Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Idiot's Guide to being an Idiot

Last Friday night, I found myself with 45 minutes to kill and my local (errr... national chain) bookstore nearby. So, like any pseudo-intellectual who uses words like pseudo-intellectual, I went to peruse the titles and see what the latest vampire books and romantic soon-to-be-made-into-a-movie-that-boyfriends-will-hate books were out. Of course, I was also drawn to the baseball section (or, in this case, baseball shelf with about 20 titles on it) where I found a couple that seemed interesting.

Eventually I made my way past the childrens section where a young family was on the floor reading to their daughter (or, as the book store likely calls it, stealing from them.) From there, I meandered through the music section (where apparently Michael Jackson died . . . no, no, he didn't die in that particular music section, he died and writers and publishers looked to capitalize on his death by churning out books about him. I hope when I die, there's a rush to get poorly written and likely error-filled books about my life to book stores or kindle stores or whatever it is people will be using to read in the future.) After a very quick tour through the politics section, where I learned liberals will abort your fetus and dine on it for dinner while charging exorbitant taxes for the honor and conservatives won't be happy until there's a crucifix in every pot and holy water running from every faucet, I wandering through the self-help/philosophy section.

It was in this section that one particular title caught my eye. To be honest, I find a lot of the self-help genre to be nothing more than psychobabble repackaged in various ways that make people feel better about themselves without offering any kind of lifestyle changes, so I'm skeptical to begin with. But this book, all 336 pages of it, seems to have no business being written. The fact that it was both written, published, and carried by a major retail bookstore makes me think that those involved didn't really think their plan all the way through. (Then again, if it was written, published and selling, apparently they did think their cunning plan all the way through.)

The title of this book of which I speak is "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Going Back to College." Now, I have nothing against people seeking to go back to college. I went back to college more than six years after I went the first time. I applaud people seeking to enhance their knowledge and understanding of the world around them as well as gaining additional tools to help them make sense of it. But I'll be honest, college isn't for everyone.

Especially complete idiots.

There are reasons schools have admissions standards.  Among them, I can only assume, is to keep complete idiots out of the school so the partial idiots like me could try to learn something.

However, because I like to think of myself as a nice guy (I also think I have dashing good looks, the wit of Jon Stewart and the intelligence of Steven Hawking, so it's safe to say my ability to judge myself accurately may be lacking somewhat), I've taken the time to summarize what I can only assume to book to be about. You're welcome.

Complete Idiot's Guide to Going Back to College:

Chapter 1: You're a complete idiot, college is not for you.
Come on man, you barely passed high school basket weaving. Do you really think you're ready for such challenging college courses as Underwater Basket Weaving? Don't forget, you're a complete idiot. By the way, remember to breathe while reading this. And don't eat anything greasy because reading with your fingers will only cause the words to smudge and become unreadable.

Chapter 2: Have you seen the job market, why would you quit your job to go back to school?
Sure, being the person who cleans the pool after all those college kids finish Underwater Basket Weaving class may not be the most glamorous job, but it's more than those poor kids will have when they graduate. Why would you throw all that away?

Chapter 3: Picture of a doggie

Chapter 4: Hey, remember when you read Chapter 1, that hasn't changed
College still isn't for you.

Again, I can only assume that's how the book goes. I didn't bother to pick it up and even thumb through it. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to prepare my application to be the assistant pool maintenance person who cleans up after underwater basket weaving. I had a job, but quit it to go back to school. So I guess that would make me a complete idiot.

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