The Haunting of the College Transcripts
I’ve decided that, after being out of college for more than 30 years I’d like to shape young minds as a substitute teacher. Maybe I’m just trying to play out my own karma. After all, I almost earned professional status at playing pranks on innocent, unsuspecting substitutes. It’s time for me to take my lumps.
Facing a roomful of hostile children, particularly teenagers, isn’t half as frightening as what I encountered just filling out the application. Everything was going well until I hit the “SUBMIT” button and a sentence in little red letters stated: “Error: You must upload your college transcripts.”
There was an asterisk next to the sentence that was followed by the word “REQUIRED.”
I felt a cold chill rip through my body. Good Lord, I started college in the late 1970s, when a state university took anybody who could pay the bill and the only people who actually studied were prospective doctors, dentists and lawyers.
I was the girl who walked into the study lounge on the 8th floor of Offenhauer Tower at BGSU with my decoy book in hand, only to have my friends collectively point toward the door and yell, “GET OUT SWICK!” They were painfully aware that my presence meant study time was over for the night. I rarely left. We had a good time if I stayed.
I was not always a pathetic student. In high school it was straight As and Bs (except for that nasty bout with Algebra that kept me 1/10th of a point from graduating with honors. Algebra and I have been estranged for decades).
When it came time to order my college transcripts, I obviously was suffering from some type of amnesia concerning my prowess as a co-ed. I didn’t even think twice when I tore open the envelope.
Then reality struck.
“OH GOOD LORD IN HEAVEN!!! HOW CAN THIS BE?!?” I yelled loud enough to wake up the third shift worker who lives upstairs.
My accumulated GPA was pitiful. I'm surprised it didn't have the words "YOU SUCK" stamped across the top. I did quite well in my major, but those electives assassinated the cumulative average. I even flunked a history class because I couldn’t bear to listen to the professor drone on and on in a monotone for two straight hours without so much as a 10-minute break. I just stopped going.
Then there was the scrawny, flaky political science professor who constantly asked: “Am I beating a dead horse?” It was like the proverbial fingernails on a blackboard whenever he opened his mouth. I began fanaticizing about him being a dead horse. That left no room in my brain for political science.
At this point I plan to throw myself on the mercy of the Tiffin City School officials who hire substitute teachers. Hopefully they will pay more attention to my resume. I pray they will not notice that my “D is for Degree” philosophy in college had no bearing on my adult career. They might even have a few belly laughs passing my transcripts around.
In any event, karma is playing out in more ways than one. God bless the ‘70s and early ‘80s. At least they were fun.