Little Yellow Slips of Paper

My goal for the past, oh, three weeks or so has been to drag myself to Pasadena City College to make a counseling appointment. Yesterday I finally made it (yay me!) only to be told to come back in the morning. At 8:00 a.m. they will give me a same-day appointment, which means not only will I have to come back, I’ll have to come back twice in one day. Swell.

yellow slip

Dutifully, by 8:02 this morning I’m standing in a very long line waiting to make this counseling appointment. I see people with little yellow slips of paper. The woman handing them out hides in an office as soon as I make eye contact. I choose not to take it personally. Still, I have a bad feeling. All will be revealed at the end of this line, however, so I wait.

As I get closer to the window, I spy the little yellow slips of paper sitting upright on a counter, but I refuse to relinquish my spot in line to snag one. A woman asks the young man in front of me if he has a pen. He does not, so I fish around in my purse and offer her one. As she fills out her little yellow slip of paper, I notice the man in front of me doesn’t have one either. I venture away from the security of the line, acquire two little yellow slips of paper, and offer one to the young man. Someone else in line produces a pen and offers it to him before he can even ask. “Wow, ” he says, “Everyone is so nice!”

A staff member comes through the line, checks little yellow slips of paper and makes sure everyone is in the right place. She arrives at our young man. Turns out he’s a veteran, and doesn’t have to wait in this long line after all:  the Veterans Services office will handle anything he needs.

My heart’s a little lighter watching him walk away with his little yellow slip of paper. The universe was on his side today. He must’ve needed a little boost of kindness to get him through this ridiculous college process. Who knows; maybe if we had all stayed in our own little queue bubbles, he would’ve gotten overwhelmed and left. I would’ve been right behind him.

I make it to the window at about 8:30. The woman says I’m #10 to see the “express” counselor, so I can go have a cup of coffee and come back at 9:45. She keeps my little yellow slip of paper. I spend the hour at my mom’s house eating grapes and composing this blog post.

The bad news: apparently I’m so old, curriculum requirements have changed, so I have to take a few more classes than I thought. The good news: I can do everything else on-line, so I won’t need to stand in any more lines with little yellow slips of paper.


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