It’s all a bunch of nothing

Isn’t nothing a funny thing? Everyday we do things for no reason.

Just the other night my friends and I were talking about how many times we ran away when we were children. Did we ever learn from these experiences? My parents never took me seriously, I never remember getting punished for it, just laughed at. Nothing ever happened from it.

I think it’s different when we do these senseless things voluntarily. I mean if someone asks you to do something that means nothing, you are more than likely to think this person is missing a few screws.

I tend to question NIU’s intentions. I recall one thing that I have been required to do that means absolutely nothing in my life. That nothing is speaking French.

When I transferred to Northern I was informed about the language requirement. I know that a second language could be very beneficial in life. Being a naive transfer I thought that I’d try French even though I took Spanish in high school. The trouble is I’m not real good at this French thing.

You see this is my last semester here at Northern – unless I fail FLFR 202 again. I should be able to enjoy this time amidst the construction and administrative bickering. I should be able to go out and commence with good friends and fine spirits. But, instead I will be locked in a room studying for a class that means absolutely nada in my life.

I know that I’ll leave NIU with a wonderfully well-rounded liberal arts education. I could handle being less-rounded if it meant the absence of French.

Senseless, mundane things in life are all the more meaningful when, of course, they are not required. Take for example watching the television sitcom Seinfeld. We are not required to watch this show. Not watching won’t prevent you from getting a diploma. Watching it will be quite a laugh.

However, Jerry Seinfeld said it himself, ” Even nothing is something.” Now maybe I’m starting to confuse you a bit, but I’ve figured out what my French class and Seinfeld have in common. That something is money.

Northern has got it together. The longer they keep me here, the more money they make. As a matter of fact they’ve made over $13,000, and that’s my loans alone. Considering that the majority of students don’t graduate in four years, Northern does this money thing well.

NBC is also making major bucks on Seinfeld. I was haunted by the show’s popularity all summer.

The first day of my internship at Channel 5/ WMAQ-TV in Chicago was one of Seinfeld mania. I walked into the gift shop and there they were, the faces of Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer plastered all over t-shirts, coffee mugs, sweatshirts, and greeting cards.

Since I am an avid fan of the show, I thought I had entered Seinfeld heaven. But it soon became a hell. I listened to a programmer talk to my producer about what a gold mine Seinfeld is. Before anyone could even mourn the death of “Cheers”, Seinfeld had already jumped in its grave.

“Seinfeld Rules” greeted me one day as the cover story for Rolling Stone. All of the characters decked out in black leather. They were everywhere.

Articles about the show, commercials, promos, clothes, and other paraphernalia were making this show a lot of something for NBC.

It’s quite a coincidence that Northern has made a great deal of that same something, for studying things that means absolutely nothing. There are senseless classes that keep a lot of people here longer than intended. Not only do we have to pay tuition, but additionally there is rent, gas, electricity, groceries, and beer to buy. OK maybe the beer is optional.

Since I’m obviously a vital part of the DeKalb economy I guess it would be un-American to rebel against it. I’ve accepted the fact that I have no choice but to succumb to these senseless requirements. Even though, I still have to pay something for nothing.

On the last day of my internship, my producer wished me luck with school, and gave me a gift. It was a coffee mug. But it wasn’t just any coffee mug, it was a Seinfeld mug. George was on it, with a quote that read: ” My young friend, you are so naive, so, so naive.”

I guess George is right. With my luck, I am naive enough to think that French is senseless. It will haunt me one day, just like Seinfeld did this summer. I guess being the naive person that I am, I wouldn’t want it any other way.