College almost killed my Writing

When I went to college in 2004 I had no idea what I really wanted to be. Well what I wanted to be was a ski bum up at Loveland, CO and not attend college at all but my mom insisted on how important it was so I applied to a small liberal arts school during the summer. I knew I wanted to be a writer. I have been great at writing my entire life so it was a safe major with what I thought would be a piece of cake class, COMP. 101. The only thing that worried me was the length of assignments, so many pages! So when I kept getting papers back in my Comp. class with a big red F I was baffled. This writing class was my only class I was failing freshman year. How?
In orientation they told us that we would change our major a million times before graduation. I thought this sounded absurd, how could you not know what you wanna be when you grow up? I don’t think I made it to my second semester with my initial “journalism” major. Some may say that this is a good way of exploring new avenues and discovering maybe some new talents academically, changing the major. Not me. I saw this as defeat. I was devastated. By the end of that Comp. class I hated writing! I felt like maybe I had just gotten lucky or skirted through life when it came to the school subject ENGLISH. My professor pulled me aside one day and said, “Listen, you have to get an A+ on the final or I have to fail you.” I didn’t know what to do. I had no confidence in myself as a writer and now I had to pass this class with one paper, 15 pages and it had to be perfect. Not a A- not an A, but an A+. What was I suppose to do? I decided that with my last paper I would entertain, teach, shock, or at the very least show some kind of writing style I had left in me after a semester of crap. I wanted that A+ of course but I wanted my professor to see why I thought I should be a journalist in the first place. This class had left me feeling foolish and I didn’t want to go quietly. If I was going to fail COMP 101 I was going to do it my way. We could write about any topic we wanted just as long as we could present it without a single grammatical error, references, done in a specific outline of using every single assignment throughout the semester. AHHH! Really? I had gotten no higher than a D on any assignment prior and now I had to use those skills that I was suppose to have learned to put together a final paper! I knew I would fail this assignment just like every single paper I had done all semester. Anger fueled me. I thought, “you know what FUCK IT. I clearly cant write, my professor is a nazi, and I’m changing my major to psych anyways, so what? If I fail I don’t have to take the class over because my major isn’t going to to be that of a writing one.” This professor I felt had taken something from me. Without writing I was just an okay science student who sucked at math. Gross. I wanted to use my paper to say FUCK YOU AND THIS CLASS but I also wanted to pass (I hadn’t gone completely mad…yet) So I worked non stop, rough draft after rough draft on the topic that consumed my mind at the time, SEX. I was still a virgin so I still thought about it like a 15 year old pubescent person…..ALOT! I wanted to embarrass my professor, make her blush when she read my paper. Sex? No one else was writing about sex and there certainly wasnt any rhyme or reason. Most were writing about “writing topics” that we had be given, as motivation. Just ideas to help us find our topic. Not me, when I got that 15 page paper back with the big red F on it I wanted to know that it had atleast been read. This vulgar piece of trash had gone through the grading system just as the papers on “writing style” and beige boring topics.
Second semester of my freshman year I changed my major to psychology and it stayed the same until dropping out middle of my junior year. And although I may be a college dropout and don’t really wanna go back to school (right now). I feel one of my greatest accomplishments in my entire life was getting that COMP 101 15pg. final back with the giant A+
“I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright… Or maybe “stupid” is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don’t bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I… And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there’s a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots.“
Rolling Stone (1976)