My Personal Spring….

I’ve spent most of my adult life going to college in one form or another. I spent nine years as an undergrad, two years getting my masters, then another five years teaching.

About two years ago, I stopped teaching because it was taking up too much time and headspace. I decided that the grown-up thing to do would be to leave my day job and focus on my writing.

And so I did. What I didn’t realize was how much college was part of my life. I’ve really missed it over these last few years. I miss taking classes, and teaching them. I miss walking around campus and meeting new people. I miss getting into arguments about philosophy at the campus coffeeshop.

And I miss writing my silly little advice column for the campus paper. I wrote it for almost ten years and gave it up for the same reasons I stopped teaching. It was taking too much time away from working on the book.

Don’t get me wrong. There are some parts of college I don’t miss. Writing the papers, for example. Or grading them, for that matter. I don’t miss having to get up for classes, either. Believe it or not, back when I was a student, I sometimes had to be awake by 11 in the morning.

Yeah. I know. There should be a law…

One of the many strange things about being in school for so long is how it changed my perception of time. There is an ebb and flow to the semester. Everyone is tense around mid-terms, irritable two weeks before finals, and giddy by the time finals actually start.

But the beginning of the semester is a magical time. The beginning of the whole school year doubly so.

This time of year has always been spring for me. Yes, yes. I know it’s really autumn. But my personal clock, influenced by over 27 years of schooling tells me that this is when the new year begins. It’s time to to back to school.

For obvious reasons, I’ve been thinking about this for the last week. I live in a college town, and when school starts up it’s almost like Stevens Point is waking up after a long sleepy winter. Students are wandering the streets again, looking for house parties and curbside couches. The bars downtown are full. People are moving furniture around, hanging out in the coffee houses, and jogging on the sidewalks. I don’t need a calendar to tell me that classes are starting again.

This is also the time when I would write my first column for the new school year. It was tricky because I didn’t have any letters to answer at the beginning of the year, so most of what I did was introduce the concept of the column to the new students and make a call for letters that I could mock. (Or give advice to, depending on my mood.)

So in honor of my personal springtime, here’s one of my favorite introductions that I wrote for the College Survival Guide a couple years ago:

* * *

I love this time of year. After three months of vacation everyone is fresh and rested. All the Professors have forgotten how much they hate teaching. They smile and chat with each other in the hallways. They cluster around Xerox machines like lame, tweedy gangs, pretending they’re cool despite the fact that they’re doing the equivalent of selling encyclopedias door-to-door while all the other gangs are pushing lapdances, PS3s, and cherry-flavored crack.

Returning students are glad to be back too. Mostly because your summer jobs were tedious and degrading. Three months of summer vacation is long enough so that you’ve forgotten that most classes are tedious and degrading too.

This means that you’re full of hope. You’re sure your new roommate won’t be like the last one who wore tinfoil socks and had a tendency to occasionally urinate in the refrigerator. You’re sure you’ll pass Math 106 this time around. You’re determined to actually join some clubs this year and not just sit around in your dorm eating spray cheese from a can and watching youtube videos about cats.

Sure you will. And while you’re at it you’ll have plenty of time to map out your future career, find true love, attain nirvana, and develop a high-tech cybernetic arm that dispenses an infinite supply of orange PEZ . Sure. You’ll have time for all that. After all, you’ve done the college thing before. You’ve got it all figured out… Right?

But you freshman are my favorites. I remember what that first semester was like: you’ve got a new haircut and some of mom’s money in your pocket. You’re on your own for the first time ever. You have so much freedom that you can hardly keep from shitting yourself with sheer delight.

And you express your near-infinite excitement the same way every freshman has done for the last ten thousand years. You buy posters for your dorm. You order pizza at unseasonable hours of the day and night. You touch yourself *down there* in a decidedly impure manner, repeatedly.

Well kids, cherish that delightful innocence for as long as you can. Because soon the horrible truth with start to dawn. You’ll realize freedom isn’t all nachos, whippets, and wicked touching of the bathing suit area. Freedom is also credit-card debt, STD’s that would blister the paint off a car door, and scholastic performance so shoddy that your professors have to invent new grades to accurately represent how profoundly you are sucking in their classes. Something like “Triple F-minus” or “negative B plus.”

Some of you, the smarter ones, are already starting to realize how dangerous all this lovely freedom is. Truth be told, your freshman orientation package should include a coil of industrial-strength nylon cord with a label that says: “Welcome to college. Here’s a whole lot of rope. Feel free to hang yourself with it.” Unfortunately, the effect would be ruined by UWSP’s legal department, which would make sure the rope was actually too short for anyone to really hang themselves with. And they would attach a second label, larger than the first, with bright red letters saying: “We mean metaphorically. Dumbass.”

Truth is, I can’t keep you from metaphorically hanging yourself. And honestly, I wouldn’t want to. College provides you an unrivaled opportunity for you to fuck up in a largely consequence-free environment. This is half the fun of college. If you don’t make at least one or two really nexa-level mistakes while you’re here, you’re really not getting your money’s worth.

What I can do is this. When things get weird, or stupid, or broken, I can offer some advice on how to minimize the damage to your tattered life. If that doesn’t work, then at least the rest of us will have a good laugh at your expense.

So e-mail your questions, sob stories, and mewling pleas for help to [e-mail no longer valid]. I’ll do my best to answer them. Exceptionally good letters will be rewarded with fantastic prizes. I promise.

* * *

Oh my beloved survival guide. How I miss you.

While I’m busy working on book two and getting ready to be a dad, I’ll probably post up an old column or two on the blog here. There’s a few pieces of good advice buried in all the humorous bullshit.

Also, because I’m feeling nostalgic, those of you looking for advice can mail in questions using the contact form here on the webpage.

That said, be aware that I’m busy, and just because you ask a question doesn’t mean that I’ll answer it here on the blog.

But maybe… just maybe…

pat

This entry was posted in BJ Hiorns Art, College Survival Guide, my student daysBy Pat62 Responses

62 Comments

  1. msmithk
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 1:52 PM | Permalink

    This was good for my soul. Having also spent most of my life in school (7 years for the undergraduate, another 3ish for the MA, then more than I want to count not earning a PhD) and living in a college town, I know this feeling so well. I miss teaching. I still get caught up in that excited expectation that is fall, the true beginning of things. It’s so nice to have someone else understand, and express that so eloquently. Feeling a bit melancholy now, but it’s all good.

  2. Amanda
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

    I really miss the survival guide. I don’t even pick up the Pointer anymore :/
    Good luck with everything, including the move into the house, and the birthing of Oot which I know must be pretty impending.
    -Amanda

  3. Amanda
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 1:55 PM | Permalink

    Oh, and also, I know plenty of people who miss you on campus too. You aren’t the only one who wishes you could come back and teach haha.
    -Amanda

  4. Anonymous
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 2:07 PM | Permalink

    Need advice…am 37 year old, work at home/stay at home mom planning party for her son’s 3rd birthday. Don’t remember how to exactly do this since it’s been 4 years had last party(once got pregnant with said son). Need to do this for adult friends that I owe many alcoholic drinks to. Oh…you may not have any advice…I may have to tell you how to do this once Oot comes…

  5. Mr. Rommel
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 2:16 PM | Permalink

    My year starts in September as well. I’ve always seen January as that annoying month where you have to remember to write a different year in the dates on papers, only to get laughed at when you forget. I’m an undergraduate working on a teaching degree, so I don’t see this changing anytime soon…

  6. peter
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 2:17 PM | Permalink

    wow this is hilarious. I’m a freshman right now at the University of Illinois at Chicago. and i got to say I wish I had been in college back when you were righting that article, oh, btw how is book two coming along? ;)

  7. Jacob Mathias
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 3:24 PM | Permalink

    I always loved the survival guide. As the current Editor-in-Chief of The Pointer, I would love to see it back. I would also love to read book two, so keep pushing away at it. But for those of you Pointers who read this blog, please pick up The Pointer every Thursday; it’s full of good stuff.

  8. icarpenter
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 3:27 PM | Permalink

    …you are about to be a father and you pine for the days when you woke up at 11 AM? Hoo boy, I can’t wait for the sleep deprived blogs we will soon see. Better read the newspaper now for the last time in about 15 years. (One of the secret male advantages of breast feeding would be not having to wake up very much for the 2 and 4 AM feedings, that is unless she pumps extra for you to do the honors) Pretty soon it won’t be Spore, it will be sing along with the Teletubbies! Go Diego, Go not Watch the Guild! No TV at all! Better get copies of Goodnight Gorilla; Moo, Baa, La La La; Goodnight Moon, The Carrot Seed, Sheep in a Jeep etc etc

  9. Megan
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 4:08 PM | Permalink

    I’m very happy that you posted this. I’m well on my way to being creating “college forever” life. I’m well into my undergrad years and plan to charter the dark, abysmal waters to attain my PhD which will hopefully lead to teaching college. Thus I am starting to realize exactly what you mean…and yet, everything you said made me smile and ever more excited to acheive MY nirvana. :)

    Goodluck!

  10. Judy
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 4:12 PM | Permalink

    Hi Pat –

    Everyone always told me High School were going to be the best years of my life….. Hell. Freaking. NO! It was ALWAYS college, where I could be away from my parents who wanted to know where I was every 5 mins. (They “settled” for phone calls every Wed pm and Sat noon.) Thank you for setting me back on campus, with the world of opportunities at my feet…..

    Oh – and @icarpenter: I’ve always pictured Pat as more of a “Harold and the Purple Crayon” type…… :o)

    J

  11. Judy
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 4:14 PM | Permalink

    ech. Sorry for the poor verb / tense / agreement issues. Should have been “High School WAS going to be the best set of years of my life…..”. Bleh.

    Mea maxima culpa!

  12. KMack
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 4:19 PM | Permalink

    I graduated in July – but still live in the student area of a big city, with other students, and many of my friends are still students. I can’t explain how much I miss that feeling of something new beginning.

  13. Chad
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 4:30 PM | Permalink

    Awesome column Pat.

    Hopefully I don’t get verbally flogged for this, but when you went on your European vacation you posted a photo showing the book going to editing.

    I assumed that we were in the editing phase now (also known as “almost done” time).

    Anyway, in this column you stay you’re still writing, so I’m guessing there is no ETA on the next book huh?

    Take your time, we support you and everything, but I think an update on the book would be great (e.g., “I’m close,” or alternatively “settle in, it’s going to be a while”).

  14. Dr. Phil (Physics)
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 5:35 PM | Permalink

    K+12 years of school. 4 years of college, plus another one for more classes. 2½ years working in the university library. 7½ years of grad school, plus additional university work. And now in my 53rd semester of teaching college physics.

    Yup. Know exactly what you mean about September = “Spring”.

    Dr. Phil

  15. Anonymous
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 5:52 PM | Permalink

    What good is all this freedom to sleep past 11 when you’re up posting at 7:30AM? Unless of course we are to assume you were on your way to bed.

  16. Charles
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 6:36 PM | Permalink

    Pat, I really wish you would post some more of those columns. I really enjoy reading them. They take me on a nostalgic trip back to my college years. But while tripping the memories fantastic, I end up laughing at the universally personal little quirks and foibles.

    Throw some more out there. They can’t take that long. Use the collegiate writer’s best friend, Cut and paste man. Cut an paste.

  17. Wade
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 6:37 PM | Permalink

    Haha awesome blog entry as always. I’m a freshman at the University of Puget Sound up in Washington state and we were discussing your book quite a bit at my Writer’s Guild meeting. That isn’t really all that relevant to your post, but I thought I’d mention it anyways. I really wish we had a guy like you up at our school to liven things up a bit.

  18. Jeff
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 7:31 PM | Permalink

    Just pick it up again, Pat. Doing something you like will only free up the cloudy state your mind must be in now. Go back to teaching, writing a column and meeting new people on campus, this will improve your writing, because, and this will not sound strange to you, the essence of writing is influence by your surroundings, be it the last film you watched or new exciting you met. Hell, the endless debating will give you new point of views and will definately improve your writing overall.

    Be happy and all will follow,

    yours truly,

    Jeff

  19. Caitlin
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 7:54 PM | Permalink

    Hi. My name is caitlin, and i need some advice.
    So i am a freshman in college, and there is this guy i really like. But he is not interested in me. So i decided to give up on him rather than try to chase after someone who has no interest in me. But then i realized that i still really like him, and now i don’t know what to do. I was trying to spend more time with him in hopes that this would squash my feelings but all it did was make them worse. I can’t stop thinking about him. What should i do?

  20. LadyLackless
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 7:57 PM | Permalink

    Awesome column Pat!
    I am a freshman at Adams State College, and i found your words very inspirational. I can’t decide what i am looking forward to more! The STD’s, the masses of debt, or potentially crushing my proffesers dreams of being an influential teacher when they realize i am beyond aid. I guess i will just have to eagerly anticipate whatever comes first!

  21. Yoni
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 8:24 PM | Permalink

    I hope it’s just a coincidence the last few columns have been on Mondays. Hopefully it’s just because Pat is busy with family and book related stuff rather than a deliberate move to post only one entry a week.

  22. malthol
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 8:43 PM | Permalink

    Awesome. Really gets to what’s going on around here (I’m a PhD student teaching history at a university).

  23. DK
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 9:53 PM | Permalink

    Pat,

    You’re so good at turning emotions into words. I’m in agreement about the whole “fall is spring” notion. Now, unlike many of the posters here, I was only in college for 4 years, so I don’t have nearly the level of college inhabitation as some of these people do. But I loved college. Many people are glad to be rid of the papers and classes and other random things that tend to be a universal annoyance; but if being a student was a career, I would do it happily. Well, I was going to try to describe my feelings, but it would just come out as jibberish.

    Now, this always bugs me. I read Pat’s blog almost religiously, and I always, ALWAYS, find someone who wants status on or tells tells Pat to hurry up on book 2. For heaven’s sake, people, stop asking. There are multiple reasons for us, his insanely devoted fanbase, to stop nagging him.
    1. Pat knows we’re interested in him, Kvothe, and his story. Duh. At this point, I’m pretty sure he’s tuned into that. Yup. I’d put money on it.
    2. Pat’s told us that when there’s an update, he’ll tell us. That’s good enough for me. If the man who has written the best book I’ve ever read tells me to wait, then by Jove, I’m going to wait. I have faith that Pat knows what he’s doing.
    3. I’m sure that many of us loved when the LOTR came out in theaters and we had the wonderful opportunity to see a trilogy with one movie coming out each year. The anticipation and excitement that built up between movies was one of the things that was so cool…Let’s enjoy the upcoming book that way.
    4. Pat is the one writing here. If he says he needs more time, he needs more time. This thing is his baby, and I’m sure every single one of us would have a problem with someone telling us that we have to do something a certain way, especially if that thing is one of the most important things in the world to you.

    Okay. *end of rant*

  24. Fundin
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 10:38 PM | Permalink

    Well Kvothe leaves university in book one, you leave university in order to write book two. Syncronicity or what?

  25. walkintherain
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 11:00 PM | Permalink

    Couldn’t you do a once a month column? I feel sad for the students who won’t have the College Survival Guide as part of their UWSP experience. :(

  26. Mark Schroeder
    Posted September 15, 2009 at 1:27 AM | Permalink

    Reading that puts me back at UWSP, a place I haven’t been in almost a decade now. I miss reading your advice column, your horoscopes, I even miss the damn Didactic. I miss the old UC: the old one with the shitty furniture I used to nap on after I ate food that was bad for me at the in house Taco Bell. I miss walking through the square. I miss walking around the 4th floor “nest” of professors to see my advisor. I miss cranking out my bad writing and talking about in class. I miss the TLC.

    I didn’t graduate from UWSP, thanks to a mid-undergrad transfer to UW Madison. But I miss it, and Stevens Point, more than I miss the Mad City. Reading that intro to your column snaps my senses back there until I can almost smell the classrooms and the dusty old library. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  27. salleejoshua
    Posted September 15, 2009 at 1:59 AM | Permalink

    Hahaha! I wish I would have had a chance to go to UWSP, just for the chance to read your column. Well Pat once again you put words to feelings that we all have, well most of us who enjoyed college years. I appreciate your blog and appreciate the time you put into it when there must be millions of people who are waiting on your second book. Keep it up Pat!

  28. Anonymous
    Posted September 15, 2009 at 4:03 AM | Permalink

    Just wanted to let everyone know that Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog won an emmy. Cuz it’s awesome. nuf said

  29. Vic K
    Posted September 15, 2009 at 4:35 AM | Permalink

    Now of course, if you lived in Australia, you would actually be enjoying spring this time of year.

    Then again, this is exam time for the undergrads here, and the year actually does start in January, so we’re all upside down and back to front.

    I remember my university days with much nostalgia. Boy I loved learning new stuff… but now I’m an at-home mum and I have to say, all that time I had back that looks positively wasted. Why didn’t I do more with it?

  30. Dave Matthews
    Posted September 15, 2009 at 5:03 AM | Permalink

    I sadly have to admit that I have just now finished Name of the Wind My God, sir, well done. I cannot even begin to comprehend the vast relationship you shared with college as a whole. I spent 5 years in a private college paying too much for too little. My parents said that Math was the way to go and after ignoring my heart for two years I decided that I would double major in Math and Art. Then I learned to paint. It was as if I had the world sitting on the end of my brush waiting for me to claim it. It only lasted two more semesters. Apparently a BA in Math and a BFA in art double concentration in painting and graphic design are much more than a person with two jobs can handle, or perhaps that was just me. It was over too quickly for me to properly care and I suppose i’ve carried that feeling of “whatever” with me since. I find my self in a prepared state for learning whil managing a book store with faint cries from the abandoned brush muffling in my closet.

  31. Sedulo
    Posted September 15, 2009 at 6:17 AM | Permalink

    Jewish New Year is this Friday at sundown. I’ve always liked that it coincided with the beginning of the academic calendar. Find/make jewish friends and celebrate!

    oh~~~
    Did you buy a new house did I miss that in a blog somewhere?

  32. Anonymous
    Posted September 15, 2009 at 6:44 AM | Permalink

    Are you THE Dave Matthews?

  33. Anonymous
    Posted September 15, 2009 at 7:46 AM | Permalink

    Dear Pat,

    Please help, Last night I dreamt of Manderley again!

  34. Kisaoda
    Posted September 15, 2009 at 1:00 PM | Permalink

    My brother-in-law recently moved to Stevens Point to work as an actuary at Sentry Insurance (you know, the GIANT FORTRESS domineering the south side of town). It wasn’t until after my first visit there a few weeks ago did I read on your blog that you lived in the same area. (!!)

    So after my initial and mandated hour of sulking on missing a chance to stalk my favorite author, I got over it and realized there would be other chances to single out a bearded fellow in a town of 20+thousand. (Fingers are still crossed, mind.)

    All kidding aside, I did really enjoy my stay. I can see why you and my brother live in Stevens Point: sidewalks EVERYWHERE, deer you can practically walk up to, Polito’s Pizza…

    I hope you are able to take the good that came from your years at school and lock them in memory. Who knows? Maybe you can settle down in your later years and become the crotchety old professor that everyone either loves or despises. Just keep growing out the beard.

  35. Cecrow
    Posted September 15, 2009 at 2:44 PM | Permalink

    Wow – if someone on staff had written stuff like that in our campus paper, there woulda been a hooply. Speaking as its editor during my school days: unfortunately they never dared. Congrats to liberal Pointer for hosting you! Did you do it anonymously, or everybody knew it was you?

    What the guy above said about sleeplessness and stocking up on kids’ lit when baby arrives is so painfully true, I can’t tell you.

    The worst thing about being out of school is that it slowed down time. It seemed to take forever to get through a school year. Now a year flashes past and I forget where I put it.

  36. Anonymous
    Posted September 15, 2009 at 5:15 PM | Permalink

    Totally unrelated to the blog post but equally awesome is this picture I found of our favourite Guildee, Felicia Day.

    I believe I spy a copy of your book just to her left…

    http://wallpaper.skins.be/felicia-day/36527/1280×800/

  37. Pat
    Posted September 15, 2009 at 6:18 PM | Permalink

    That’s pretty cool. I feel famous…

  38. Anonymous
    Posted September 15, 2009 at 6:55 PM | Permalink

    I love reading your blog. I wish there was someone like you in my college newspaper. Then people might read it for something other then the sports scores… And I agree… if you don’t make at least 1-2 major mistakes while in college you really aren’t learning anything. Congrats on the baby! and i have to say it.. LOOOVE the book.

  39. James
    Posted September 15, 2009 at 7:56 PM | Permalink

    You have captured the feeling perfectly. I am two weeks into the semester, spent the morning grading the first papers for a class, and will teach three classes tomorrow: and after sixteen years I still love it. Though I would also love being able to write a marvelous fantasy book like you have too!

  40. Gathers Scrolls
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 2:01 AM | Permalink

    A book yourself and Oot may enjoy: ‘Where’s My Cow?’ by Terry Pratchett (a tie-in to ‘Thud’).

    :D

  41. Cody
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 3:38 AM | Permalink

    9 years? Man, it only took me 6. I hope you didn’t drink more than I did though; I’d feel cheated.

  42. Jake Covert
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 4:25 PM | Permalink

    I agree with above posters!

    Go back to school and teach! I’d be completely happy if the next book takes another 14 years.

    I forget almost all of the worthless drivel I read because it’s crap. But there are always a few good books (your first one among them) that actually stick!

    Screw the deadlines, screw the readers. Even kinda say screw the bills (as much as possible). Teach, drink double-lattes, and baste (sp?) in the stew of new things…

    When it comes, it’ll be better for it…

  43. DarkSalmon
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 5:47 PM | Permalink

    i miss school too, really miss it. and my first 7 years of college were a continuous string of failures. i don’t normally latch on to blogs, but i think i’ll do you a favor and increase your stats by 1. enjoy the scrutiny :)

  44. Valentina Kaquatosh
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 6:12 PM | Permalink

    I, too, go through college withdrawal. I also miss working at the Pointer. When I was comics editor, it gave me focus. Now I can’t walk by the Pointer office without a sad thought or want, wishing there were things I could’ve done but didn’t have the time to or whatever. What I really miss about the university and The Pointer newspaper is the collaboration I had between student cartoonists and writers. I really, really, really miss that. I’m much more lonely these days. But occasionally coming across your blog makes me smile because it’s the only time I can see some of Bret’s cartoons and hear how you’re doing. Good Gods, what else can I say?
    Happy Spring, eh?!

  45. logankstewart
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 6:17 PM | Permalink

    I feel your pain, Pat. I graduated in May after spending 14 consecutive semesters (Fall, Spring, and Summer) at UofL and now I’m working full time, wondering what the heck is going on in life and with my friends back in the city. The campus becomes a familiar place, one where we know we’ll be creamed for our lack of understanding, where we’ll anticipate super late nights, lots of coffee, early classes and long lectures. We expect enough homework to keep us working until after the semester ends.

    Yes, I miss it all, but for the life of me I can’t say why.

  46. Llyralei
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 7:24 PM | Permalink

    I have to say, I loved the Triple F minus and negative B plus because a professor definitely gave me a C triple plus on a paper once.

    I wish there was a column like this in my school paper. :/

  47. Llyralei
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 7:25 PM | Permalink

    I have also frequently expressed the desire to stay in school forever to family and friends, because as awful as it can be, it’s still ridiculously better than… real life. lol.

  48. Endo
    Posted September 17, 2009 at 4:58 AM | Permalink

    Had forgotten about Ian and his fridge “incident”. Still brings a smile to my face, the poor suffering bastard.

  49. KillerKitKat
    Posted September 17, 2009 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

    Am I the only person on the planet who isn’t actually enjoying their university career?! I’m in my second year of a BA (I’m English so only three years for me) and I can’t wait to get it over with. Having said that, I do intend to do an MA and a PGCE (English teaching qualification) after that, but, well, that’s just my brand of insanity. The learning I adore. The people not so much. Perhaps it’s just the uni I’m in but the people here are really immature and shallow – and most of them popular types from Essex with plenty of daddy’s money. Not a fellow nerd in sight. At least I’ve got more time for study, right?

  50. Anonymous
    Posted September 17, 2009 at 2:31 PM | Permalink

    Hilarious. Reminds me of a buddy I have who wrote a funny column at Bradley U back in the late 90’s thru 02.
    I think it’s cool you wrote one more- kind of a bitter sweet fling, in a sense. Unless you continue to write it every week. Then it will become a sad obsession and you would be forced to write to the new columnist and ask for advice on how to let go of college. Trust me, from someone who sees the denial in a few poor bastards manifested as perpetual frat antics or no attempt at a career, it’s an ugly spectacle.
    Anyway, loved the novel, look forward to the next, and I hope your exile from literary distraction is working. Blogs aside.

  51. David
    Posted September 17, 2009 at 10:55 PM | Permalink

    You mean the year DOESN’T begin in September? Since when?

    I’ve been through the BA/MA/PhD cycle and am working my way through the Ad-Hoc Lecturer phase (in the UW system, though not at UWSP – that makes us nearly kin! I can ask for favors! Wait, what?). Even though my daughter’s birthday is New Year’s Eve I just cannot conceive of the year beginning in January. Nothing changes in January – that happens in September.

    I’m looking forward to the next book, whenever it appears. The Name of the Wind was the most darkly lyrical book I have ever read, and I have no doubts that the wait for the next one will be worth it.

  52. Robert
    Posted September 18, 2009 at 12:59 AM | Permalink

    As a lawyer, I’d really love to put the label “We mean metaphorically, Dumbass” on, well, anything. That would rock.
    Clients usually dont like being called dumbasses, but oh, some of them really need to hear it.

  53. Kirk
    Posted September 18, 2009 at 9:12 AM | Permalink

    Over 50 comments and not one mention of the Bruce Campbell sketch? Some of you acedemic types need to go watch “Army of Darkness.”

    I don’t know about it being spring now, but the company I work for starts its fiscal year Sept. 1st.

    Screw going back to teaching, you probably swing a big enough pen now to land paid speaking engagements at universities. All the thrills of vomiting your insights onto unsuspecting brains, none of the paper grading tedium.

  54. Patricia
    Posted September 18, 2009 at 6:18 PM | Permalink

    I know what you mean. I also always felt like the new year started in September but I finished school this year and it makes me feel kind of lost because there should be something new going on now, but there isn’t.
    I miss school and everybody so much!

  55. Whitney
    Posted September 18, 2009 at 8:31 PM | Permalink

    I just found out that my fiance is procuring a copy of the College Survival Guide for my anniversary present…needless to say, I was beyond excited!

  56. Cody
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

    Hmm sorry, I am new to the blogging world and had a typo in the comment above.

    College life was a blast.. until my life became more dramatic. Drama as in getting my future, not present wife pregnant. And then the stress came with a hellish packed schedule of school, watching my son, and working nights for a year.

    I read Name of the Wind a year ago or so, while currently reading your Ice and Fire recommendation which has me absorbed and saying words like “seed” and “buried treasure.” Great job and amazing writing.

  57. Anonymous
    Posted September 25, 2009 at 12:49 AM | Permalink

    I am in the process of applying to college and frankly I can’t wait. I have the hope that at least at college there will be other intelligent people. I am so done with being surrounded by idiots.

  58. Gareon
    Posted September 25, 2009 at 5:26 AM | Permalink

    You can even tell the Freshman by their spelling and bad grammer in the blog comments. No offense to anyone inparticular peter, freshman from the University of Illinois at Chicago. We all make a mistake or too in our “righting” every now and then. =D

    PS- I certainly wish there was a clever columnist I could find in Denver, CO… or online. Anyone with ideas???

  59. Gareon
    Posted September 25, 2009 at 5:55 AM | Permalink

    “Alright you Primative Screwheads, listen up!”

    Kirk deserves a pat on the back and the rest of you deserve a taste of Ash’s boomstick!!

    Seriously, watch the movies. Army of Darkness is number three in the Evil Dead series. Premium awesomeness.

  60. Bremon
    Posted October 3, 2009 at 4:43 PM | Permalink

    …You’re amazing. seriously. all i have is school and curling and i still can’t finish anything with any regularity…but you have tours, Sarah, Oot, life in general, conventions, interviews, etcetera & blah-blah blah and you have the first book done and the second book in the drafting process. That being said…any chance of advice for college essays? they’re so darn vague that i don’t know how the heck i’m going to get them done…like…do they really mean “any topic” when they say “any topic”? and why can’t the college people just write “Write an essay about stuff.”? that pretty much sums it up.

  61. Ben
    Posted October 3, 2009 at 7:39 PM | Permalink

    Now entering my 7th of what appears to be at least 12 semesters for my BS in Mechanical Engineering at Tennessee Tech, I know what you mean. I love the end of August/ beginning of September. When the town goes from a ghost of what was to a living thing, i get just a little giddy. Between the freshmen thinking they are the coolest of the cool, all the clubs getting back into the swing, and the lovely ladies jogging on campus, how can you not be just a little excited? Love the column, and the book. best of luck with Oot.

  62. Leeson
    Posted October 4, 2009 at 1:29 AM | Permalink

    Pat,
    Congrats on your heir to the throne (your baby)! I was reading your blog about the family being tired when i was called away from my desk. when i got back my wife was reading it and said that it was really funny. thats when i took the chance to hand over ‘name of the wind’ to her. i cant wait for her to be as entrapped as i was.
    i know you have heard it a billion times, but i loved your book. i’m military and picked it up before i deployed. i must have read it three times during my 9 months overseas. when i wasnt reading it some of the guys were reading it. when i bought it i didnt even realize it was a trilogy and the others werent written yet. i dont even care about that, i loved the first and can patiently wait for the second. in fact, i’ve been back since may and i think i’m going to read it again (or if you have a suggestion on another book or series i will take your word for it). i know your not in the business of promoting other writers but i still thought i’d ask. so thanks for the book. take care of the kiddo, and good luck with your career.

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