19 August 2008
Education Week: Hide Your Women and Children, It's Every Man For Himself
This week, people from all over the country (and world, so they say) have flocked to BYU for what they consider the "BYU Experience." They stay in Provo, some even renting student housing, attend classes, and reminisce about the good old days, when they were real students at the Y. It's called Education Week.
The university bills it as an inspirational, uplifting, and even spiritual time. They talk about how "the glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth" (D&C 93:36). And then they pack people into classrooms and fill their brains with ways to better store their food and how to fully balance soccer, dance, work, and Church.
Now don't get me wrong. I believe that scripture wholeheartedly, and food storage, soccer, dance, work, and Church are just as important to me as they are to the next guy. I'm sure some people even walk away better off on Friday than they were when their week started. I just wish these seekers of knowledge would go somewhere else for their week-long adventure. Maybe BYU-Hawaii. It's way better than Provo, trust me. What about BYU-Idaho? It's got a more stringent dress code!
No, they come here. Every year.
I'm sure they have a great time. But do they ever think of the anguish they cause the real students? I doubt it. They go around like they own the place, treating anyone and everyone over 18 and under 30 like obstacles in their learning process.
This morning, for example, I was on my way to work when I experienced first hand the wrath that is Education Week at BYU.
First of all, it was 7:30 AM and campus was already bustling with lone paraplegics with oxygen tanks and lost teenagers, all with the ever present Education Week badges around their necks. I was riding my bike through campus, and just knew that something foreboding was in my near future. I could feel it in the Education Week air.
I parked my bike, walked into the Wilk, bought my usual bottle of water and Clif bar, called my mom on the phone, and headed to the elevator to go to my office and print off some stuff before my 8:00 AM meeting.
As I walked to the elevator, I told my mom how much I hated Education Week and the 20,000 people that don't belong but think they do. I pushed the button for the elevator, waited for a while, then the door opened.
Three people were inside, a man and two women. The man had grey hair, was wearing a blue collared shirt and a nondescript tie. I waited for two or three seconds to see if anyone was going to get off, and when no one did, I proceeded to enter.
The three people inside were standing apart from each other on three opposite walls, forcing me to stand in the middle. The door started to shut, and I reached over to push the button for the fifth floor.
Before I could hit the button, and before I knew what was happening, the crazy, SOB, old man standing behind me, shoved me to one side, walked out of the elevator, turned around, and in a snarling voice, that sounded in my mind like a cross between Uncle Arthur from Bewitched and Satan, snidely blurted, "Excuse me," and then walked away.
I was dumbfounded.
I couldn't believe what had happened.
An old man, for no apparent reason, had shoved me. It wasn't a push, it was a shove.
I couldn't even react.
Enraged and confused, I shouted back at him, but received no reception. Was he deaf? Does he suffer with anger management issues? Is he a last word freak? I'll never know.
In hindsight, I wish I had exited the elevator and provoked him to the point of doing something that would get him arrested and cause eternal embarrassment to his wife and kids. I could've gotten him permanently banned from BYU, never to plague the campus again.
51 weeks a year, 30,000 emerging adults, as social scientists now label us, manage to coexist peacefully, never, ever shoving one another, unless it's in jest. Shoving is something they do at the University of Utah, before and after they say "excuse me."
This idiot comes here for one week, and his first day at 7:30 AM, before classes have even begun, he's shoving people. I'm sure I'm not the only one. I'm looking to organize a class action suit against the guy. I can only imagine how many weeks he's already ruined for other people. And I'm sure he's disrupted at least 2/3 of his classes, if he even goes to class. He probably just wanders the campus, looking for people he can pick on.
There's only one thing that could possibly be worse than Education Week, and that's Women's Conference. Luckily that only lasts for a few days.
(Maybe I'll take this approach next year.)
This week, I've still got three or four days to take in, and then I have to deal with all the freshmen and their parents next week. Just kill me now, I can't take anymore. If anything happens tomorrow, so help me...
Did I forget to mention that later today, I went down the elevator to the second floor, only to run into my newest arch nemesis, the old man in the blue shirt? We mad dogged each other, I thought about approaching him and telling him all the clever things I had thought about all day that I should've said when it happened.
I didn't, though.
I sure hope he feels bad.