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I am Internationally Honored

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PTKToday I received this officious looking postcard in the mail. At first I thought it was another Defensive Driving class offer (have had a few of those) but no, it was actually recognition of my brilliance as a scholar.

PTK1Even though the reverse looks more like a court summons, with address and court appearance time (only had one of those) it is in fact an invitation to the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.

For Austin Community College.

In my mind I always knew this day would come. But I envisaged it as a scroll, with a wax seal and tied with a ribbon and my name in calligraphy. This misunderstanding may come from the fact that I’ve never graduated from anything. Except childhood, and only barely at that.

Trying to keep an open mind about the prestige of an ACC Honors Society, I had a look at the website to see what great benefits this might offer.

“There are many reasons to join Phi Theta Kappa including access to scholarships at leading universities, as well as at Austin Community College. One of the greatest reasons to join is summed up in one word: opportunity.”

Opportunity? That’s it? What a bunch of wank. We live in Austin. We go to ACC. We’re studying things that lead to proper jobs. Opportunity is for UT students and the inner cities. I want actual stuff.

“Students have opportunities to become scholar driven servant leaders who make a difference to those around them.”

Ok this really irked me. What the hell is a scholar driven servant leader? You’re inviting me to be an International Honor Society student and this is the kind of guff that you write? I haven’t looked at the acceptance criteria for the PTKs but suspect that turning up for classes and getting at least some assignments done on time pretty much covers it.

Maybe a scholar driven servant leader is actually just a case of missing punctuation, due to community college budget cuts. With a bit of hyphenation, these opportunities make a lot more sense. I would be a driven-servant as this would suggest that I had been freed from hideous servitude and would now be driven around everywhere by a chauffeur in a sort of reverse Driving Miss Daisy sort of fashion. Or maybe I would choose to be a servant-leader in the style of Planet of the Apes* and will lead the revolt against lazy PR-puff writing and sloppy grammar.

Turns out this whole thing is a bloody scam anyway, as you are required to pay some spurious $80 ‘membership fee’ in return for being able to wear tassels at your graduation. Thanks but no thanks Mary Kohls.
(the strain of not making a cheap joke about your name is killing me).

Earlier this morning, as Erik the dog and I were coming home from our walk (a comma would have been so useful in that sentence, I am punctuationally obsessed), a van was hovering around our driveway looking suspicious. Rather than make an attempt to park anywhere close to the curb, the driver apparently just turned the engine off and called it done. Sort of like coming home shit-faced and collapsing across the bed instead of trying to find the pillow.

According to the sign on the side of the van, this is Crazy Aaron, owner of Crazy Aaron’s Lawn-Landscape-Irrigation services. Why does any business owner choose to call themselves crazy? Unless it’s relevant to the service provided, like counseling – Krazy Kounseling would be good – or Crazy Mazes English Stately Home maze design, which is a niche category at best, it doesn’t serve much of a purpose. It only gets you to two-thirds of the way through the C’s if you’re listed alphabetically, in which case you’d be far better going with an A, like Asinine Aaron. Or, here’s a crazy idea, just Aaron. Either way, I would not want your erratic hands on my lawn, landscaping or irrigation.

Speaking of crazy, tomorrow I am running the 3M Half Marathon. Like many of my ideas, this was great about 4 months ago. The 3M is a popular race because it’s a ‘fast’ course. This is important to the kind of people that already run fast. For the rest of us, it’s all about the goody bag, which has all kinds of 3M products. Happily, this year’s bounty includes electrical tape, sandpaper, ball gag and safety glasses so we’ll be making a night of it.

I was about to end here by humorously speculating that the knee brace that came in my bag was actually only given to old people and that everyone else would get a lovely innovative young person thing like 3M sex wrist wraps. I just found out that this is in fact true. No-one under 40 in my running group appears to have got a knee brace. Profiling bastards.

Visualizing 3M sex wrist wraps.

* Perfunctory-at-best understanding of this movie.
Note: Ball gag may not have been intended purpose of product.




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