NOTE: I wrote a few posts before disappearing last year that I need to post in order for current events to make sense. I’ll include “FLASHBACK” in the title so you know they are a bit out of date. Evelyn left for college last September…enjoy!

I’m super frustrated with Evelyn today – she’s being extremely illogical but I guess we all have to live our own lives.

A bit of background – Evelyn decided to stay at Hometown’s teeny tiny community college directly out of high school, not even electing to take her SATs. Everyone here knows that once you start at Community College, you almost never transfer anywhere else. You usually sit around for a few years then drop out or earn your AA and never progress past that. Regardless of the overwhelming statistics that support this view, hundreds of newly graduated high school students claim that they’ll be part of the miniscule percentage that make it out.

So Evelyn went to Community College and then she met The Man. I HATED The Man. The first time I met him I drove up from Generic College and we all went out to lunch. Evelyn is the type of person who’s obsessed with other people’s comfort, so she’s often asking if you’re too warm, too cold, do you need anything? Perhaps her liver or a small beverage? If you eat meals with her she insists that you try her food because it’s always “amazing”. It’s just who she is. The Man, despite having dated her for two months at that point and having known her for years became really upset with her at lunch over this. She forced everyone to try her chicken (again, this isn’t new, she’s like this at every meal) and then asked if anyone would be willing to share dessert with her because she wanted to get a slice of cake, but wouldn’t be able to finish it.

I passed, because it came with ice cream and I’m lactose intolerant. The Man’s cousin passed because she has Crones Disease (ouch!). Then The Man spoke.

“Jesus Evelyn! First you can’t finish your lunch and you make everyone else eat it, now you want to waste your money on a piece of cake? Aren’t you fat enough already!?”

Silence. I was in shock, who the hell acts like that? After she ran to the bathroom and I chewed him out, I stopped hanging out with them. 90% of the time he would sit quietly or say nice things but the remaining 10% he would blurt out awful, soul shattering things. I told Evelyn he was a creep; I told her to dump him; she refused and eventually he dumped her. During this time, her grades slipped. I don’t mean she fell into the C+ range, I mean they took a nose dive off of the Empire State building. I asked her about it at the time: was it because of her job? The Man? She responded that she and The Man were so busy going out with their friends, she didn’t have time to study. At one point I was home for the weekend and needed to study for an Accounting test; I invited Evelyn over for a study group. I studied, Evelyn read magazines and worked on her tan.

After The Man dumped her, she tried to transfer to a regular University but couldn’t, her grades were too low. She talked a counselor about how to raise them. “Well, you could repeat the classes but some of them will require waivers from the professor and me.”

“How do I get a waiver?”

“Well, we’d need to know the circumstances that led to the low grade. Things like a medical issue could be used to dismiss your former grade, but based on your application that doesn’t look like the case.”

“What ways other than medical could be used for the waiver?”

“Ummmm, family death, legal problems, sometimes if a person is in an abusive relationship they can claim that.”

“Well, I recently got out of an abusive relationship with my boyfriend…”

I don’t dispute that The Man was emotionally abusive, he completely was! But what I didn’t agree with was the he was the cause of her low grades. I saw her lack of studying, her disinterest in completing her homework; it started before they started dating and it persisted after he dumped her. So although he was a complete ass and should never be allowed to kill anyone’s self esteem, I still think she shouldn’t have blamed him for her grades.

After retaking her classes, she raised her GPA up just enough to qualify for Universities. It took her two years to undo the damage of a low GPA. So two years to kill the GPA, two years to revive the GPA. Then she started applying to schools. Even though she was just above the minimum GPA for a transfer, the schools started sending her rejection letters. She called only to find out that the competition is so intense for college since so many people are out of work; she had virtually no chance.

“Your GPA isn’t competitive,” she was told, “there are high school students with 4.0’s plus extracurricular activities and jobs. You have a part time job with a low GPA and no outside activities. You can’t compete.”

“Then what should I do?” She wailed.

“You’ll never get into a school in California, too many people want to come here. I suggest trying schools in the Midwest. Not many people from California want to go to Idaho or Missouri.” A sympathetic Admissions Counselor told her.

She ran it by me. I asked her what the hell she wanted to do career-wise, since her major (Classical History) isn’t exactly applicable in the real world.

“I want to become a bakery chef and open my own restaurant in <Large Urban City>.”

“What does that have to do with Classical History?” I questioned, confused.

“Well, it doesn’t matter what your degree is in, as long as you have one. Then I can go to culinary school.”

“Umm not exactly. In business it doesn’t matter what you’re degree is in as long as you don’t expect to be more than a middle manager. But your degree can make a difference when it comes to other careers. Why not cut out the middle man and go to culinary school since your degree isn’t vital for the career you want?”

“Because I like Classical History!”

So she applied to every college in the Midwest that she thought no one would want to attend because of location. She was finally accepted into one.

“OK, I know you’re leaving in a few months, but just bear with me. If you really want to open up a bakery, wouldn’t it make more sense to have a business degree? With that a loan officer might be more inclined to give you a loan for your bakery someday.” I pointed out.

“Business degrees aren’t worth much, everyone has one.” Evelyn said. At my look, she amended, “Oh! Well, not that they aren’t great. I know you worked really hard for yours, but that’s just not my thing.”

“Well, Classical History doesn’t seem that applicable to every day life – it’s extremely specialized.” I bit out, “You’ll need knowledge like what a business school can give you if you want to open a bakery.”

“Not really, see my bakery is going to specialize in monthly ancient civilization specials. So every month I’ll have a featured bun or bread that the ancient Romans or other groups made. It’ll be a hit!” I felt my face fall, I wasn’t sure how many people would go back to the bakery once a month to try a different bread that people from 3,000 years ago used to eat. Especially considering the American palate is used to strong sugary tastes from bakeries and these foods were usually made with honey to sweeten them. Seems like a bit of a stretch. “Plus, my mom will be the front desk clerk and my sister will work there too. Hey, you could be the accountant!”

“No!” I said, then hastily explained, “I hated accounting and I’m not a CPA. It really wouldn’t be my thing.”

Far be it for me to rain on any one’s parade, but it doesn’t seem like she’s thought this through.