25 September 2006

Do I have a sign on me that says "please tell me your life story"?

As most of you may (or may not) know, I hang out with the smokers. Outside the adjunct office, down the hall, out the doors, and there's the smoking area.

I need to find a new smoking area.

For the third time in two weeks, someone in the area has felt compelled to share their life story with me. This time it was a girl in her early 20s.

What I she told me about herself:
  • Her mother is the mother from "Mommy Dearest"
  • She was born in Sicily, Italy
    • Her grandfather named her in Italian
    • Her Italian name means "The pretty girl that will poison any young gentleman that falls in love with her"
    • Her grandfather is in the Chicago Mafia
      • Her grandfather used to invite people over for a card game where she would serve drinks and receive $100 'tips'
      • Her grandfather also used her to poison the drinks of people he wanted bumped off
  • She is originally from Chicago
  • She used to do heavy (i.e. heroin, cocaine) drugs
  • She was slipped something at a party when she was 15, raped, and bore a child that was the result of the rape
  • She used to have a job, while she was in high school, where she earned $10,000/mo under the table running a cafe
    • She lived on her own when she was 9
    • When she was 16, her mother stole $30,000 of her savings from that job from her
  • She's ex-bi-sexual
  • She's married, kinda. She divorced her husband so she could be on her mother's health insurance to get gastric bypass surgery, but she still lives with her (ex)husband
  • She received and screwed up a full ride to Northwestern through the PhD level
  • Her essays are the model essays found in high school English texts
  • She gave her grandfather a heart attack by telling him she was bisexual at the dinner table
  • Her grandfather beat her grandmother
  • &c &c &c
I have no idea how much, if any, of what she told me was accurate, truthful, or remotely attached to this realm of reality. I think it's safe to say that she has the start of an excellent fictional story, or one hell of an autobiography.

I was gobsmacked. It was like being fifty feet away from a train wreck. You sit there thrilled that it wasn't you, but at the same time, you're just shocked that it happened. And it wasn't this girl's story, it was the mere fact that she was telling me - like I was her best friend, therapist... Something. All I could think when it was happening was "I have to blog this when I get home. I have to. If I don't, I'm going to explode."

Did I mention that she told me all this before I even knew her "Americanized" name? Yep. That kind of special.

Granted, I wasn't wearing my nametag that said "Instructor" on it, but most of the people around there know that I am a teacher-type person.

In other news, I spoke to one of my students today on the way to lunch. He's 17. 17! When did they get so young? While he does speak Southern/Texan (it's a blend, I know they're different accents), he's fairly bright, so I wondered why he was at Small State University. He's finishing up his senior year of homeschooling.
And then he wants to go to a TV Vocational School because he thinks it'll get him far. I hope I talked him out of it. I suggested that if he wants to stay in the state, he should look at Big State University or Medium State University. I pointed out that I started off at Medium State U (and look where I am today!), and that I knew a few people in the engineering program that he wants to go into... And they did quite well for themselves out of college.

Please, Lawd, save me from "accredited colleges" that advertise on TV.

Tomorrow, I get to go in and be Disappointed Professor (TM) and give my students a stern lecture, then an informative one.

Oh, remember Comm/Theater/English Co-worker? He asked me the question I went in to ask him. "It has to get better, right? When is the last day they can withdraw?" In the hopes that those who really should not be attempting a higher education would, oh, leave.
Then we found out.
Two weeks before final grades are due in.
Two freaking weeks!

Maybe I should change the name of Small State U to Mickee Maus U. It's feeling like it.

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