Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Jan 22, 2018

There’s nothing like college

By Brooks Taylor, Mt. Pleasant News | Dec 15, 2017

Admittedly, I was raised in a different era than today’s young people.

Most mothers were stay-at-home mothers during my formative years. Without any disrespect to today’s working mothers, I think we were better off to have grown up with mothers nearby. I realize that in today’s economics, a mother staying home often is not an option.

I consider myself doubly blessed because not only was my mother always there, my maternal grandmother also lived in our home.

With a mother and grandmother in the house, we had many long conversations. Some of the topics and values we discussed served as a foundation for my life ahead.

Although some of the tidbits have long since evaporated, I will never forget one thing my mother told me repeatedly.

She urged me to enjoy high school because they would be the best years of my life.

So, I entered high school with that thought. Soon it became tarnished when I saw exclusive cliques being formed, the politics and the drama.

It is not that I didn’t enjoy high school as a whole, but the aforementioned aspects put a damper on the total experience.

I enjoyed the reunions much better than the four years of high school. That’s because time evens things out. No longer was the “chosen” acting like classmates didn’t exist and with that new awareness, the drama left, too.

High school offered a sense of security. There weren’t car payments, rent, utilities or the bills we accumulated later in life. In addition, your best friends — mom and dad — were always within earshot. Who could serve as better sounding boards?

Reflecting back to times long gone, I enjoyed my college days much more than high schools partially because college life was devoid of the cliques and drama that dominated the high-school years.

College also meant freedom and independence. Like most teens, I felt my parents were the most strict on earth, Years later, I realized they just had my best interests in mind and the wisdom to prevent me from making stupid mistakes.

My college years were an attempt to make up for lost time. I went to college during the Vietnam War, but you wouldn’t find me at any protests.

Instead, my rebellious streak was displayed in other areas. The hair grew, T-shirts and jeans became standard dress and I could easily skip a class if a better opportunity presented itself. I was not adverse to spending weekend nights (and some week nights) at campus watering holes.

Class at 8 a.m. was avoided at all costs. Once, however, it couldn’t be avoided. I was taking physical geography (I know it sounds like one of those basket-weaving classes for jocks) because I needed it for my Bachelor of Science degree. It was either that or a foreign language (for a Bachelor of Arts degree) and because I hadn’t taken any foreign language in high school, the path was obvious.

Physical geography was taught by a large professor named Opheim. Word quickly got around campus that you didn’t have to attend class to get a good grade. Opheim, it was said, basically went over the entire test during the last class period before the test, Attend the review, students said, and you would be in great shape. I took the advice and found it to be true.

Sometimes, I wish I was going to school today. In my day, success was based much more on memorization than knowledge. Today, learning leans more to group activities, discussion and on-hands projects. Although I have a good memory, which served me well in school, I rather would have done more learning and less memorization.

Since this is the last Topics before the holidays, merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. May you spend it with the people you love the most.

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