Monday, September 3, 2012

A Professional Student Experience

As many of you know, I have come back to school to get a second degree - this time in Accounting. What associations do you have with being a student? Just thinking about it... A day becomes longer, and the nights shorter  - not because of daylight savings or the sun coming up earlier, but because I don't go to bed until all work - regular, house - and home - is done. Getting up in the morning becomes impossible without a cup of strong - really strong! - coffee.... In a nutshell, being a student for me always meant more work and less sleep. Why would someone want to stay a "professional" student unless he or she is into self-deprivation?
Then, a couple of months ago, my husband started working in San Luis Obispo. The kids were visiting with family, and I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and come to Kreuzberg in SLO. Kreuzberg is a restaurant with a "student" theme - mismatched chairs and tables, photographs and paintings on the walls, and piles and piles of books everywhere...
I had a few assignments to do, so I ordered a cup of coffee (with WiFi service included) and went on to work. Three hours went by very quickly, people came and went - all the same type, students, well dressed and happy, -  music was playing, and although it was loud, it did not bother me. When breakfast time came, the bagel with smoked salmon and kippers - with exotic name "J.D Salinger" -  was added to the coffee; a while later, at lunchtime, "Albert Camus" - an ahi tuna salad with honey mustard - or was it raspberry vinaigrette? - sauce arrived on my table... I kept working on my homework, and it was done, but at the end of the day what I remembered was the food and music experience. For the first time in my life I understood why some people prefer to stay "professional" students. If I was eating like that every day, I would not only enjoy it, I could also lose weight... and get my homework done, too! What could be better???
Naturally, living a good "student" life is expensive. Most of us (including me) probably could not afford this luxury on a regular basis. The meals I described earlier - the exquisite salad and the salmon bagel -were not cheap... For me, it was a once-in-a-while treat. As for the cafe regulars - most of them are students, children of well-to-do parents that don't have to work, don't have to do anything, really, but go to school and get decent grades. From the conversations I overheard while sitting there, I could understand that the speakers had but theoretical knowledge of the world around them, as someone would when observing it through the safety of a glass... What a charmed life it is - a life of professional student! For a moment I became part of it - and everything began to look so right, so logical and regulated. So... chaos-free. Just like it used to feel and look when I was a child. It must be pleasant to keep that illusion past the teenage years.
Then my husband came to pick me up, and it was time to go home - back to real life with jobs, bills, children and never-ending chaos. Back to reality.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Katya

    You speak of "a professional student experience" including
    "...smoked salmon and kippers - with exotic name "J.D Salinger"

    Sign me up for this wonder:-)

    I'll put that lunch in my poetic pipe and smoke it;-)

    Best wishes on your studies and Joe on his new work.



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