To All the Classes I've Dropped Before
Well, I guess this is it.
My final add or drop week of my Fordham career has come and gone. To some, this passing week might seem trivial. But, after literally changing my entire schedule around each add or drop week in the past, it’s hard to not act like the classes I’ve ended up adding haven’t, well, made me who I am… Or at least that’s what the core was meant to do.
But, as I’ve come to accept that trying to change around my last three required courses would be virtually useless, I can’t help but feel a sense of unfinished business. I don’t know, maybe I sound like I just have commitment issues, but there’s something so imprisoning about knowing your college transcript is now set in stone. Something that makes you just want to just say, “F*ck it,” and make that “Web Enrolled” tab switch to “Web Dropped.”
It was only upon reflection that I realized my issue: I’ve always been searching for something better. Not realizing what was there all along. While the classes I added might have shaped who I am now, I can’t help but wonder: Who could I have been?
So, now, it’s time for closure.
To All the Classes I’ve Dropped Before
To Introduction to Opera,
My freshman advisor thought we would be good for each other. And, honestly? I thought we would be, too. So, I added you to fulfill my Fine Arts requirement.
You were different than the others. While my friends flocked to Art History and Intro to Theatre in the first few days of registration, you waited for me - making yourself completely available. I’ve never been one to wait my turn for somebody, and you were never so lofty to make me feel like I had to compete with others for a seat on your roster.
But then, the winter came. It was cold, and it was my first Christmas break home since leaving for college. There were so many mixed emotions running through me, and suddenly I found myself on a manic scroll through Fordham’s Student Banner while in my childhood bedroom. Without any rhyme or reason (not that I’ve ever noticed you to care for rhyming or reason in your operas), I ended it. I left you high and dry, and I knew I did… But, I thought I could ghost you.
Then, I got an email from Professor Blackburn: “Intro. To Opera: Revised Syllabus.” “Oh, my god,” I thought to myself, “She has no idea.” I cordially explained that I had dropped the class, and Professor Blackburn told me that she had automated an email list for the class and didn’t know how to remove me from it.
Every week, I would get an email about you. And I know you’d never believe me when I say this but it was so f*cking hard to see your name in my inbox over and over again. “Midterm,” “Opera Tickets,” “Opportunity to meet the Met singers tonight!” You were doing so well without me.
And I was doing well, too. I was in Invitation to Theatre, happy, comfortable. But I bet you never realized how much I thought of you. I’m not saying we should have ended up together, I’m just - I’m just saying that … It wasn’t as easy as you might think it had been to forget you.
They say it’s not over “until the fat lady sings,” which is kind of rude and more subjective than it is helpful. But, somewhere, I know that whoever that lady is, she has sung.
To Physical Anthropology,
I’ll be honest, I assumed you would be like your hot cousin. And you don’t have to play dumb and act like you don’t know who I’m talking about. (For the record, it’s not weird to admit that your cousin is hot, you just shouldn’t act on it.)
I’ve always had a thing for Social Anthropology. And maybe I was fetishizing you by thinking you would give me the same rush of analyzing cultural ethnographies. But then, the first day, we just flipped through a Powerpoint of the different sizes of animal skulls. I’m sure it’s all similar. I mean, by name, it has to be. But I just … I wasn’t ready to get that physical yet. You know? Couldn’t we have just opted for a platonic anthropology? Talk about how primates are “like a brother” to humans? That would be a happy medium.
But, instead, I let myself get too stuck inside my own head… and I ended up switching to Biopsychology. Aside from half of the class just scathing on C-range, it was fine. If anything, I liked the competition. But, looking back, I wonder if it would have done me well to get outside of my own head for a bit. To forget about all of the pheromones and neurotransmitters that went into how I was feeling and just, feel it. Physically. I doubt my skull would ever expand to the size of a neanderthal’s, but I wonder how much you could have made me expand my mind.
Maybe I should have been more instinctual. But I guess that what makes me a homo sapien, after all.
To Happiness & Well-Being,
You really seemed to be all I needed at one point. It was spring semester, and I’d just made my New Year’s Resolutions for more meditating, gratitude journaling, and even smiling more. I was ready for you. Ready for happiness. And well-being.
Not to mention, you fulfilled my ICC requirement.
But, soon it turned out you weren’t really what I needed at all. As it turns out, some core requirements are more cross-listed than you think… And before I knew it, my ICC was checked off in my DegreeWorks by an interdisciplinary class I’d already taken. So, I was faced with a dilemma:
Is “happiness” or “well-being” really all that important if it’s not accumulating to some sort of tangible degree of achievement? Was there some benefit in being inter-interdisciplinarily educated? I pondered. “Will I really become well by just … well, being well?”
After a few circles around Eddie’s, I had my answer: Of course not. In a perfect world, maybe such frivolous electives could be worth my time. But this is capitalist America and smiles don’t get degrees or dollars. And so, I dropped you faster than a failing stock investment.
Looking back, maybe I was too cynical. Maybe it was the rise in the appeal of the sad-boy aesthetic that had me doubting your worth. And maybe, some years ago, I would have taken the dive and fallen head first into the daydreams of inner peace and healthy habits that you would have placed into my head.
But that day was yesterday, and today is today.
To Television & Society,
What was there not to love? You had television; you had society. Even just one of those concentrations would have been enough. But there’s an old saying about “too much of a good thing.”
… It’s too much.
I’m not saying we wouldn’t have had fun together. I mean, come on, television? Society? I know them. I love them. I participate in and am subconsciously influenced by both of them. But there’s another quote about good things and it’s that when things seem too good to be true, they probably are. So, I caught myself before letting things get out of my control.
I’ve learned what the word hegemony means enough times from the two Intro to Communications classes I accidentally ended up taking (an issue for another open letter to registration) to know what was happening with you. You were being manipulative, and hoping I would consume your dominant ideologies without realizing. Well, nice try. Dropped.
In retrospect, I realize I was being overly defensive. Being a liberal arts course, you probably were more than likely hoping to deconstruct this cycle for some sort of fruitful analysis. If anything, you were a Freaks and Geeks sort of situation: Cancelled after one season because you were before your time. But the one class I spent with you will always remain a cult classic in my memory - with or without Jason Segel.
To All of the Other Classes I’ve Dropped Before,
While you may have slipped my mind, somewhere, deep inside of my heart - and within the cache of my DegreeWorks profile - you are seen. I want you to know that I am graduating this spring and doing just fine, and I hope that you are, too. In some ways, you have taught me more than some of my fulfilled courses ever did. So before I go, I’ll leave you with a lesson I’ve learned from experience:
There are far better things added, than any that have been dropped.
Eternally registered to you,