Breaking out “The Method” … (maybe)

By Amanda Eakin

“Miss. Excuse me, Miss.”

I turned around, mildly alarmed by the hand that was placed on my arm to catch my attention. “Huh?”

The impatient eyes of an AU bookstore employee seared into me. “No bags back here. You need to place your backpack in one of the cubbies at the front of the store.” She tossed a vague gesture in the direction of the other abandoned bags.

Damn. Spotted. I was hoping it wouldn’t come to this. All the surreptitious sneaking around the perimeters of the store for nothing. I make a point not to visit the bookstore specifically because of my discomfort in abandoning my precious book bag. My life’s in there. As it happened, however, I needed to buy a text book. Wild plans involving theatrical ducks and somersaults flooded my mind before entering the store, yet alas, fate was not kind to me.

Now I dared to meet the eyes of the bookstore employee. “B-but I just had to get a book…” Words curled up and died in my mouth at the withering glare of this woman.

“No. Bags. Allowed. Back. Here.” I turned at the movement behind me. Another employee was moving towards me, her hands itching to steal my bag from my trembling arms. What, did the initial enforcer call for backup? Is my derrière so big I count as two people, hence requiring more assistance in snatching my bag?

Crumbling under the hostility, I handed over the goods, utterly defeated. Is it possible to experience postpartum depression with an inanimate object? I watched helplessly as one of the prison guards stomped off to hurl my bag into a cubby.

A painful bit later, when I was at last reunited with my book bag, I shot the employees a nasty look and stalked out. I vowed to never enter the bookstore again. Besides, I’m a senior, and I’ll never need to buy another textbook. In theory, anyway.

In the last issue of the Collegian, I boasted about how I planned to apply “The Method”-the act of extracting the positives in any situation- throughout my final semesters at AU. Therefore, using The Method with the book bag fiasco, a couple things become clear: I am, as usual, overreacting in a fit of melodrama, and it could have been a lot worse. At least I wasn’t tackled to the ground. At least they didn’t permanently ban me from the bookstore premises for my faux pas. At least they didn’t revoke my scholarships, which I’m sure they can do.

Speaking of scholarships, while recently working at my beloved smoothie bar, a freshman athlete gleefully told me how he is given at least $29,000 for playing whatever sport he is in. He’s also on junior varsity, and oh, by the way, the “X” house has the greatest parties! He’s on his third party this week!

Well, all I can say is, when I take into account both my academic scholarship and my Schar scholarship, I am not given even half that amount. But I apologize, I forgot that sports are vastly superior to whatever meager offerings I can give. Who am I to assume that college is for-

But wait, I must apply The Method! At least I am given more than $100! It is important that I preserve my optimistic thinking. To break my resolve so early in the semester can’t possibly be a good sign.

After my shift was over that evening, the thought of scholarship discrepancies continued to plague me as I crossed the street to get to my apartment. In the midst of my brooding, I almost did not hear it when the sound of an accelerating car tore through the air and someone cried out:

“Hit her! Hit her!”

The car missed me by inches. I gaped at the passing car and its manic passengers who continued to drunkenly scream into the inky black night. I sucked in a deep breath, realizing something. How tiring it is to only see the positives in a situation-complaining is infinitely more satisfying.