Ramblings of a (Nearly) Thirty-Something College Sophomore: Fall Term/Week 3

It’s already been three weeks since I returned to the classroom. Man, how time seems to fly when you’re having fun.

What a week it has been. Grades came back on my first geography report (48/50) and the second in-class writing assignment in history (another √+). We had a field trip in my sophomore inquiry course, Environmental Sustainability, and had to turn in our first week of our personal water audit project.

I also ended up being called in for an extra shift at work, had another interview with Portland State’s football coach for an article coming out in the PSU Vanguard on Tuesday, and saw my golf article appear in this week’s edition.

Oh, yeah… and I interviewed for the soon-to-be-vacant sports editor position. There are other candidates who have been writing for the newspaper longer, but the current sports editor suggested I at least send in my resume and give it a shot. I think I acquitted myself fairly well in the interview. Now all that’s left is the waiting to see who the executive editor selects as the new section chief.

At the very least? I’ll still be getting paid to write sports articles. (And, considering that Fanlime, a new Pinterest-like site for sports news, sought me out to post content as their Portland State insider, either position will prove beneficial for my future goals.)

What are those future goals, though? Why precisely am I back in school as I approach my 30th birthday?

Well… sure, I’ve already managed to self-publish two books and an anthology of writings from the website I used to help manage. I know I want to write for a living, that I want to produce works of history that illuminate lesser-appreciated aspects of sports history. (Like the book on the history of WAC football I’ve been working on since this spring, or the history of doping in sports that I’ve been collaborating on for years now.)

But, as these past three weeks have taught me, I still have plenty to learn. Each class period only seems to further enrich the foundation on which my future writings will develop. Let’s hope the first month concludes as well as the first two dozen class periods have gone so far…


PALIMPSEST (n.): writing material (as a parchment or tablet) used one or more times after earlier writing has been erased

History class dredged up this word this week. As we’ve studied Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations in the past few weeks, palimpsests have been at the forefront of the discussion as we pondered those early societies. Basically stone or clay that has been carved and recarved with writing over the years, or parchment or papyrus that has been rubbed out and rewritten upon repeatedly, a palimpsest is a multifaceted chunk of history with layer after layer like an onion.

All of our life stories are palimpsests. As I go to school, I chisel another layer into the stone tablet of my life’s history. Every action we take is another scratch into the clay. The key to life, it seems to me, is to slather on as many layers as possible while you can.




Fall is driving toward its full splendor here in Portland. The leaves are starting to make their turn from vibrant green through the warm-color spectrum. The first hard rain of the season hit yesterday, drenching the Rose City in a way that seemed to dampen many people’s spirits among the student body but brought nothing but autumnal bliss to this sophomore’s soul.

I’m doing well in my classes — keeping up just fine with the readings for all three classes, completing my assignments in more than merely a satisfactory fashion, and participating well during discussions. More than the “graded” aspect of it all, though, I’m truly enjoying what I’m learning. The classes I am taking are all meshing together in a coherent fashion. I’ve been able to use concepts from one to make sense of the others.

I’m enjoying my work, for the most part. I’ve evolved past the point where cooking as a profession is the ultimate dream. But at least the schedule is manageable while I’m in school, I’m at a place that I can tolerate because I haven’t been asked to work beyond my job description, and I have a good crew of people that I get to spend time with 3-4 times a week while I’m getting paid. And that goes without mentioning the articles I’m getting paid to write for the school newspaper…

So, yeah, as the first month comes to its conclusion next week I am in a great place.

Peace for now…

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