January is named for Janus, the Roman god of bleak, gray days that make even the most well-balanced North Country resident want to catch the first flight to Florida - or, lacking the funds to secure passage on said flight, stick his (or her) head in a gas oven. The well-off yet still bummed-out North Country resident might even consider catching the first flight to Florida and then sticking his (or her) head in a gas oven.
But back to Janus! According to Wikipedia - the greatest, most awesome research tool God has ever given mankind - Janus has two heads. One looks back at the past and one looks forward to the future.
Fittingly, many "self-reflective" types - by which I mean losers who do things like practice yoga and read books - spend January thinking about how they've gotten where they are, and how they can use their past experiences to help them achieve their goals.
Back when I was a stupid college student, I fancied myself one of these self-reflective types. True, I didn't practice yoga, but I did read books (never mind that space aliens and/or deranged loners with telekinetic powers were central to all of their plots), and I had wild notions about embarking on a career after graduation.
A career in what? As the second semester of my sophomore year approached, I didn't know - so I self-reflected. I quickly realized that I'd only ever done well at one thing: school. It seemed logical, then, that I become a teacher. I imagined that, as part of my training, I'd get to spend long hours studying history's great educators, like Mr. Feeny (and, to a lesser extent, Mr. Turner) from the 90s sitcom "Boy Meets World."
An hour into the first meeting of my first education class, however, the professor hadn't mentioned Mr. Feeny once, and I realized I'd imagined wrong. When I got the syllabus, which featured yawn-inducing words like "curriculum" and "rubrics," I resolved to drop the class at the first opportunity.
I did and, unlike Janus, I haven't looked back since. Today, I'm proud to say that I have two successful careers! Not only do I fill out surveys online, I also sell my plasma as often as medically possible.
Dan Leonidas makes shallow observations. He can be reached at email@example.com or myspace.com/lastminuteconcerns.