Saturday, January 01, 2005

A 'Rant'

I once read a magazine article that detailed different types of optimism and pessimism. According to the article, optimism's upbeat positiveness is only beneficial if it was practiced strategically; same for pessimism's uncharming blueness. So if one optimistically expects to go far in life and has plans as to how he can advance, he is a strategic optimist, if he's certain he won't meet goals without going back to school, he's a strategic pessimist. On the other hand, the unstrategic optimist is deluded; the pessimist depressive.

After reading this article, I gauged myself, as an optimist would, as someone who is pretty unfailingly strategic, whether optimistic or pessimistic. This is why I am anticipating, as the strategic pessimist would, my impending dissatisfaction with going back to Northwestern in north suburban Chicago rather than to Paris. Strangely, I think adjusting back to NU will be harder than it was adjusting "forward" to life in Paris. As someone told me, you expect it to be different when you go abroad but not when you come home.

Here are what I plan to be especially noteworthy and probably annoying adjustments upon returning to NU:
  • Unceasing devotion to one's extracurricular activities, be it sororities (rush is une grande malade de la tete for me!) to the crazy Christian clubs to theater crap (i guarantee you that of all of the "theater people" that you meet in your life, you will like no more than 10% of them and about that same percentage have any right to be pursuing that field). (Extracurrics are fine but are definitely a little too much at American unviersities. Not to sound like someone's grandpa, but we're first and foremost at school to learn).
  • Competitiveness. Grades. The old "I didn't do any reading and still got an A" talk. Isn't it kind of counter-intuitive to brag about not learning for a course that you're paying shitloads of money to take?
  • People who consider going to Evanston's Keg as a satisfying evening. Because watching freshman girls drunk from screwdrivers pole dance is my idea of a good time.
  • Lack of a city! at my disposal. People who don't set foot in Chicago, which is like 85% of the campus. Alumni David Schwimmer spoke at NU a couple years ago and confessed that he had rarely if ever gone to the city during his four years. He also said that he was a "self-absorbed asshole" back in college. He's not the only one.
  • Loud people. I'm now used to the cold, reserved French people, even if I'm not one.
  • Hell, I'll even miss living with adults over living in my estrogen central sorority house.

I write so brazenly because I'm confident that no one will read my rants. The advantages of being an unrecognized (underrecognized?? nah) blogger.


Steph said...

bwahaha, I am here reading your brazen comments! I agree, if I were coming back to that stuff, I'd be annoyed too. This is why you must move to New York after college and escape the vacuous midwestern life.

Anonymous said...

Hey! I love the Midwest. Where's the pride, Steph? Where's the pride?

- Mel

Ilana said...

Unrecognized? Never!
Elaine, I love reading your stuff because it is so poignant and humorous.
And yeah, NU people suck. Why else would I be blogging on a Friday night?