Thursday, September 29, 2005

And if I had written it in high school, it would have been Rick Springfield


Mental Health is a BEEYOTCH. No, scratch that. She's a HIGH SCHOOL BITCH, who knows she's thinner than you and prettier than you...and can maintain the most perfectly feathered hair and frosty pink lip gloss ALL DAY. (And you know how high school is all about the frosty pink lip gloss.)

You, on the other hand, spend an hour-and-a-half styling your naturally curly hair into said 'do, only to have it frizz up by 2nd period. And your Mom makes you wear CORAL LIPSTICK, because "it is so much more flattering to your skin tone".

Then, Mental Health steals your boyfriend.

When I was a Freshman at UCLA, my first English class was taught by a particularly hippy-fied professor. You know the type..."Let's have class on the Sculpture Garden lawn today while we're surrounded by the flora and fauna as INSPIRATION!" Yeah whatever lady, just don't start doing modern dance in your Birkenstocks.

I do have to say though, that when she gave us our first research paper assignment, she must have told us a hundred times, "I don't care what you write about. It could be about surfing for all I care...just make it something about which you are PASSIONATE!" (Notice how she stated that with such perfect grammar?)

Now, the compliant student in me wanted to go with that notion, but the must-prove-I'm-smarter-than-everyone-here part thought that something along the lines of...

"Voltaire - How His Attraction to the Philosophy of John Locke and the Theories of Mathematician and Scientist Sir Isaac Newton Led to Philosophical Rationalism"

...would be a good bet to impress. (I really did write that paper much later, but I digress.) After thinking about it though, I had to wonder: when do you really ever get to write about ANYTHING? Especially in college. I had to do it.

My topic? James Dean. Yup, you got it. The object of my massive crush at the time (yeah, I knew he had died about 30 years before, but a teenager doesn't care about such things when HE IS SOOOO CUTE!). They're just lucky I didn't take the class my Sophomore year or it would've been on Duran Duran.

I spent HOURS, I spent DAYS...locked away in the many libraries of the campus, learning more about James Dean that any person probably has a right to know. The man did like to keep his secrets.

(Would you believe though that a few years later, I lived in the exact room he did at Sigma Nu...when they would let girls live in the fraternities for the Summer. NO THE BOYS WEREN'T THERE TOO. Sheesh.)

I even skipped Mardi Gras to slave away and write the best damn James Dean research paper ever. Well, there probably wasn't much competition for that title, but I WAS AN ACHIEVER DAMMIT!

When it was time to turn it in, I did sweat for a moment that Ms. Professor would think I went a little overboard with the "choose anything" edict and brand me a foolish teeny-bopper who would never make a REAL writer.

A few days later she returned our graded papers back to us. But she didn't have mine. I almost shit my pants thinking, oh god, she's going to keep me after class to tell me nice try, now could we perhaps pick a topic of some relevance? But Susie also didn't get hers back, and prior to now, she had received nothing but A's on her papers, so I tried not to panic.

Ms. Professor went to the front of the class.

"I have two papers here. One perhaps best exemplifies the assignment, while the other just didn't get it. I would like to read them both. Please do not be offended if I chose yours for the latter reason; I just want everyone to realize that when you write a research paper, if the topic doesn't really get into your heart, YOUR SOUL, you can't interest the reader.

Here's the one with more heart than any I've read in ages..."

I'm thinking you get it by now. I got an A+.

My highly circuitous point here? Write what you know. What interests you. Something about which you are PASSIONATE!

And what I know is this: Mental Health may not exactly be my friend these days, but that skinny, Heather Locklear wannabe better watch her ass. Her secret? Aqua Net.

Mine? I can write.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Mother-in-law said...

Brooke, I'm waiting impatiently every day to read what you write! (It's evening here before I get to see it!)

Also, being in the UK, I'm having to 'google' lots of things to understand what you're talking about! I take it by Aqua Net you mean the hair spray, not the people who make pool covers? ;-D

Lovin' it! xxx

10:29 AM  
Blogger emily said...

hee hee.... i like it.

10:46 AM  
Blogger kiwi said...

Viva the smart girls!!!!!!!!!!

2:18 PM  

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