Beating the system

Jason Okamoto

As this semester comes to an end I would like to congratulate my brother Travis Okamoto for graduating with a Bachelors in Communication Studies here at CSUS. I would also like to congratulate everybody else who is graduating before me, not simply because these people will be freed from scantrons and unpadded chair/desks. And not just because they may or may not be on their way to make a lot of cash. I offer my congratulations on their victory. They beat the system. Or at least they can play the game, which is more than I can say for myself.

I am not really a student at Sacramento State; I just do my best to act like one. Thank you all for setting an example. Just the other day I was practicing my craft while sitting and waiting to talk to an advisor. “So this is all there is to it?” I thought just before I was called to center stage.

Although things may seem perfectly fine from the outside, I can feel the institute working on my primitive mind. Shifting and tangling my inner machinery, like a prison might effect a prisoner. How many times have you heard or asked, “So when you getting outta here?”

I am always tempted to respond “Me and Crooked Jack are busting outa here at twelve, while everyone is distracted by the nooner. You can be the lookout. We’re escaping through the secret passage where Howe meets Fair Oaks. So, you in or out?”Over time this campus has become a modest home away from home (home for me being only fifteen minutes away) but it does kind of resemble a prison, in that there is no sign of life for miles around.

By far the wickedest, and more recent, invention of this establishment is the Bachelor’s Degree Application. You know, the one that must be filed a year before you graduate. This must be what it’s like for a star athlete to sign a binding contract with a mediocre team, except we are the ones who are paying. So why does it exist? To keep us from playing for other teams with championship potential. Not that I aspire or deserve to be anywhere else, but there are some who might feel the need to move or retire early. I can really go on for days about this cold, sterile, and manipulative environment that we call school and how it keeps us from reaching our full human potential.

However, it is important to distinguish between the institution and the people who go here. Unlike some of my contemporaries, I believe that the student body does care about going here and acknowledge the experience as being an important part of their lives (whether they or like it or not).

I would never go so far to assume that the goals that I have set are more outstanding or commendable than anyone else who has the guts to walk on campus ready to learn. For that, I love Sacramento State, and have admiration towards every student that goes here. Best wishes to all the graduates, and for everyone else, enjoy the leave, I mean break.

Jason Okamoto is looking forward to life without scantrons and the opressive, souless machine called school. Email him at [email protected] or put your feedback at