Saturday, October 5, 2013

Going to UF

I went to the University of Florida straight out of high school. I would love to blame someone or something for my poor showing. One flaw was that I did not get a commuter sticker to park my car in the commuter parking lot. For one thing, my cousin Roy Brown did that, for another it seemed like a long walk to the campus from there. I was full of conflicts about my school experience. Many thought I could survive the University but I was conscious of having done pretty poorly in school in some subjects, for instance British Literature in my senior year as well as Trigonometry that year as well. I smoked and drank and took drugs. My car was a pitiful 1964 Falcon painted a kind of Navy beige by my father and his older brother Uncle Sidney. It had no radio and was a clutch. It was not the kind of car a man bought for a son he hoped would do well in school. My cousin Roy on the other hand had a Heavy Chevy as it was called, a brand new Chevy version of a muscle car. It was not really Dodge's Duster but it didn't look bad. I understood having things that were not cutting edge and the Heavy Chevy wasn't. Or was it a Super Chevy? So long ago. Roy worked for his father a local farmer and completed the University. No doubt these days he is saying he bought that car himself.
So, I never parked at the commuter lot on campus. I got tickets. I got campus tickets and city tickets. I was also sitting in on classes at the community college, Santa Fe, where many of my friends from Hawthorne High School had classes and were enjoying them. I was on the precipice, at the University of developing that "we are superior to you" attitude that they have toward the community colleges, but I gave in and decided I would be going to the community college next term. I let some things go, like phys. ed, science and math. I was surprised to have passed math where I only managed to get to 2 or 3 classes the whole term. That teacher must have been a real rebel, truly against the war and helpful to young people, but not the phys. ed. teacher who appeared to be happy to fail me when I missed my 4th class. Maybe he liked Dick Nixon. Science, an 8:00 a.m. class gave me a mysterious X. They have no such grade at UF. At SFCC it means you take the class again to get credit. You can't do that at the state universities. All the state universities are in league with each other. If you are on probation at one you are on probation at all of them, so forget that transferring might cut you a break. That was life for me at 21 after I finished Santa Fe and my Associates degree. Everywhere I would like to go was the same story. I really had nowhere to go.

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