I Know Things Now

So it goes like this:

In college, you learn stuff. That’s kind of the whole point. You learn and learn and then, suddenly, you’re in the real world and you have a job and wife named Helen and a dog with three legs that you guys rescued from the shelter and you eat kale a lot and watch shows with Tim Allen and find them funny, for some reason.

And then you die.

It’s good fun, apparently.

Anyways, so I’m in college (pause—can you imagine if I wasn’t? I’ve been writing this blog for two years and no one has bothered to verify I’m actually a student? I’m really a trucker from Ohio or an old Victorian ghost who just wanted to learn what electricity was and am now in too deep to quit? That’d be funny if it were true. Which it isn’t. Obviously) and I’m learning things. We’ve started Spring semester here, so I’m a week into my new classes and so far, so great. Probably.

They’re each as different from one another as you could imagine: we got Bioethics, where we debate morality and justice and read a lot of things about people dying horrifically. We got Theory and Method in the Study of Literature, which is like philosophy meets literature meets an angry diner patron who asked for mayo on the side. We got Feature Writing, which takes us into the gritty world of journalism, a world so fast and edgy that it’s literally disappearing. And then we got Idaho Natural History, where go on field trips in the mountains and look at stuffed animals in the museum and I get to annoy everyone around me as I continually refer to every single animal as a “funny looking horse.”

Like I said, I’ve been in these classes a week. I’m pretty sure only one of the professors knows my name, and that’s just because Freshmen year, I threw up on the first day of our class together (true story, kids). It’s kinda hard to forget someone who violently, comically, threw up over the entire back of the lecture room and then kind of awkwardly waved at him for some reason as I left. But the other ones are getting there.

I also saw the play version Into the Woods this weekend when it was performed on campus, so I’m kind of really caught up in the idea of moral lessons. And I feel that, with each class I take in college, there are key moral lessons to be learned throughout the course of it. For instance, in that class I threw up in, one moral I learned that semester was don’t mix dairy with the stomach flu—something, admittedly, I probably should have already known. Whatever. Fight me. I had a sheltered childhood.

Anyyyyyway, so in each of my classes so far, I already have a handful of life lessons that I feel the need to share with you.  

In Bioethics, the lesson I’m learning now is that nothing matters and everything hurts you in the end. I’m joking, I’m joking (somewhat). The real lesson is this: you’re wrong. Not always, but most of the time, you are wrong in some interpretation of the word. You are either literally wrong in your opinion (for instance: “hey, I think a nice glass of milk before this class would be delightful. That’ll make me feel better after this whole stomach flu business”), or you are wrong in your actions. You might even be wrong with your fundamental beliefs, and you have to realize that. This class is all about tricking you into realizing you’re wrong but it’s okay, because everyone is wrong.

In Natural History, the lesson I learned yesterday was that anyone could be a hero. Including me, on the condition that no dairy is involved. I introduced my professor to the concept of adblock on Google Chrome and he absolutely lost his mind. He was so excited. He wouldn’t stop clapping. It was nice, but also, there’s only so much humble, awkward shrugging I can do before the fame gets to my head.

In Theory and Method, the lesson is that everything is one story. Every book ever written, every movie ever made, it’s all the same story in the end. I’m not going to explain further, because your interpretation of that is more important than my definitive answer.

And finally, in Feature Writing, the lesson is that sometimes in life, you are going to make bad decisions (like, for example, drinking milk when you still are not over a bout of stomach flu) but, if you are lucky, people will be okay with it. That professor is totally chill with the fact that I ruined his lecture by violently puking in the back row. In fact, he uses it as a joke in class to terrify the others. I’m good with that, I assure you. I’ve told literally every person I know that story and I’ve made charmingly offhanded references to it throughout this blog post, despite the fact that you probably didn’t want to hear it. But oh well. That’s college for you.

So, I think that’s enough lessons for now. On my honor be it, the next post will be devoid of any references to puking and/or any other body-related function.  

Until next week,



Ashley is a junior Creative Writing major from Payette, Idaho.