Friday, September 19, 2008

The Parking Lot

As most of you know, I'm a student these days. I've returned to Kansas State University to earn a second degree in Education. It's my hope to be a high school math teacher. Going back to school at 40-something is an unusual experience. My perspective is clearly very different than the typical college student's. First I cry as I write my tuition check and then am neurotically determined to earn straight As.

K-State calls me a non-traditional student. I beg your parden. I guess that's better than over-achieving nutjob. Anyway, as a non-traditional student, I do not live on campus or even in the same town for that matter. I need to drive to campus on school days and do the Parking Lot Sit. The Sit is an activity involving positioning your car at the end of one of the rows of parked cars and waiting. When someone walks to his or her car to leave, the person waiting the longest puts on a blinker and creeps toward the space. This signals to all the other Sitters that this spot will be taken...BY ME. Back off. I know Judo and could hurt you. It can become exceptionally tense.

It's very thrilling to Sit and as those who know me well understand, I don't do waiting very well. I much prefer to be just on time...well, ok... I'm usually a little late. Being a little late just does not work when you need a coveted parking space. So I arrive early and... I wait.

I observe many things as I wait...the young student driving the brand new Suburban or the cute blonde in the Jaguar??? I also grit my teeth at the students who choose to not do the Sit, but instead troll the lanes, driving up and down hoping to see someone starting his or her car. These rude co-eds then try to jump their car into the space before the students who have been patiently waiting. Grrrr.

Today I saw a girl that just made me giggle. This morning's weather was lovely and as I Sat I turned off my engine (no adding to global warming when it's not necessary) and waited with my window down. I began to hear a periodic soft chirp. Hmmm. I then saw a girl wandering around in the parking lot scanning for her car. As she got closer I couldn't help but chuckle. When she finally discovered her car, a wide, relieved smile spread across her face. I can get away with giggling, oh, yes, I can. You see I'm that girl quite regularly.

at the ball diamonds...

at the grocery store...

at Target...

at the Mall.


kssnflwr said...

You forgot to tell the story about the girl you yelled at because she stole our parking spot. Well, at least your version of yelling. I don't think you have a mean bone in your body! I always hate being late to class, but I can't remember if we were late that day. Oh well, if we were at least we walked in together:)
I miss having class with you, hope we can catch-up soon!

Deb Peterson said...

Hi Jenny!
I found your blog this morning in my Google Alerts for non-traditional students, and blogged about you on my Continuing Education page at Continuing Education

I hope you'll consider participating in the forum there. It could use a little chatter between non-traditional students, even nutjobs!

Nice to meet you.


MUD said...

I wish you well in your adventure to becoming a teacher. It is a calling that needs someone that can expect straight A's. (even if you do push the curve way up for those of us that are math challenged) MUD

Filippa Sartini said...

The parking lot is one place where you can meet and notice people of different personalities. Sometimes, you can’t help but notice how other people behave, and it’s funny when you can relate to them. It’s like a realization that you were also doing that and never thought it’d be that strange until you saw the same thing from other people. Hehe. :D