As many of you know, I’m in college working towards my Masters in Social Work. When I was younger, I just wasn’t trying to spend that much time in college and I’m glad I didn’t because I majored in Journalism. I thought I wanted to be a Newscaster. By now, I’d be in some small market wearing a bad wig piece looking like a damn fool at 6 and 11. I’d be in a small market because I would have cussed somebody out at the last corporation that I worked for in a major market and I’d be blackballed. I’m SO glad I didn’t pursue that.
At any rate returning to college after all these years has been a breeze for the most part because I take most of my classes online and my life experience allows me to know most of the stuff I’m learning already which is a great advantage.. there are also DISADVANTAGES…
This semester, I’m taking an Anthropology Lab that requires I attend the class. I am indeed the oldest person in the class and I’m older than the teacher too (lol) For the most part, when I have had to take classes on campus there is always at least one or two people in the class who are older, sometimes more. When the economy is bad EVERYBODY goes to school but not in this class. In situations like this it’s VERY uncomfortable because the teacher will say stuff like, “Let’s all form small study groups.” Right, my old ass with a bunch of 19 year olds?
Recently, the professor wanted the class to take a trip to the Zoo. I have not been to the Zoo since I was 10. I remember my father took me and I was bored and I thought the entire Zoo smelled like shit and I told him. I couldn’t even enjoy my Cotton Candy because even that smelled like Gorilla shit. Needless to say, I have not been back since, it bored me. So this would be the first time that I have been back to the Zoo in decades.
I didn’t think much of it, I just figured it would be fast and perhaps the instructor wanted us to take notes. The trip was on a Saturday which I didn’t like because that’s my free time but I went. Upon arriving, we all met in the front of the zoo, there were a ton of kids with their parents and I don’t think I saw one single person over 40. People over 4o don’t go to the Zoo I surmised their kids are old enough to go on their own.
The teacher took attendance and asked all of us to stick together. She was very loud with her directions and when I looked around I saw that the other people at the Zoo were starting to take notice at us. Being the oldest student in the class, I immediately started to feel uncomfortable. The professor made it worse by saying things like, “Who wants to go see the monkey’s first?” At this point, my lack of comfort starting shifting to embarrassment, then she hit the jackpot adding further insult to injury by saying things like, “Everybody stick together so nobody gets lost!!” At this point my lack of comfort and embarrassment quickly graduated to outright humiliation. I looked around and saw everyone outside of our group including young black families looking at us as if WE were animals in the Zoo. I could read their minds “Hey, look at the Special Needs students! Especially that old ass man.”
As I walked through the gates feeling like I WAS a Special Needs man/child, I realize the only thing missing was the fact that I didn’t smell like pee. We walked over to the monkey cages and we stood there watching them take turns picking bugs out of each other’s asses with their teeth. WTF? The professor was overjoyed saying “Look at the money’s play”… PLAY? How about they were eating each other’s shit? Is THIS what I wasted my Saturday for? It was time to go but she had me because she doesn’t like people leaving her class early so I had to suffer through the humiliation for another two hours.
The one thing I noticed was the Chimps hate being in captivity. They turned their backs to everyone, looked pissed off and were socially isolated. Just my kind of people I mean animals. I wanted to open the cages and let them run free from their human prisons like some happy shit from a movie with “Born Free” playing in the background but I realized they may rip people’s heads and limbs off as they were leaving the Zoo so that was not a good idea. The teacher really enjoyed the trip but I didn’t and she announced that we will be going again before the semester is over but you can best believe it will be without me. That was humiliating enough. The good thing is, I’m almost done.