Thursday, March 15, 2012

Teenager in love

I was 18 when I started college.  The first week of classes, I noticed that the calculus assignments were work I had done before.  I checked the syllabus, and realized I knew 3/4ths of the material already.  So I went to the Freshman Engineering office, and asked about what I could do.

The advisers their told me that I could test out of that calculus course.  So we scheduled an exam.  I stuck with the class, took the test... and did not pass.  A different adviser gave me the results, and when I explained my concern that I would not do so well in a class where I wasn't challenged, he revealed that I had only missed passing by 5 points, about 1 question.

I had taken the first test cold, I didn't know that they HAD practice exams.  The second adviser told me that I could re-take the test.  This time, he provided me with a practice exam, so that I could review the material.  He recommended that I go ahead and start attending the other class, the one I would move into.

There was only one section of that class that fit my schedule.    I had met a guy in band, and we had gotten to talking late into the night.  So I showed up early for the next of those calculus classes... and he was there.  We had dinner together after band was over, and started studying together.

I explained what was going on with the math class, and he was there while I worked through the practice exam.  In fact, there was one kind of question that I didn't understand, and he was able to explain it to me.  I passed the test the second time, and officially registered for the class he was in.

Inspired by my success, he realized that his Spanish class wasn't challenging him, and he was approved to switch to the next higher class.  My Spanish class.

So now we had three classes together.  Instant partners for in-class activities.  Band rehearsal was scheduled from 3:30 to 5:30 pm Monday through Friday.  Depending on how close we were to a performance, it could run later.  One-week shows were a LOT of work to pull off.

After band, we'd usually go to his dorm for dinner, and then work on homework together.  We had the same assignments for Spanish and Calculus, and he had already taken the chemistry class I was studying.  While he'd never studied C programming, he could spot those pesky missing semi-colons that mucked up my code.

Game days were about 6 to 8 hours of dress rehearsals and performances.  We played the same instrument, so we would sit together for all the games.  After the last run-out, we'd often meet his parents for dinner.  His parents didn't come to every game, but they came to a lot.

Within weeks, I knew that he was the right person.  Not long after, we got engaged.  The ring wasn't fancy, I didn't need it to be.  We did NOT set a date, the plan at the time was to wait until I graduated.  I knew he was the right person.  I also knew that I wasn't ready for that step yet.

There were definite advantages to being "off the market" at the university.  It let me focus on my academics.  I didn't have to worry about flirting with chemistry partners, or whether the guys in a group liked me.  We were together, and that was it.

(We're still together.)