Thursday, July 24, 2008

Back of the Bus

Never really arrives

One of the axioms of life that I have learned is, 'It all depends on where you sit'. Much like the 'Glass half empty, glass half full' question, it tells a lot about a person even though they don't know it.

From the time we were in grade school, certain children always wanted to sit in the back of the bus. They usually wanted to be as far away from authority (the bus driver) as possible, so they wouldn't be caught doing things they weren't supposed to.

Fast forward to college, and I realized that the same thing applied to 20-somethings. The slacker students always sat in the back of the class. They rarely lasted more than a semester. In the beginning, I usually sat somewhere in the middle of the classes. I suppose I was a slight under-achiever.

Then it dawned on me in my junior year. If you wanted to get ahead in life you had to take on the world and meet it face to face. The "A" students always sat in the front row. So I started sitting in the front row. I quickly realized that when you do this, you are mano y mano with the instructor, you have to have your homework done, you have to be prepared and sharp. You have to be engaged. You aren't a spectator anymore, you are in the bull ring.

While taking the bus home from work, I usually stand near the exit. That way, I don't have to worry about finding a seat and who might end up sitting next to me. The back of the bus is always crowded, with the transients, the homeless and the rebellious, slacker youth.

I am so glad I learned to move to the head of the class in college. Once you muster up the courage to sit in the front row, you will never sit in the back of the bus again.