>>> The Rollercoaster of Drama
By staff writer Simonne Cullen
March 28, 2004

Raise your hand if your GPA dropped your first semester at college faster than your pants dropped at your first keg party. That's what I thought. Everyone put your hands down and pull your pants up. It's time to address a question whose answer may actually affect the rest of our lives….

Just how important is our GPA? Will this little decimal number be the foundation of our future financial empire? Or is it just a tool the braincases use to get older women because they can't get any of the hot chicks on campus.

In any case, at some point during our lives it will matter. It may be a matter of minutes in passing, it may be an hour during a grad school interview, or it may be a few brief moments when your parents read your report card and wonder where the hell all your money went—because it ain't fueling your intelligence that's for damn sure. But your GPA becomes truly and solely important when it's time to apply for grad school and suddenly your roommate's 3.2 studying habits look a hell of a lot better than your 2.4 drinking habit.

Does the world have a grad school for anyone whose GPA is lower than a 1.5? I think so and it's called Custodial School. Here's a mop-some guy who just celebrated getting into Yale Law. Get to work cleaning up that 4.0 student's vomit. If you had worked a little harder that could be you there “passed out with your wang out” buddy. Either that or the climax of their intellect will be knowing how to say “Welcome to McDonalds”—in English AND Spanish.

But what it really comes down to is the motivation most of us students lack to make that decimal number high enough to round up to the nearest whole number. Some people get off competing with another student in their major while others are naturally ambitious and practically have aneurisms as the list to see who's at the head of the class gets pinned to the wall. But for the partiers who aren't doing so well in the academic department, allow me to help.

There are only three, I repeat three, situations that should motivate anyone to work harder on their assignments. The first and most unrealistic of the bunch involves a requirement for all college students to wear shirts with their GPA printed on the front and the list of STD's they've had on the back. It would be a great psych study to compare and contrast the correlation between academic performance and which virus they've contracted. Wow. That sounded so sharp I think I may need to stop there and wait for my target audience to catch up.

Bad joke. Okay moving along. The second situation that should provoke everyone to open their books and read at least the first and last pages is the moment your professors hand back a graded assignment. The ones who don't personally hand them back face down to your seat should spoon poop out of Hitler's ass in hell for eternity. Why do they insist on flopping your paper down in a messy pile in front of the room? The only thing this leads to is a stampede to find your grade before all of your peers see just how well your all-nighter performance went over. Had you been told in the syllabus your papers would be handed back in this manner you would have worked harder damnit!

And since I'm ranting, when in the hell did + and – become more than addition and subtraction symbols? An A is an A people. It doesn't matter if it's at the high or low end of the percentage poll. It's really there to relay to you how much of an asshole the professor is. “Here's an A-, your evidence to support your thesis could have been better.” Which in some cases translates to “If you want the + start wearing short skirts to class,” or “I think you understand the material better than I do so I will tramp on your free academic spirit.”

The third motivational technique is perhaps the most important I can offer you. The only element that can motivate even those highly unmotivated alky's to wipe the drool off their lower lip and pull themselves off the bar stool is showing them the dismal reality of those that gather together at OCB (Old Country Buffet).

Oh yes. Some people claim that they all went out of business, but you must believe me: they're out there. They may be under a new management and they may have gone through name changes, but they're out there. They are lurking around the corner of strip malls calling to future generations, beckoning us with their Monday seafood fiesta and Tuesday seafood stew, and opfffering discount coupons to senior citizens and job opportunities for recent college grads.

I encountered this heavy dose of reality and as a good citizen I feel it's my duty to share this experience with you. A couple of days ago I went to OCB. Let it be known that I did not go there willingly. The last time I went to a buffet was in Vegas—which by the way is the only acceptable city to eat buffet food in. Anyway, my grandma and her brother love that dump a little less than they love me. And they've been trying to get me to go there with them all the time. For seven years I have been able to resist the captivating call of the glorious baked beans and mac-n-cheese bar, but this past week I was guilt-tripped into it. Old people play the “I'm gonna die soon so please make me temporarily happy” card really well.

The whole experience wouldn't have been so bad if I didn't realize five minutes after stepping into the restaurant that my school's salad bar was better than the crap they serve. OCB can be attacked from so many angles, it would take an A+ thesis to put it together right. But that is a rant for another rave. This one is about the people dining there.

I hope to God when I am in my sixties I'll either be so rich I'll be living in an alcoholic trance with my own personal supply of Botox in my Malibu mansion, or my future hypothetical kids will put me in an old age home and god-willing, never visit me. But most importantly, never will I be eating at OCB with my girlfriends, complaining about our husbands and lack of sex. Oh yeah, overheard that conversation halfway through my fruit salad entrée. It's like Sex and the City on Social Security baby!

There is not a single person in OCB whose mere presence would NOT motivate someone to improve themselves academically, if not as a person on the whole. The overweight asthmatic woman with her breathing machine beeping through the whole meal, or the chick with the seven kids, who were smart enough to raid the dessert bar at the same time instead of staging individual attacks, creating a steady river-like flow of vanilla and bread pudding trickling off the counter. Of course, the dessert waterfall was mopped up and put right back on the buffet table courtesy of custodial employee Steve. GPA? Unknown.

Even the annoying guy who just barely graduates and brags about it can benefit from this motivational technique. You know, they guy who's like, “I failed Calculus 101 three times man! I finally got a D- in it on the third try, but I think the professor was just being nice so I could graduate and not continue to not show up to his class next year. Man I'm starving. Know any good place to eat for cheap?” Yeah buddy, OCB. If my life doesn't turn out the way I plan I'll see you there in fifty years. You're paying.

We may never wear shirts that display STD's, and we may never tell the parents and friends our real GPA, but one thing's for sure: when I'm feeling lazy and ready to give up and head down to the bars, I'll think of OCB and imagine my future self kicking my present day ass as she goes up for prune salad seconds.