Nov 082011
Authors: Morgan Mayo

Hanging bags of water from a tree or awning will keep away mosquitos.

If you can’t afford shoes, painting your toenails will keep your nails from rotting off in the mud.

Everclear will still catch on fire, even if it’s diluted with vomit.

The best way to get a skunk out of your room (or into your room for that matter) is to tempt it with Lucky Charms.

The easiest way to treat the poison ivy you got by accidentally sliding down a rock face on your ass is with jewel weed.

Never take drinks from professional kayakers…unless it’s moonshine.

When you inevitably get bit by the bat living in your rafters all summer, you do actually have to go to the hospital, even if it is two hours away. Rabies is only funny until your charming neighbor is foaming at the mouth and tearing through your screened door at 2 a.m.

I’ve been told that the reason I’m paying outrageous tuition at CSU is because I’m getting a well-rounded education from some world-class educators.

Sadly, when asked the most important lessons I’ve learned, the only ones I could actually recall were ones I discovered somewhere in-between threading beads into my roommate’s dreadlocks and rafting down a river with a horde of unwashed hippies and a half gallon of Evan Williams.

And while the life lessons you learn at a rafting company may be a bit on the, ahem, practical side of the education coin, none of those summers involved a group project or a standardized test.

Although I would’ve loved to walk into work one morning and seen the following scrawled across the schedule:

Which of the below, is the most detrimental to a raft guide’s career?

  • Not bathing for a few weeks.
  • The Monday “guide special” at the local pub.
  • Being the trip leader on the day the high-school cheerleading camp goes down the river when all of your guides are 21-year-old males.
  • Hitch-hiking naked after a spontaneous mud wrestling contest on the lawn of staff housing.
  • All of the above.

The second the Natural Resource Tourism department begins featuring practical questions like that on their multiple choice tests, I might actually have to start studying for them.

After all, college is supposed to prepare you for a career and the NRRT department boasts “raft guide” as one of the awesome jobs you can get after graduating from CSU.

What they fail to mention is that raft guides make minimum wage, and you don’t actually have to attend university at all to be one of those. That’s like a culinary school listing “burger flipper at McDonalds” as one of their esteemed graduate careers.

In today’s hyper-educated society, it sometimes feels like the only way to make your life worth anything is by selling one of your kidneys (or your grandmother’s kidney after she’s had one too many glasses of wine) and packing it off to a prestigious university for four to eight mind-numbing years. But there is something to be said for “alternative” forms of education.

Take for example, the icons of just a few of the world’s major religions.

Siddhartha Gautama snuck out of his daddy’s palace, left his wife and kid and spent some time backpacking across Nepal.

Mohammed married a cougar, went to business school, but then ran away and got a weekend job in the mountains.

Jesus said screw carpentry and went on a little wander through the desert for 40 days with the devil. Which is pretty much like ditching college and moving to Vegas to become a showgirl today.

So what have we learned? Buddhism, Islam and Christianity were all founded on the shoulders of rebellious young adults who believed in un-conventional education.

So if you drop out of college and join the circus, we’ll probably be praying to you one day.

And that, children, is what we call twisting ancient religious doctrine to suit personal vendettas and irrelevant modern day debates. But don’t worry! You too can learn how to manipulate the heathen masses with a university education.

A few weeks ago I had a friend who had to drop out of school because she couldn’t afford the tuition. Now she’s struggling with the idea that she will never be successful in life because she doesn’t have a degree.

While, deep down, I think most of us know that “tuition” is actually a kosher way of paying “the man” for a diploma and a ticket to the middle class; I think it’s a sad world when someone is allowed to put a price on knowledge.

So whether you’re working at a rafting company or getting your doctorate in bio-chemistry, it’s important to remember that the best lessons don’t have to be found in a classroom.

Just remember. “Don’t let your degree get in the way of your education.”

Awkward times are ahead my friends. But until we meet again…


Morgan Mayo is a junior natural resources major. Her columns appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. She can be reached at

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