Birthdays are a big deal in the Simonson household and I just celebrated another one of my own, which made me reminiscent on some of the gifts I have received over the years. As with any family there have been ups and downs, but what always stays the same is the weirdness of the presents we give to one another.
She sat in front of me, ear buds gently swinging like metronomes in the loose grasp of her fingertips. She had a look of utter disgust and confusion on her face. What had I just done? How could I have been so stupid and careless? I sat there frozen, a deer caught in the headlights, with my tail between my legs. I promised myself I would never do this again. This was my first encounter with a fifth year.
I have been a ginger all of my life and have accepted that I did not choose my hair; my hair chose me. I would not say it has defined my life, but has certainly added a great deal of entertainment. Both my second-eldest sister and I have red hair and growing up my family referred to us as the “Red Birds,” as in, “Red Birds, dinnertime!” Similar to running errands with a very cute puppy, my mother had a very difficult time getting anywhere fast with the Red Birds in tow. Bouncing along in the tandem baby carriage, people would stop her frequently to ask about our hair and ask permission to touch it. That was the best-case scenario, but the alternate was when she had to kindly explain to strangers that they could not reach out and begin stroking our heads as it made us very upset.
A veteran’s guide to escaping the wreckage that is your homework.
Trapped in the gauntlet of my 5th year here (averaging three all-nighters every semester), I can confirm that post-secondary education is simply a race between productivity and full-body-shutdown. Indeed, as each of you frantically scan your schedules, a single question pervades the hive mind of the campus: “What the cuss! How am I going to do all this?”