Keeping Up Foreign Relations
Whether you’re deployed, in the field, or just in the barracks, there is a 99% chance that some officer or NCO is annoying you to take college courses. They’ll tell you that they’re important for promotion points, your future, and to acquire a level of education commensurate with your climbing rank.
They’re right, of course. That stuff is kind of important. But we at Ranger Up encourage you to look past the immediate gratification that promotion points provide, and consider the holistic benefits of being educated. Namely, it allows you to be more of a jackass while amusing yourself and others, occasionally protect The Colors and keep your friend from having sex with a beautiful woman, all in one fell swoop…
So, no shit there we were, spending the weekend in Innsbruck, Austria. We had finished skiing for the day and were now at some awesome bar when we met a bunch of pretty Austrian girls who were on vacation. My friend Doug immediately took a liking to this one 20-year-old that was truly drop dead gorgeous. She was in her second year of college, and was genetically flawless in every way. Unfortunately, as soon as she started sprecheing the English, I pretty much hated her. No matter what she was talking about, she invariably had to infuse a bunch of comments about the relative stupidity of the average American. I swallowed my pride and snarkiness for Doug’s penis’ sake, but after a while we were all getting a little aggravated (other than Doug, of course), and through the magic provided by the many red bull and vodkas that I had consumed throughout the evening, my tolerance had waned to zero.
I had just asked a question to one of the other girls about the effect of the switch from local currencies to the Euro and The Frauline said something to the effect of “I’m surprised you even know what the Euro is”. I asked why, and she told me because Americans are uneducated and rarely know anything about anything.
Inner Monologue: Hold it together, Nick. Doug really wants to hook up with this girl.
I calmly fired back that was an odd statement to make given that everyone in our group had at least one college degree and she hadn’t finished hers yet. This is when she said, “American college is like Austrian Grade School”.
At this point, my shirt ripped off, my pants split and I became a giant green colossus.
I asked her what her major was. She said math. This is the part where I hang my head in shame at executing perhaps the lamest thing I have ever done (and that is saying a f*cking lot).
I challenged her to a MATH OFF.
That’s right kids…Nick versus hot Austrian girl with pens and napkins. She got to write any question and I got to write any question. If the other person couldn’t solve it, then you had to prove you could.
She went first and gave me a kinematics problem. I was a mechanical fucking engineering major at West Point. That place took away the best four years of my life, but it fucking replaced them with a whole bunch of useless knowledge, most of it involving equations and theorems I thought I would never use again. Au contraire, Bon Jour.
I looked at the kinematics problem and I did it in my head. (Sinking, so fast)
I then gave her a triple integral with multiplication, exponents, and variables with ranges. She said she hadn’t done that in school yet and that it wasn’t a fair question. I told her I had done that in high school, like all Americans (this was an outright lie). Then I solved it. I closed by saying, “Maybe you should come to America so you can learn something…you know…if you’re smart enough to pass the entrance exams.” You know…those entrance exams to America…I sure showed her, right? Who’s with me!?!
She stormed off. Doug walked up to me and said, “You’re such a fucking douche.”
Yes, I am. But more importantly, I think we now all see the value of a good education. Use your GI Bill kids. If you don’t, you’ll never be able to completely cockblock your good friend for no apparent reason, other than a perverse desire to convince a 20-year-old girl that your country kicks ass, and that’s really what it’s all about, am I right?
Oh God, I hate myself.