Sunday, June 4th, 2000 #65
George's Summer Job First Inklings of the Real World
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Like so many online comics out there, the original idea behind the hand-drawn comic is that it would initially be based off my own experiences, especially those in college. The plan was to start off with somewhat realistic storylines and then slowly drift towards complete nonsense and chaos. In fact, one of the reasons I ultimately decided not to pursue the hand-drawn comic is that's basically the same thing College Roomies From Hell! did. But hey, isn't imitation the sincerest form of flattery?

Anyway, I'm quite familiar with the events in this particular comic. Like George, I visited a university after graduation to help me decide what to do with my life. Actually, most seniors in high school visit before they graduate, since they need plenty of time to apply, and have to decide which schools to apply to. I didn't do that. Instead, I decided which major to pursue, then found a school with that program and a good reputation and applied. That school, which I will simply call "Tech", was a state school, so I knew tuition would be about as cheap as possible and I wouldn't need to worry about getting in.

As I was saying, I didn't actually visit the campus until after I graduated and had already been accepted there, as I needed to take some placement tests. I passed the algebra test, failed the trigonometry test, and, believe it or not, failed the physics test. I ended up retaking and passing the trig test later, but I was forced to take an introductory physics course due to my failure in that area. The really irritating thing was that the questions I missed on the physics test weren't even covered in the course I was required to take because of my failure.

Because my visit came in the middle of the summer, long after most students have already made their visits, there weren't many other students around during my one official visit. I suppose that means the second panel isn't really relevant to me, though I imagine it is for many students.

Further unlike George, I worked in fast food before I graduated, not after. I spent the summer before college working as a janitor in an elementary school. My father didn't like me lounging around and hanging around with my friends all day (see panel 3), so he suggested/guilt-tripped me into getting a job. I wasn't sure who'd hire me for the last month before classes started, but the mother of a friend hooked up with a janitorial job. And while it wasn't much fun, it definitely was a learning experience. Though, I'm not sure what good knowing how to buff, strip, and wax floors is in a science career, it did give me some insight into what a custodian's life is like, and why it's so terribly important to treat them with respect.

Interestingly enough, when I went back for my 10-year high school reunion, the school I had worked in was gone. They had apparently torn the whole thing down since the last time I had been home. It was a bit of shock to find the school that I'd worked at for two summers (I went back and worked there the summer after my first year) was nothing more than a dirt lot now. You'd think someone who still lived there might've bothered mentioning it to me.

By the way, I'm quite impressed with myself how well this comic turned out, especially that couch. You knew that was a couch, right? Looking back, I realize I should have taken more time and fully explored each of these concepts, rather than condensing the entire experience into a single comic. It's too fast, but I think I was trying to get to the "good" stuff I had planned for George once he was actually at school. I guess poor pacing was another reason I ultimately decided not to continue the hand-drawn comic.
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