Studying together.

Earlier this week, Amy sent me this article about a Canadian university threatening a student with expulsion. What for? Studying. She thought I might have something to say about, since the students were using Facebook to study and that’s sort of my day job. My colleague Phil already weighed in on it, so I don’t have a ton to say other than, “WTF!”

However, it does remind me of what a jerk I was in college to one fellow student and I’d like to apologize for my behavior. I was an RA, which many of you know, and Justin was an RA with me. I can’t even remember why we butted heads now, but I do remember that we had some ugly moments. We were on the same team, but fought like we were bitter rivals.

Ten years later, all I can remember is that Justin helped me pass P-chem. I got a degree in Chemistry. It wasn’t a great fit, but I was committed to finishing on time with the second major I’d chosen. If I’d been willing to explore a little more, I might have studied writing, political science or communications. Instead I jumped straight from Music Education to Chemistry.

I don’t regret that choice. My Chemistry faculty pushed me to study abroad, made time for what they understood was more important, but helped me succeed. And without them, I can’t imagine the path I would have wound up on, but I think my life is more interesting with a degree in Chemistry than without.

Dr. J, our P-Chem professor, asked Justin, my fellow RA, to help me study. And we sat in the lounge of Oakland 2, we might have even both been on duty that night, and he helped me study. I might have called him an asshole to his face and he helped me pass P-chem and calc-based physics. We studied in his apartment when he was on duty, in my lounge when I was on duty.

I have no idea why he helped me. I wouldn’t have helped me, but he did and I’m grateful for it. So if anyone is still in touch with Justin–he was an RA in Hessler–please tell him how grateful I am and that if I didn’t apologize in college for being a jerk, I’m apologizing ten years later. I hope his life is full of joy and blessings.

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