Monday, May 28, 2007

School’s out forever

I have some bad news for video game zombies everywhere: your brain-eating days are numbered. I just finished grad school, and I’ll have nothing better to do with my evenings than to shoot you repeatedly, hopefully in the head, as that helps to conserve ammo.

After three-and-a-half years of whining, griping and sometimes even studying, I finally managed to earn an MBA (Master of the Bulldoodoo Arts) degree in my “spare time,” which I put in quotes because the only time that’s really spare is the time you spend with your wife when she’s making you watch America’s Next Top Model.

Taking classes after work is a great way to earn an education without having to live on a college student’s diet of Ramen noodles and Milwaukee’s Best. Still, if someone came up to me and said, “You have two choices: you can either earn another degree after work or you can swallow and pass this regulation billiard ball right here,” I’d probably have to take a vacation day to weigh my options, and possibly to start practicing on golf balls.

I once complained about how grad school was sucking the marrow out of my life to a friend of mine who has two kids. He looked at me without the slightest hint of sympathy.

“You may think you don’t have free time. You might sit around all day saying to yourself ‘Gee, I don’t have any extra time at all.’ Well, let me tell you something, Bucko. If you don’t have kids, you have an astronomical amount of free time. You have free time you don’t even know you have yet.”

Maybe that’s true. But now that I’m done with school, I’ll definitely have more time to try to find something worth grubbing other than grades. Or I might even find time to venture out to the backyard to try to turn our above-ground swamp back into a pool again. For the record, we didn’t even want a pool. It just came with the house, like the plastic cup of cole slaw that comes with your deli sandwich. Even though taking care of a pool, especially one parked under seventeen enormous maple trees, can be a chore, I’m really looking forward to relaxing and skimming the pool without worrying about term papers and final exams. There’s a certain Zen-like simplicity to skimming a pool, but you wouldn’t want to make a career out of it. That’s why there are no cabana men.

But I’m really looking forward to rekindling a relationship with a certain hot little number that’s been patiently waiting for my time ever since I started taking classes. That’s right, my PlayStation2. When you get wrapped up in working and taking classes, it’s easy to lose track of what’s really important in life: saving the world from mutant plagues that turn entire towns into zombies who must have their heads blown off for the good of mankind.

If you thought I was going to mention something about spending more time with my wife, I’d love to, but she still has two classes left to take this summer to finish her own grad degree. The best I can do for her is to shut the door while I’m watching all three Lord of the Rings movies in one gluttonous stretch. I’d love to feel sorry for her, but I started school almost two years before she did, and now she’s only a couple of months from being done, too. She almost lapped me.

Regardless, this summer is just about here, and I, at least, will have loads of free time with which to enjoy it. Summer and free time: those are two things that just go together, like bacon and egg n’ cheese.

You can give Mike Todd pencils, books and/or dirty looks online at


  1. OMG I totally agree with the guys who has kids comment about free time. hehehehehe

    I need to get back to the playstation 2 myself. Since kiddo got his own t.v. and game console, now the old one is in my bedroom. Maybe some late night zombie action. hehehehe

  2. Congrats, Mike! Personally, I don't like video games. I'm a TextTwist addict myself....

  3. Holy Cow! You got an MBA? Congratulations.

    Does that mean you're applying to McKinsey? Will you start wearing suits and telling people how to improve their companies? Or will you actually join CNN and administer its business? Do tell.

  4. Burf -- Resident Evil 4, dude. That's all I'm sayin.

    Melodyann -- Tahnsk edud. Oyu krco.

    Anon -- Much thanks. I think I'll just keep on doing what I'm doing, but I bet I could drive a company or two into the ground if I really applied myself.

  5. Good for you! Congrats on the degree. Now go have all the fun you can. You earned it :)

  6. Ok, so I always expect something funny when I come here. I'm never disappointed. Dude, I totally spit coffee on my computer screen this morning when I read your response to my comment. I heart sparkle diamond you!

    I've decided to make you my honorary brother. This means you will have to pay for my vacations, and build a pool in your backyard for when we come to visit....

  7. The best part of the post-Masters bliss is that tiny moment when you feel tension whilst thinking of that which you'd like to do...then it hits you: I can play/read/drink with abandon because NOTHING is due. Congratulations! And thank you, THANK YOU, for explaining why there are no cabana men. You have freed my own mind. Except for the fact that I used 'whilst'. That could bother me for a while.

  8. m -- Thanks! Already working on it. Yee haw. I'm having so much fun. No, seriously, I think I might be. It's been so long, I can't tell anymore.

    melodyann -- AWESOME. You solved the texty-twister. As your honorary brother, can I also

    Janelle -- Might your degree have been in something related to restrictive appositives? Regardless, if the guy from Blazing Saddles had gotten his master's, I bet he would have said, "'Scuse me whilst I whip this out."

  9. Congratulations! I'm doing the working full time, having kids thing while attempting to finish my Masters so I'm thinking I should be done right around when I retire. I'm jealous but hoping that this also means bi-weekly blogging?

  10. Congratulations on more free time! Oh and finishing your grad degree. The internet is very proud of you.

    I'm hoping all this 'free time' you have means more fun stuff for us to read.... in between saving the planet of course.

  11. And for awhile I feared Rory Gilmore's (Yale) was going to be "The graduation of the year."



    That and now being able to wear white made my day!

  12. Mike, I got my master's in being able to make people simultaneously incredulous and sort of sorry for me. Watch. I'll do it to you:
    I've never seen Blazing Saddles.

    Actually, my MS was in physiology, and opened me up to a world of temp jobs. My kids will job search before choosing a degree so that they don't end up working in Cardiac Rehab saying, "I really wanted to be a writer" like I did. But I digress. Ironic, that. ME digressing on YOUR site. Cheers!

  13. Cammy -- Hey, congrats! Good luck motoring through it. Grad school is the best way to make a few years seem like eons. You'll get there 'fore you know it, right? No. I know. It sucks.

    Sheri -- Thanks so much. If my rock and roll career doesn't take off soon, I might start posting more. But for now, rest safe. There are many fewer zombies on my TV screen.

    Buster -- It takes a real man to admit watching Gilmore Girls. I think you deserve the congratulations.

    Janelle -- If your digressions are any indication of your writing, I think you already are a writer. And congrats on surviving grad school. If I had to choose one internet person to have a heart attack around, it's definitely you. Also, the Blazing Saddles quote is funnier if you set your computer to say it every time you open a program for the first two years of college.