When I was in school…
The use of the word was obviously indicates that the person is no longer in school. That their time in the classroom (as a pupil) is past tense (was past tense? I don’t know in this case). This being said, I realized that I’ve been using that phrase as well sometimes without even realizing it. It hasn’t even been six months since I graduated and here I am speaking like some sort of older, more experienced soul with the wisdom of at least half a century hanging out between the ears when in reality, I haven’t even got a quarter of a century’s worth.
I first realized this when I would be talking with younger coworkers and friends. At first, it was before class was in session so they would be talking about getting ready for a new school year, but then once school started, it was about how much homework they already had and all the studying they had to do, etc. In these conversations I’d initially feel a bit out of sorts just because I wasn’t there experiencing it with them as I had been for the past eighteen years (I’m counting preschool in case you were wondering whether I was held back or something). But then, I’d become all reminiscent and nostalgic, using my very own When I was in school phrases. It wasn’t until recently that all of this just became extremely–for lack of a better word–weird for me. I think it was mostly because school has started and I’m not sitting (or sleeping) in class. Bizarre beyond belief, let me tell you.
It was drawn even more to my attention yesterday when I was at work. I was talking to a customer (or coworker?) and I used the phrase. My use of the phrase was immediately brought to my attention rather than forgotten as usual in order for me to ponder about it later on. So, what brought the change? Well, on Wednesday, my diploma arrived!
That’s right! I received an email a few weeks ago from the University of Washington graduation people telling us (me and my fellow Spring 2008 graduates) that they would be sending out our diplomas shortly and to verify the address so it gets sent to the correct place, etc. When I got this, I did the double checking of my address–although, I didn’t really have to since I’ve had the same permanent address all four years of college, in fact for pretty much my whole life–but I wasn’t really looking out for the diploma in the mail. So, when I came home on Wednesday to find an envelope from the UW Graduation and Academics Office, I was pleased but to be honest, taken a bit by surprise because I’d actually forgotten about it.
So, what does this have to do with anything? Well, now I’ve got more than just my diploma from the UW’s Department of Communication (which I feel kind of gypped with since it doesn’t even have my name), I feel more okay with making statements about When I was in school. I’ve got my very own, very real diploma–as opposed to the fake one they issued us all at commencement–with my very own name for my very own Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism!
As of yet, I’m still in that limbo stage many recent grads find themselves in where they still haven’t landed a “real” job, or at least one that relates somewhat to what they studied in school. But, as I’ve said before, I’m not giving up on “this journalism thing” yet. I’m still freelancing and I’m (obviously) still writing so I’m going to, as the motto for the 2002-2003 Mountlake Terrace Interhigh goes, keep on truckin’!