1997 pt. II: How I decided which College to go to, where, and what courses to take.

From, The Indispensable Calvin and Hobbes, by Bill Watterson:
I made a big decision a little while ago.
I don't remember what it was, which prob'ly goes to show
That many times a simple choice can prove to be essential
Even though it often might appear inconsequential.

I must have been distracted when I left my home because
Left or right I'm sure I went. (I wonder which it was!)
Anyway, I never veered: I walked in that direction
Utterly absorbed, it seems, in quiet introspection.

For no reason I can think of, I've wandered far astray.
And that is how I got to where I find myself today(…)

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Nine years and a day ago to this day was a Sunday and I didn’t really have much to do. I remember setting fire to stuff with this then-brand new product I’d just discovered at the supermarket which was gelled ethanol, colored pink for clarity, then going over to the country club in the afternoon to play Squash with my cousin.
I was seventeen years old.

The following morning, now exactly nine years ago to this day, after throwing up at the sink after breakfast for no better reason than a mild misuse of the toothbrush, School was the same usual bore so I took a hike to the College campus nearby and picked up a handful of these really big, heavy rocks, which I heaved back to the classroom and hid them all in this guy Dermeval’s backpack just for the sheer fun of it.
He had sweaty palms, so there.

I bought eight comic books on my way home, though their titles are lost to the mists of time. If I were to guess I’d most certainly include that month’s The Flash in that list. It must have been right in the middle of the "Hell to Pay" storyline- I'm thinking either #127 or #128- and the then-dead enemies of the Flash had just been brought back to life by nasty demon-guy but they were missing their souls and thus were utterly ruthless, and so on.

After lunch I went to the video store and rented The Philadelphia Experiment parts I and II because I was fascinated with those sleek black jets from Lockheed’s legendary Skunk Works division ever since the SR-71 back when I was a kid, and the movies were all about the F-117 (well, at least part II was). One of them had to do with this alternate reality in which the Nazis had won World War II, but I don’t remember which one was that. Probably part I.
Also, the clerk was a very cute girl I was most interested in.

A couple of old friends came over before dinner, they had this thick book on professions and careers and Colleges, and etc. They had set their sights on going to Med School mostly because that’s where their parents wanted them to go to.
Ever listened to John Mellencamp’s Small Town? There you go.

So. Turns out they had had their sights on finding me a career as well because I was friends with all the brainy people but I was… I don’t know. The ghost in their clubhouse? A black sheep? Too slack? - Their parents would say we were all gemstones, boy geniuses, etc, but of course I was branded the rough diamond before cutting.
That’s so cliché, by the way.

They were adamant in going to College in this city about three or four hours’ drive away from our hometown, and they said I should take Business Administration there, at the same University. My mother came in the room and said I wouldn’t stand a chance because I was lousy with numbers and hated Math.
What she didn’t know was twofold: One, that I was actually pretty good with numbers but would never let it show, and Two, that I actually hated everything equally when it came to School.

One year later, it was in early ’98 and K., who was friends with Dermeval the kid with the sweaty hands from last year, e-mailed me saying he’d come to the Big City and there was room at this place he was sharing with a few friends, and that I should definitely move in together and take Foreign Commerce classes at this nearby University, since English was pretty much the only subject I was honestly interested in, and maybe would get a chance to practice it after all.
I swear to God that’s how I made the decision about going to College.

(…of course that was all a little after the incident with the ersatz necktie at the horserace tracks- which remains to this day the truest story ever, despite its sheer implausibility.)