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The New Adventures of Old Darla

Going back to college at my (ahem) advanced age has been quite the eye-opening experience.

I’ve learned many valuable things, like the medical term bradycardia actually does not mean when one’s heart rate goes up upon seeing Tom Brady’s tight end.

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Also, never open your eyes during ‘eye irrigation’ practice when your smirking lab partner comes at you wielding a eyedropper full of questionable fluid.

And – I suppose it should go without saying — never get caught in the bathroom stall etching a crude image of your lab partner with a giant arrow over their grotesquely inflated head and the words: Suck It, You Brown-Noser Poopy Head!!!

Oh, and never argue with your professor when he deducts three points off your pharmacology paper because you think whopping cough is a real ailment that strikes people who have inhaled too many Burger King Whoppers. (Damned spell check never works.)

But aside from the above lessons, the biggest thing I’ve learned this time around?

I’ve changed. Yeah, turns out I’m not the same wild-n-crazy chick I used to be in my days of misspent youth.

  • After listening to a few young classmates whine on and on about how they can’t find time to study for the big exam:
    Old Me: Day-um! I know, right? School’s a bitch! High-five!
    New Me: Are you serious? What, you can’t find time because you’re too busy uploading stupid youtube videos while your mom does your laundry and serves you Yoo-Hoo with bendy straws and triangle-shaped bologna sandwiches with the crust cut off? Try studying while taking care of an entire household, two hyper little kids, an elderly mother who thinks Dr. Oz is speaking to her through her smoke alarm, AND a husband that sits around and watches reruns of Married With Children while falling asleep with his hand in his pants. Yeah! Then we’ll see how much time you have to study, bucko! That’s right, I said bucko, bucko! Now just run along and go tweet yourself to death, kids. Oh, and in case you’re not pickin’ up what I be layin’ down:
    #boohoo #growthehellup #beingoldblows #IHeartRichieCunningham
  • While walking by the group of ‘cool’ kids huddled together outside the school taking a smoke break:
    Old Me: Yo, whassup? Need a light? Man, school’s a huge suck-fest, amirite?
    New Me: [scowling] For shame! [knocking cigarettes out of their hands] You guys realize that cancer stick’s gonna kill you, right? But it won’t be quick. Oh hell no. It’ll be a slow, agonizing death where first your lungs will turn to cottage cheese, then you’ll start coughing up blood until finally you’ll end up gasping for every breath for the rest of your days. But by all means, keep on tokin’ it up, morons! See if I care!
    #blacklungdisease #COPD #YouSmellLikeAnAshtray
  • After someone asks me if I want a hit off a bong at an off-campus party:
    Old Me: Hell yeah, duuude!
    New Me: Hell yeah, duuuude!
    (What? It’s for medicinal purposes.)
    Besides, I gotta fit in with my peers somehow.
    #hash #didnotinhale #DoritoLocosTacoFoodBaby
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53 comments

  1. As you know I’ve gone back to studying too, and I don’t have such a stark comparison of old me/new me as you do because I’m finding that most of my class are of a similar age to me. Apparently the course I’m doing tends to be done by, ahem, oldER people, mostly teachers who have been teaching already for a few years. I have my 14 year old daughter though to remind me of how old I am – last night she was doing some homework, and she was trying to think of a word for something, and she said “Oh wait, I think I have a thesaurus on my phone!” Then she paused, looked at me with a horrified expression and said, “What am I saying? A thesaurus on my phone?! I’m turning into you!”

    1. Last week we had a pharmacology exam and there was all this math. The professor handed out the test and said we could use our calculators. Everyone in my class pulled out their smartphones. I had no smartphone OR calculator. I felt like a dinosaur. A dinosaur that had to count on her fingers.

  2. I have a friend who is a nursing professor at a prominent university. One question she asks her students is to list the steps they should take in the event a patient has a heart attack in their hospital room. 75 percent of them fail to list all the steps. Then they ask her for partial credit. She says, ummmm, no. The patient DIED!

  3. Whippersnappers! ? Did you try that one out? Damn kids. They think life is so hard being a youngster in school. Try a mortgage, you idiots! I’d have no patience with them, Darla. Really. I’d want to walk by and slap them all upside their heads. Wearing my orthopedic shoes and stretchy jeans.

  4. By next week, you’ll be shaking your fist at those kids. Just own it. Being that crazy “old” lady can be a hell of a lot of fun and it gives you carte blanche to do whatever the hell you want whenever the hell you want to.

      1. Ha, ha…I’m so glad I’m not the only human who doesn’t do hashtags….really….it cracks me up, some of these new-fangled (you know you’re old when you use the word “new-fangled) ways of communicating! Hugs! XO

  5. Yup, yup, and yup. I went back to college after I’d been out waiting tables for a few years. I was 23, and it frustrated me to no end being around all these kids that had zero responsibility and no job while their parents paid for everything. I had no idea how easy I had it then, having to manage only school and work, not having a family. Bless you, Darla! Inhale.

  6. I read this line three times, and it got me every time: “…an elderly mother who thinks Dr. Oz is speaking to her through her smoke alarm…”

    You’re going to be a great nurse.

    1. That was my fave line too. I laughed when I wrote it, always a good sign. Thanks, Charles. I think I’ll end up working with the geriatric crowd in the medical field, I seem to have a solid rapport with them.

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