There is a tiny spice cookie echo at the back of my mouth, and a similarly worn in feeling of comfort in my too blue attire — locked in from hours just spent on Lindsay’s floor. My birthstone is sapphire, and blue is my comfort color; today i am all in it, with just the tiny red racing stripe of interruption down each side of my jeans.
Today was Accomplishment Day, with my brain like a slot machine that just lined up three perfect cherry red pairs of cherries, and all of my accomplishments were quarters sliding shiny out of my mouth. To wit, in Critical Reasoning we talked about the gambler’s fallacy, which would seem to indicate that just because i had a successful day today doesn’t mean i should anticipate having another one tomorrow. Of course, my brain is not quite the polished chrome model of a casino machine or the red-black-red of a roulette wheel, even if sometimes it’s wrinkles and turns would have me believe that it was as random as all of that. There is a bias towards winning in this system, because every time i do something right i am more convinced that i can do it again. Two weeks ago i got one quiz back marked with a fat red A, today i got three; i am a man convinced.
Like dawn welling up over New Jersey in the early morning sky, today in Communication Theory i realized that all of these numbers and letters on my papers won’t mean anything when i’m thirty, unless i’m still in school then. Drunken scholar Kenneth Burke informed me that it’s all about my inherent guilt-redemption cycle at nine o’clock in the evening. It felt like someone had hit the pause button on my academic life in the middle of a press screening to wonder aloud at how the writer/producer/director had just made his first (fatal) flaw. I was standing outside of myself watching my accumulate checkmarks and superlatives; i was my refrigerator door, magnets gleaming as they lay in wait for another tidy 10/10 quiz to get tacked on.
At nine thirty someone brushed up against the play button by accident, and a scant score of frames later i pirouetted down the divide between our campus and Penn’s singing at the top of my lungs: the cumulative total of red letters and accounted-for numbers and solid notes and actually getting something done, just this once. For once my day made a dent.