two months ago:
“Even if you did somehow happen to pass the placement test, I really suggest you start at Math 20 and work your way up,” says the advisor. “You haven’t taken any math, after all, for . . . well, several years. And you majored in . . . what? English? Hmmm . . . ”
He’s balding and paunchy and dusty-looking. His age less than a pocket’s worth of change from my own. He is, I’ll assume, trying to be helpful. But who is it he sees sitting in front of him?
His mother? Or his pale and dusty-looking wife?
He says, “I know myself I’d have to go back to Math 60 at least. And I took calculus in high school!” This is not such a unique accomplishment as he has thought. I don’t know what he’s been doing the last twenty years, but I imagine it has not been as good to him as once he hoped.
He’s already tut-tutted over the possible nursing option I’ve penned in on the form. “You know,” bending on me a sympathetic eye, “it’s very very hard to get into the nursing program here. Very competitive. You have to have really really good grades . . . ”
Mirth bubbles up in what I believe one would clinically call my esophagus.
He has my transcript in front of him. It’s not, I can tell, the same transcript I have read there. Everything written, after all, in disappearing ink.
This is a place I’ve never been sitting before – what it’s like without test scores, recommendations, laudes. I’m surprised how whettingly novel it is to be sitting here.
” . . . maybe,” he says, “you would like something more general?” clicking over the keyboard to bring up a screen for Health Education. “Look, you could major in this instead! You could even write the textbook!”