I Wanted to be an Actor

By Ben Shwartzman

Dear Mama and Papa,

College is incredible! My teachers are so encouraging, and the work is practicable! I have made a plethora of friends of all ages. Some of them are already getting their masters degrees. They are so unquestionably smart! The rest of my friends are getting there; they are only at their associate’s degree. 

Sorry for the messy handwriting, I am still trying to calm down from earlier today when I caught a glimpse of Nancy, my prestigious idol. She already has SIX degrees: Computer Science, Art, Engineering, Communications, Nursing, and Business! Nancy does not smile too often, but can you blame her?! With her intellect, I too would not have time for grinning. Degrees are earned through courageous hard work, not silly giggles! Nancy has these beautiful black bags under her eyes, and a charming pair of short legs which ferociously tremble with every step! I almost yelped from excitement when I spotted her heroic posture!

Unsurprisingly, the whole school praises Nancy. In fact, the school board collectively decided to emulate Nancy’s appearance by establishing a mascot: a malnourished raccoon. They named the raccoon Eegred… how cute! Eegred sports a pair of stylish wire-frame glasses, a decorated macbook, and- of course- a rolled up grandiose diploma tied up with a luscious red ribbon.

On the other end of the spectrum, Jimmy, a kid from one of my various extra courses, dropped out already. Fortunately, his presence will not be missed. Jimmy would always show up to class wearing distractingly vibrant colors, starting up unnecessarily intriguing conversations, and disturbing everyone with his booming laughs and cheesy smiles. Apparently, Non-Euclidean Geometry II proved to be too difficult of a course for an airhead such as him. He will never get his doctorate degree at this rate—how disappointing!

Last week, he posted a corny selfie accompanied by a native family from the top of the great pyramid of Giza. Coincidentally, I remember Jimmy passionately telling me of some sappy life goal he had: to travel the world; experiencing various cultures and lifestyles. What a strange goal… it does not even require a degree. I hope his strange dream never comes true.

Anyway, I will write again in several years once I have acquired my Software Engineering degree, at which point I will be able to join the pristinely competitive workforce! I can not wait for the future. Luckily, even if my route leaves me unemployed, alone, and poor; I will always be in the pleasant company of my degree, since- after all- it is documented! 

With Love,

Ben Shwartzman