First, let’s look closer at Jeff Spicoli. This full on California boy from Fast Times at Ridgemont High was known for his long hair, checkered slip on Vans, and his love of surfing. Throughout the duration of the film, we watch Jeff as he battles with the new history teacher Mr. Hand. Their rocky relationship leaves the whole class in jeopardy as Jeff continuously arrives late or insists on ordering pizza to the classroom. As a slacker student, Jeff has several friends on campus. On multiple occasions in the film, we see him rolling out of a smokey Volkswagen van with his friends as the school bell rings in the background. When asked about his unemployment, Jeff simply responds, “All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I’m fine.” This tame stoner slowly made his way through high school. He was more focused on riding that next wave. Spicoli often spoke about surfing being more than a sport. To him, it was a way of life. He brought this same laid back styling to his education. It’s a way of looking at that wave and saying, “Hey bud, let’s party!”
Next stop on our trip, is to the Delta Tau Chi fraternity from Faber College. This group of degenerates in Animal House can barely keep their frat in the school. The college, the Dean and all the other fraternities are intent on kicking the Delta’s out. So much so, in fact, that Dean Wormer placed the boys under “Double secret probation.” Through thick and thin, these wild party boys always manage to get themselves out of trouble thanks to each other’s help. By all accounts, these friends shared the closest and most tight knit fraternity on campus. However, their academics achievements were not up to par. The highest GPA in the house was held by the president Robert Hoover. He was pushing a 1.6, thanks to four C’s and an F. At least the president was aiming high for the crew. Bluto, the unsung protagonist of the film, was sporting a 0.0 GPA in his 7th year of college. The freshman and new pledges also didn’t get their colleges careers off to a good start. Pinto, was on the higher end of his class with a 1.2. That translates to two C’s, two D’s and an F. His best friend Flounder struggled through midterms with a 0.2. In the film, Dean Wormer gives Flounder some sound advice. “Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life son.”
Overall, this crew managed to have the lowest grades on campus, and the lowest in history at the school. At least they were doing it together and having a good time. The Delta’s were well known for their party antics, acts of perversions, and general womanizing. Regardless of their initial probation, the boy’s always seemed to have a drink in their hands. They made sure that their frat brothers were taken care of, and they chose to make mistakes as a group.
Lastly, we have to check out David Wooderson. This is a dude from Dazed and Confused who graduated high school long ago. However, he is more than happy to hang out with the high school crowd. He has grown into the cool kid who has a nice car and attends younger parties. He loves high school girls because, “I get older, they stay the same age.” Wooderson’s grades are never discussed in the movie, but we can safely assume that he was more worried about a good time.
These types of characters give us a deeper insight into what school is all about. They didn’t focus on the grades per se, they were more worried about the experience and the relationships which come with it. School is fun because of the friends we meet and the stories we get to tell. Whether those experiences come from beer garden shenanigans or successful group projects; both create fond and lasting memories. Try to remember that university is supposed to be a good time. You may feel stressed out and lost at times, but why would you want to rush through such an interesting time in your life? Try to make a new couple of friends each semester, and don’t be afraid to let off a little steam every now and again.