Stupidity, UCLA, Seniors and Looking Upward

I love my Alma mater. It wasn’t always this way. It was touch and go over the past twenty-five, almost twenty, several years or so, but it’s been good between us ever since last Spring quarter when I accompanied Son #2 on his campus tour.

It wasn’t the tour that did the trick; it was what occurred afterward, but the tour was the catalyst. During the walk around north campus, I again discovered what I periodically suspect: I often, sometimes, once in a great while, behave like a stuper (short, as you all well know by now, for an embarrassingly stupid person).

 Our capable tour guide strolled us around the tree-lined walkways, paused in front of the inverted fountain where she genially relayed its history and use (dunking the heads of captured USC opponents usually in retribution for their attempts to defile the statue of the Bruin Bear). Meanwhile, I fondly gazed over at parking lot 2 and reminisced. Just how many parking tickets did I manage to gather from that one lot alone? 145? Or was it 245?

Humanities BuildingWe sauntered through the sculpture garden (I could have sworn it was located on the other side of the campus during my day), and finally stopped at the steps of the Music building. I took that opportunity to look up at an adjacent structure, and suddenly realized that I may have attended an entirely different campus or one perhaps located in a parallel universe. At the very top of the Humanities Building, facing the center of the campus, were etched these words by brilliant English physicist and chemist, Michael Faraday:

Nothing is too wonderful to be true if it be consistent with the laws of nature.

I could not believe I’d walked back and forth past the Humanities Building for four years, several times per day and never once bothered to look up to read that quote. Consequently, I yanked Son #2 away from the rest of the group and bid him look upward.  He read the quote, and then regarded me with  annoyance, a monumental dose of tolerance, as if he now knew for certain I’d lost all my faculties, great respect and said,

“That’s pretty good.”

“Forget about its profundity or philosophical implications. Can you believe I went to school here for four whole years and never once looked up?”

I spent the rest of the tour, chin pointing to the sky, staring upward. My son kept his distance.  But on the upside, I believe, I lost any appearance or hint of wrinkles that may have been creeping up on my neck. This spontaneous,  non-artificial, fast-acting, reverse aging process is what could have led to the incident that drove me to march into the UCLA Alumni Center a short time later.

As Son #2 and I ended our tour and walked to Parking Lot 8, we passed by several tables set up along the way helmed by students. Several of these intelligent students stopped me and asked if I’d like to wear the button they were offering.

“No, thank you,” I replied over and over again, never taking the time to read what the button said. Finally, just before we reached the Lot, I was asked again if I’d like to wear a button. I looked at one. It read,

Kiss Me, I’m a Senior

“You want me to wear this because…,” I started.

“Are you graduating this year?”

This is when my love affair with UCLA started. Granted, I was wearing dark shades. But in my short time there that day, I’d evidently shaved decades, a few years off my age. I looked at my son, who grinned widely. It took all my self-control not to tearfully embrace each student who offered me a button. Instead, I wound my way to the Alumni Center and joined. Money was no object.

AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL Since this incident, I make it a point to always look upward. Ah, the sights I’ve seen. Wondrous birds I never knew existed. Marvelous, heavenly cloud formations. And the best part: no wrinkles or stupers .

Just think.


7 Responses to “Stupidity, UCLA, Seniors and Looking Upward”

  1. jingle says:

    awesome reflections,
    good luck on your son’s studies.

    only very witty person call himself stupid. 🙂

  2. Paul Wynn says:

    Nice, when I hear UCLA … its one of those schools that stand out. Prestige, history, and excellence. I always wanted to go there but you need grades… really good grades… ahh i envy you

  3. Ah, yes! It is amazing the number of wonderful things we can notice if we look up from time to time. I often think about this at night. Unless a person is out in the middle of nowhere, we can’t really see the stars at night because of all the ambient city light. I love the night sky, but rarely see it clearly.

    By the way, great quote.

  4. Jenny says:

    You didn’t get your good sense from UCLA. Must’ve been born with it.

  5. Elaine says:

    That must have made your day, it would’ve mine. Good luck to your son!

  6. Onedia says:

    wonderful thoughts…

  7. Ferd says:

    I’ll start looking at the world that lies just over my head if it helps me with my chins! LOL

    I can tell from your writing that you are an old soul, full of wisdom, but very young at heart! This proves it! I bet you have buttons of every color now, to match all your outfits. 😉

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