School’s Out Forever

Jon Kincaid remembers that today is 16th anniversary of the day he and Chris Campbell and I graduated from Georgia Tech. (My wife also graduated that same day.) Who besides him remembers this kind of crap? I do remember the speech by Maynard Jackson was spectacularly bad – it was long and weird and yet completely and totally uninteresting. It involved a “cropduster to the moon” and we never understood what that meant.

The very best part of going to Georgia Tech is the day you no longer go there. I guess in that regard, congratulations to all of us for stopping. Actually, for one of the four of us, that exit didn’t stick.

4 Replies to “School’s Out Forever”

  1. Yeah, I boomeranged back a few years later. See, I’d done a spectacularly shitty job getting my aerospace eng degree — narrowly missed flunking out and having to come back in “on contract”. Bright lights, big city, you know. But a couple years out, say 1992, I’d wised up a bit (and converted to instate tuition status) and wanted to properly tackle those demons. Taking Steve Albini as an inspiration, I went back to get a more useful electrical engineering degree and kicked ass the whole way through. DAMN it’s easy to ace courses when you actually show up to class every day and pay attention … So began the rest of my life, the Getting Things Done phase — without the silly card stack 🙂

    Just like any other institution, work or school or otherwise, a majority of the people at Georgia Tech are simply not that interesting or bright. And HOPE only made that worse. I mean, I remember back in 1985 (pre-HOPE) how easy it was to tell the instate students apart. Yeah, I’m a bastard, Jon’s right 🙂

    So indeed it was nice to leave Georgia Tech, but really I think it’s not worse (or better) than anywhere else — you make your choice and then make the best of it. Cue up my “the scene is now, make it happen” speech …

    My dad liked the Jackson speech but he likes just about anyone who gets up behind a podium. I’d had 2 hours of sleep so I don’t remember much of it, although on my mom’s wall we do have the Worst Picture Ever of myself — receiving my parchment from Crecine and looking pretty haggard.

  2. You were supposed to go to class?!?! I knew I was doing something wrong.

    That speech was something godawful. I think it was supposed to convey the whole “if you put your mind to it, anything can be accomplished” idea. What came out sounded more like “I wrote this on the way here”.

    I remember going to Houston’s to eat after the ceremony and sitting at the bar with Grandpa and Dad and having a drink. That might have been one of the coolest moments of my life.

  3. Chris, I forgot that you went back. That makes it two of the four. Me, when I went back it was somewhere else and during my grad program at USL it freaked me out that the school was no actively hostile to the students. It was so easy to do most things when you didn’t have to fight the college administration about the smallest thing.

    This doesn’t end when you graduate, BTW. A few months ago when they sent the username and password for the “Tech Community” thing via email, there was no URL in the letter at all. I had a login to this thing, but I had no idea what the thing was or how to get to it. I had to google it to find out. I emailed the alumni guy who sent the email saying “Would it kill you when you send out mails like this to include the damn URL?” and got back a pissy reply that said “We’ve been using that site for years so you should already know it.” That’s GA Tech to a tee – refusing to make anything simple and then blaming you for that.

    James, was that the time Grandpa and Bev had the weird concoction of beer and tomato juice? It was pretty cool in kind of the same way as shooting pool with Dad at Fox and Hounds years later.

  4. Yes, it was. And that beer and tomato juice thing still gives me the chills just thinking about it.

    And yeah, that was the coolest pool ass-whooping I’ve ever taken.

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