2009-10-29: Another Brick In The Wall


Darrell_icon.jpg Michael_icon.jpg

Summary: Darrell doesn't need no education.

Date: October 29, 2009

Log Title Another Brick in the Wall.

Rating: Log Rating.

NYC - Empire State University

Empire State University, the prestigious Alma Mater of many of the world's foremost authorities. The campus is small on the ground level, but extends into the air. Different buildings are scattered about. The main area, however, is simply the quad. A large grassy area with a central concreted seating field for students to study or simply relax.

A very special class, in the guest speaker sense rather than the after school special, has ended. Standing at the front in his service uniform is Lt. Colonel Michael Pola, PhD, who has concluded a discussion of the history of the United States Marine Corps. Given it is an American History Class that isn't totally out of the ordinary, and he has just finished exchanging some words with the professor (an old colleague). He pauses for a moment and looks at the classroom for a moment.

Seeing that this isn't the type of think Darrell is interested, and to him the class is just a credit to graduate, he did a bit of day dreaming and sleeping through the speech. He's more concerned with other things that the history of the United States marine Corps. At the back of the class Darrell gives a yawn and stretches a bit before getting ready to head off to his next…activity of the day.

Michael chuckles as he sees the man stretching and waking up, shaking his head slightly. "Sorry to have bored you, son." He says as he puts papers in his folders, and folders in his briefcase in a very organized fashion. "Can you tell me the quickest way from here to the parking lot? I think the visitor's guide sent me on a strange route."

Darrell is about to go through his backpack to look for something before Michael address him. It feels weird to be called son. "Umm…ahh..no. Be all that you can be, an all that." He says obviously trying fiegn interest. "I'm not sure where the visitors parking lot is, I take the train. I don't have a car here in the city." He says slinging his backpack over his shoulder.

Michael is twice as old as Darrell is, the man could be his son. "Uh huh. I'm pretty sure there is going to be a test on it." He says dryly. He opens back up his briefcase, riffling through the papers for a moment, before taking something out. He leans forward and puts it on a table in the front row. "The notes you missed. Chapultapec, Tripoli, Guadalcanal are the ones that normally end up on the test." The briefcase is closed again. "No one has a car in this city, but all of the parking lots are always full."

"Oh, Da Nang too. Desert Storm, Battle of Fallujah if Dr. Colby is feeling particularly modernist." Michael adds.

"Oh…thanks…" Darrell says taking the paper and looking at it, not quite sure what to do with it. Use it as rolling paper? He's not the studying type. "No, the parking lots are too damn pricey." He says looking around. "So what are you, some bored military officaly who just goes around lecturing college kids now, like some sort of closet recruiter?"

"No, I'm quite happy if nobody in the class enlists or is commissioned. It isn't for everyone. I'm an old friend of Doctor Colby's from when I was doing my PhD work, and he was still trying to get tenure at the University of Colorado. They didn't have an opening, and ESU did." Michael explains. "It was relevant to the discussion of the class, Revolutionary War and all, and he asked me to come in and guest lecture."

"Yeah well to be honest, this is just a class for me to get a passing grade so I can get the credit to graduate next year." Darrell admits with a shrug. He doesn't care about his GPA, just as long as he gets a D or higher and gets his credits. "So I take it you're way to into this war history stuff?"

"D is for Diploma." Michael says with a shake of his head as he leans against the lectern. "My dissertation was on the Crusades. The history of war is as much a part of our legacy as the history of peace; whether the war was righteous and just or idiotic and backwards, it can still teach us something."

Maybe Darrell would give more of a shit if he had more direction than wondering when the next party will be. "Hey whatever works right?" He says in response to the D is for Diploma. "Sorry but becoming a Vala-dick-torian doesn't hold any special interest for me, nor does remember when which contry beat up another country over something lame."

"Then why are you here?" Michael asks pointedly. "Not this classroomn, this University. You're spending what…15, 20 thousand dollars a year to get a degree with a barely passing GPA so you can do what? You don't owe me anything, I'm just curious."

"Because my parents want their son to get a college education?" Darrell says like it's the obvious answer. "And this school is in the heart of New York City so it's the only school I was interested in going too. Sorry but I wasn't about to spend four years studying in cow country. And you know what, I'm only twenty two, who cares if I know what I want to do yet or not, I'm not some boring stuffy old man yet so I'm gonna have fun while I can."

"I was just curious." Michael says with a shrug. "Just be careful you're not fourty or fifty and still using the same excuse. Living life happens on a lot of different levels, not all of it just whatever makes you happy in the next five minutes."

"Seriously though, what's the point of life if you're not having fun?" Darrell asks raising an eyebrow at Michael. Espeically since he is the type of guy to live for instant gratification. "And everything is different for everyone. Some people might be happy sitting in front of The History Channel all night, others it's a few close friends and beer pong."

"Define fun." Michael counters. "I like having fun as much as anyone; and I'm a Marine, you don't think I've had my share of hangovers? When we get promoted we like to get drunk and throw each other in the ocean. All I'm saying is that if you plan a little bit, you can set yourself up for fun later. I earn 90,000 dollars a year, give or take, you don't think I can have fun with that?"

Darrell shakes his head. "Oh no, I see what you're doing, you're trying to act like my parents and give me some of this 'so called direction'. Ya know what, I'm still young and I can still act like a college kid if I want. That responbility stuff you're trying to get me to realize by picking a 'direction' well that's for later. Right now I'm going to enjoy what I can before real life kills me."

Michael shakes his head. "There is not some great conspiracy against you, son, trying to get you to give up your life and settle in to something boring. We are not all trying to turn you in to sheeple or suck out your soul. We're just trying to tell you that if you never think ahead more than a week, you'll run out of options. You feel like people want you to limit yourself now? Imagine how limited you'll be when you're thirty five and all you've got is a string of resume worthless jobs and an apartment filled with beer bongs." Michael takes his suitcase in hand now and shrugs. "But, you'll either figure it out or you won't."

"Everyone's goals are different in life. You might enjoy being an Army man, but me, I do my own thing." Darrell says, and it shows how much he was listening since he called him an Army man. "You know what, I'm happy right now, so why change what works?"

Michael raises an eyebrow, slowly. "Marine, son. If you want to take one thing from this, I'd say you should probably take away that you don't call a Marine a soldier, and you don't call him an Army man." He offers before he puts on his service cap and tips it. "May your current fun never get in the way of actually having a life." He says before he begins to walk for the door.

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