to my ear.

All I had was my purse. My big, mom purse. With a coupon organizer inside. I bet none of those other students had coupon organizers with them. But what do you expect? Kids today are so irresponsible with their money, the way they spend an extra fifty-five cents here and and extra thirty cents there all willy nilly and such. It's a shame, really.

Nonetheless, I started feeling a little self-conscious. I had this image dancing around in my mind of a classroom full of nineteen-year-olds tapping away at their laptops while I feverishly scrawled notes on the pages of my spiral bound one-subject.

May as well bring a reed and some papyrus.

I decided that the spiral bound one-subject would never do. I was determined not to have to walk out of class with my big, Cro-Magnon Era notebook tucked under my arm. Instead of I've-got-my-notebook-all-ready kind of eager,
I need to look more aloof. Completely unimpressed with the whole college scene.

You know, I've SO done this before [eye roll.]

So, in a moment of complete lucidity, I decided that what I needed was something small. Something that could be tucked nonchalantly into my purse.

You know, right next to my coupon organizer.

And I promise, this all made complete sense in my mind at the time.

This is what I found:

Yes, it's spiral-bound, but it's purse sized.

So it is more like a spiral bound half-subject. And if that doesn't scream I'M SO ALOOF! then I don't know what does.

And if my notebook-toting self is still the laughing stock of the laptop-laden classroom, I'm not worried. I'll just ni their hao on the first exam and leave it at that.



Anonymous mom a said...

Kind of reminds me of the time I sat down to await the arrival of a professor, and a 19-yr-old pulled a gray hair from my head. You remember those days . . . when you would sit in the corner of a college classroom and munch on a cracker while I sat with a bunch of people much younger than myself
and worked toward the BSW. Ah, yes! to feel ancient while still in one's early thirties!!!
You go girl, ni their hao!

Tue Jul 17, 04:27:00 AM  
Blogger Jeana said...

I love the sly come back to the oft-asked question. And I would tell you that you are going to look really cool, but you know me well enough to know that coming from me that doesn't really mean anything. But you have my full permission to casually throw out that you know someone who used to be an underwear model.

Tue Jul 17, 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger Noodle said...

Awesome!! Take your little notebook-toting self in that class and show them what's what! :)

Tue Jul 17, 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

Sounds like a great class. I'd be a little intimated to return to the college set myself. Though I'd love to take some courses, I know I would most definitely NOT fit in!

Love the notebook! I need one of those myself. Where did you find it?

By the way, my word verification looks like it could be a Cantonese verb!

Tue Jul 17, 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

I would have known what you were talking about if you just said Mandarin. Of course, that's because several of my new to the country students speak Mandarin. Maybe I should be in class with you!

Tue Jul 17, 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger Luisa Perkins said...

How cool that you are taking Mandarin! I love your stylin' notebook.

Tue Jul 17, 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger Addie said...

Ah, girl! Get on down with ya bad self, and ni their hao!

And if they teach you any good recipes for those cute little oranges, you pass them along now, ok? Cuz' I will whip out my coupon book, and go get the ingredients hen kuai!

Wed Jul 18, 06:59:00 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

First off, this post rocked. It is hilarious and inspiring, and I love your notebook, and I love that you have that "perfect new notebook because I'm a student!" feeling that oozed out of it. And I love that you schlepped your big ol' mama pocketbook to that class.

And baby, you say Mandarin! I know what you're talking about, and I know it ain't oranges.

Keep us posted on all the learning!

Thu Jul 19, 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger Jennifer, Snapshot said...

I know what Mandarin is. I think that your husband is grossly underestimating the intelligence of people. Well, maybe not.

But I know.

Thu Jul 19, 10:18:00 AM  

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