Haven't Had Enough, Huh?

Summer School

School's out for the summer

School's out forever

School's been blown to pieces --Alice Cooper

One more meal like this and I'll kill you.   --Lippert

There's a good reason why they don't spell "summer school" as a single unhyphenated word. The two concepts summer and school are entirely incompatible.


Not that every summer school in the country is exactly alike. If you go to Harvard summer school, you"ll take boring courses and sweat like a pig in Cambridge. If you go to Cornell, you"ll take boring courses and sweat like a cow in Ithaca.

Don't let it bother you that some schools are primarily for ambitious high schoolers and others for delinquent collegians: the same levelling forces thrive everywhere, forces that can make the most mature college senior behave like a third-grader.

But you need not be too pessimistic. By sticking to the following set of rules, you can probably salvage your "vacation."

* Don't take classes seriously. You won't be alone--very few people do and this is one time when it pays to conform. As a rule your teachers won't take their courses seriously either.

I learned that lesson when I went to Cornell. One government section leader explained the Soviet Union'S resistance to change: "Well, you just can't go up to the leader of the Soviet Union and tell him his proposal is absolute shit." The same day in the same class another student asken what the difference was between the Soviet Union and the U.S.S.R.

* Don't expect anything from summer school administrators. The corollary to this rule is. The food stinks. "When I first arrived at Cornell summer school there were dozens of dogs running around the Arts Quad. Cornell's equivalent of the Yard. As the summer went on their population dwindled while the mysterious dinner dishes labelled "meat" grew in frequency. Make the connection for yourself.

* Sleep a lot. This rule applies across the board to summer schools real schools and life. It"s the only was to get by.

* Play pinball. Another rule of life that applies to summer school as well as everywhere else.

* Don"t be a proctor. This is the biggest no-no of them all. We tormented our proctors and so did everyone else I've ever known to have attended summer school. In case you've already enlisted, here are a few things you'd better get used to. When you open your door, expect to find large buckets of water spilling into your room. When you post sincere messages to your proctees, expect to see them defaced within minutes.

And if, by chance, you expect to get some sleep or--God forbid--do some homework, you've got another thing coming. You'll quickly learn that studying and sleeping are impossible when a dozen nocturnal proctees are playing ultimate frisbee in the halls till sunrise.