Blow it off, all of it. It’s week seven, which is the time of the quarter for sighs of relief after midterms and deep breaths in preparation for finals. But guess what? There’s a swell in the water and I think that we all deserve a break, with class taking the back seat and your surfboards calling shotgun for a little while. Lectures are incredibly fun, with professors discussing cutting edge theories and “fly by the seat of your pants” PowerPoint slides, but all that might have to wait for a more opportune time.
The beauty of university life is that you have choices. You are here for your own benefit, and you are funded by your own dollars, so if you can scrub the grime of guilt off your body with some cool blue ocean water, then now is the time.
Every class comes down to two realistic plans of attack: one being that you actually go to every class, learning the material on your professor’s schedule; the second being that you get the syllabus and do what YOU want to do for roughly nine weeks, pump yourself full of Red Bull and junk food for one week and scramble through your books for an agonizing finals week. When the surf is flat, you may search for some kind of middle ground where you go to some lectures and marvel at your own scholarly ambition, knowing that once the surf picks up you won’t be seeing your professor’s pretty face for awhile.
Most professors don’t seem to care one way or the other, because they just think that you are shooting yourself in the foot for the final — which is your loss — but is anyone actually losing out here? Professors get paid, the young minds that attend get sculpted like voluptuous wads of cookie dough and you get barreled.
Victimless crimes are my favorite kind, and week seven is the best time to perpetrate some smooth turns and make up for lost class sometime when the waves are not beckoning. I’ve missed two lectures today and am currently scrambling to get this article done because the waves are calling, the sun is out and I can’t wait to paddle out and eventually curl up in bed satisfied with a tomato-red face and a head full of anything but the haunting of PowerPoint slides.
Do I feel like I am somehow cheating the system? Of course not. We all pay our dues at some point, and those PowerPoint slides would get the last laugh if I didn’t give my brain a blitzkrieg assault of knowledge before finals. But doing things the hard way is the name of the game when you want to surf and be successful at UCSB, because the waves are fickle and the professors are always consistent.
So don’t feel too guilty, because none of us came here to surf until we drop out; we just want to have some fun while we get the education that will make us the brightest and best citizens in the world, or at least in our local lineups. It’s time to listen to the little devil on your shoulder. As far as that angel goes, maybe its time to just replace him with a second devil.