Tuesday, April 15, 2008

An Anticlimatic Conclusion

Yesterday at approximately 3:07 I did something that I thought would never happen: I walked out of my last undergraduate class . . . ever. Whoo HOO!!!! I must say, however, that it was quite anticlimactic. I suppose I've always pictured walking out of my last class to be something a bit more dramatic--lights flashing, confetti falling from the tops of buildings, hats thrown into the sky in triumph and one of those 1970s Mary Tyler Moore freeze frames while I'm jumping in the air as "You're Gonna Make It After All!!" loudly plays through all the speakers across campus as a salute of majestic glory. But none of that happened. None of it at all actually. My last class was Financial Management which I could have assumed would probably not be a class to put the inspirational icing on my undergraduate cake. In fact, after the first day or two I probably could have pegged the class as what it would become over the next few months: one of the most miserably boring experiences of my life.

I think a lesson on attitude would have been a great thing for me to garner from said course but ironically, I think my attitude was too bad to gain too many lessons from the whole thing. My attitude was especially bad at the beginning which landed me a solid C- on the first test, and although C's do in fact get degrees, I'd rather not. So I made the effort to get more out of the class which paid off with an A on the second test. I can't say I ever fell in love with financial management but I did eventually come to terms with the situation, realizing that whether I liked it or not, I was going to get through it. I also came to terms with my professor who is one hundred and thirteen years old and is in the exact image and likeness of John McCain. Originally I was not impressed with his long drawn out stories of failed businesses he was involved in back in the 1850s or his experience with the Red Sox in 1948 (ok, the 1850s is an exaggeration but 1948 is the actual date he gave us in class yesterday, followed by this statement: "that was a good year. The last 60 years have not been good to us however" as if the last 60 years was not a very large amount of time). So although Professor John McCain probably could have retired back in the 70s and could be staying home to watch Matlock every day and eat prunes, he still teaches students with bad attitudes every day- and I respect him for that. In fact, I've really grown to like him despite the boring lectures, which I've decided have more to do with the subject matter than him.

So there I sat yesterday, waiting for the climax to all the blood, sweat, tears and bloody sweaty tears I've donated to the cause over the years. Forgetting that this was my last class ever, I almost got up and left about 25 minutes early but I stayed, not wanting to miss the hugs, cheers and brief moments of solemn yet dramatic reflection as class let out that day. The leaving early would not have been abnormal for me as I have not made it on time to this class in about 3 months because I somehow decided that the first 20 minutes or so would be part of my social hour out in the hall of the Tanner building with all my long lost friends, and leaving 20 or so minutes early was always justified for some reason or another. No, yesterday I was only 8 minutes late and I stayed until the bitter end.

There were no flashing lights. No music was played. No tears were shed. And there were no silent moments of dramatic reflection. John McCain talked about index funds until about 3:07 and then, throwing us off because class is scheduled until 3:20, he said in his gruff voice as casually as if he was making some comment on the weather for conversation's sake "well I don't really have anything else to say so you can leave." And by the time he got to the "L" sound on the word leave, the majority of the few people that showed up for class yesterday were already stepping over each other, shoving small children into traffic, and knocking the door down to get the heck out of there as some students rushed to the front to complain about their grades no doubt. I gathered my things, was carried by the quick-moving crowd and the next thing I knew, I was outside getting construction dust blown on my sun burnt face from the addition they are putting on the front of the Tanner building. And just like that, BYU fulfilled it's destiny. For years it has chewed me up, and now finally, spit me out.

But nothing can take away my joy. Not even John McCain.


  1. Congratulations! Hey, the fact that you can remember the time of 3:07 p.m. is something!?!

    I remember my last test of my last class in 1997 at Utah State. It was a Unix class (no not the one-horned horse but a computer programming class). It was one bugger of a class taught by an arrogant graduate student who loved 'grep' and all of it's multitude of obfuscated uses, aaahhhhh!

    I remember walking out and doing the "Toyota jump" but again no flashing lights, it was just over and the air was clearer and the birds sounded better.

    I had finally earned that piece of paper that said I could work at a company where they would train me in their corporation in they ways they wanted to-- never mind that stuff you learned at the University.

  2. What an awesome feeling! I remember how that felt. However, I remember the dread afterward until I actually received my diploma. I was so sure that somehow something would go wrong and they would come up with some loophole and make me go back for another semester.

    Well done, Eli.

  3. YAY and soale and stuff like that!! You're so lucky! ;)

  4. I know it wasn't luck...it's because of your knowledge and good looks...


  5. Congratulations! I can't wait to experience that feeling for myself, sans the "John McCain" lookalike. I liked your description of him, by the way...