View from the other side of the desk

David Lapakko, Dept. of Communication Studies, Film, and New Media

Another school year, and I start thinking in metaphors and analogies. Two that come to mind are (a) romance and (b) war.

    Romance: September is that lovely honeymoon period; all is bliss and everything seems possible. Classes can actually feel a bit fun, mysterious and interesting. But, the romance will fade. Reality hits — people will actually have to do something, and then the idyllic fantasies evaporate. The daily grind will grind some people right into the pavement. Some students will “hook up” with someone or something other than their classes, and they may try to fool their instructors in all kinds of ways, even denying their infidelity despite massive evidence to the contrary. And then pretty soon it’s counseling, and maybe even an ugly divorce. And then you wonder, how did we ever get here?

      War: We’re trained for combat, but then the hostilities erupt, and it’s way more chaotic than we ever expected. We’re buried in the trenches, and amid all the chaos, we don’t know what to do. Some go AWOL from their classes, never to be seen again. Others are wounded and spend the rest of the term simply trying to heal. Still others become fatalities in the battle to earn their 16 semester credits. Sometimes these academic casualties are mourned by friends and family, and other times they die a quiet death in virtual anonymity.

     Whatever you do, be ready for the honeymoon to end and the perils of war to begin.

This article first appeared in the Friday, September 21 edition of The Echo.