Some of my most interesting moments at San Diego City College have been in the girl’s restroom. It’s not because of the nearly impossible task of pumping paper towels out of the dispenser; or because of the crackling of potato chip bags and munching sounds I once heard in the stall next to mine (Really? Potato chips on the toilet?). It’s the reading material carved or Sharpied to the inside of the stalls.
Wise proverbs or extremely short stories are typical campus restroom reading material. One story is about an old man who lived in the sea.”he died.” My favorite bit is in stall three on the third floor of the T-building. Last semester, the door read “F- City and Leann,” a random incision of two thoughts. Now, scribbled faintly below the original quote, it says, “I like Leann.” Recently, “who is Leann?” was added to the graffiti soap opera. What response will graze our beloved T-building bathroom stall next season? Stick around to find out.
After attending four different colleges, community and university alike, I can honestly say that City College’s vibe stands out from the rest. The downtown school is gushing with diversity and has sincere campus flavor. For the girl chomping on potato chips in the potty, campus flavor likely comes in the form of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Limón.
To me, the flair is a combination of things. For instance, I can get pop culture lessons sitting in the cafeteria. Thanks to the boisterous students usually clustered behind the row of computers, I now know what “doin’ da stanky leg” means. I watched and took mental notes as they gyrated their legs to an imaginary beat. Now, if I choose to, I can “stanky leg” from class to class.
At City, we don’t see sorority sisters toting around bags with Greek letters painted boldly on the side, wearing stiletto heels to an economics class of 500 students. At community college, the vibe is mellower. The classes are smaller, more intimate. The students seem more genuine and passionate about their life goals and it shows in the different conversations I hear walking around both types of campuses.
I’m generalizing, of course. There are always exceptions to these observations; but it’s a vibe that I’ve noticed overall. We’re here at San Diego City College because we want to be.
I love the fact that I’ve taken astronomy class with an 80-year-old war veteran at a previous community college. It’s different than sitting among an ant colony of students, several of which look like carbon copies of each other so that I recognize everyone and no one at the same time.
Rushing through school and life isn’t worth it in the long run. I’ve learned to take my time and soak up what’s out there. I can explore my options and not burn out from the mad push to graduate and start a career.
Two years ago, I took a trip to Columbia University in New York to visit one of my high school friends. I expected intellectual conversation and a highly motivated tone to emanate from the walls of the dorm. Instead, I saw the same boozers I would see at any San Diego State dorm hall, except the rooms were more expensive.