You are graduating from college. That means that this is the first day of the last day of your life. No, that’s wrong. This is the last day of the first day of school. Nope, that’s worse. This is a day.
Since I recently wrote about my college apartment by the cemetery and my current “noisy neighbor” (who is still singing every night, by the way), I thought of an infamous college dorm I lived in my junior spring. Enjoy!
I arrived late at night. I pulled my luggage through the snow and ice, the cold air hurting my eyes. Spring break in New England—delightful.
I stood in front of the white, shabby two-story building that would be my home for the spring quarter. The dormitory resembled a two-star motel, the kind you might invest in bedsheets from a local Walmart before spending the night. As I stared in disapproval, I promised right at that moment, that if I ever became a rich alumna, I would donate a whole bunch of money to tear this building down, build a beautiful new dorm, and slap my name across the front.
New England in the fall, and also the quintessential Instagram picture. I’m so proud.
“You can see how this book has reached a great boundary that was called 1900. Another hundred years were ground up and churned, and what had happened was all muddied by the way folks wanted it to be—more rich and meaningful the farther back it was.”
John Steinbeck, East of Eden
“The years go by, and I’ve told the story so many times that I’m not sure anymore whether I actually remember it or whether I just remember the words I tell it with… At this point, what difference does it make whether it was me or some other man that saw Moreira killed.”
Jorge Luis Borges, “The Night of the Gifts” (Trans. Andrew Hurley)
My senior year of college, I lived in an apartment next to an old cemetery.
The cemetery had headstones and crypts that dated back to the 18th century. Several of them belonged to the college’s first students. I always wondered whether they willingly chose to be buried there out of devotion to the college, or whether academic rigor got to them before they could graduate. I typically assumed the latter.
The cemetery was mostly green and wooded. Parts of it were steep, and it even had a ravine dividing it down the middle. With its tall trees and eery voices, the graveyard was hauntingly beautiful. During the fall and spring, I used to take a shortcut through the cemetery. I was drawn to the tranquility and quiet, and of course, the dining hall on the other side. I told myself it was a shortcut, but I still doubt if it actually was. I had to climb down a sharp incline then up another hill to get across, usually taking about as much effort as just walking around the cemetery. I never dared to take the path during winter, lest I came across winter gnomes, shout in surprise, then slip, break a leg, and freeze to death. Continue reading
We don’t talk anymore, we don’t talk anymore
We don’t talk anymore, like we used to do
The following satirical essay will be much more enjoyable if you’re familiar with Charlie Puth’s “We Don’t Talk Anymore.” Most of the information in this essay is loosely based on true facts, but some of it is so loosely based on real details that it’s debatable whether “loosely based” is still an appropriate description.
Class: MUS 52.21 Contemporary Music
Due: In 1.5 hrs.
Let’s Talk about Why “We Don’t Talk Anymore”: A Lyrical Analysis of Puth
If the security personnel do their job properly, they just might cause you to miss your plane, thereby possibly saving your life.
One piece of advice I give to all incoming college freshmen is to always have a funny, lighthearted embarrassing story to tell about yourself. Icebreakers are popular in college, particularly the question: “share your most embarrassing moment.” It’s a silly question because no one wants to share their actual most humiliating moment to a group of complete strangers and relive the embarrassment. My real low points would achieve the complete opposite of breaking the ice. The room would fall silent, and everyone would feel awkward because deeply embarrassing stories are painful to hear. The only thing worse would be to say that you don’t have any embarrassing stories. (LIAR.) No, what people want is a humorous self-deprecating story of mild woe. I’ve had to answer that awful icebreaker question so many times, I have a few stories ready to go at all times. Today, I’ll be sharing one of them. Hopefully, it’ll break the ice.
I thought about naming this post “Great Expectations,” but I didn’t want to deal with angry, disappointed Dickens groupies, asking about ruin in the Victorian novel.
But this post IS about expectations. Here’s a tale as old as two years ago, during my “wild” college days in Buenos Aires. The story has all the makings of a mediocre film: late night adventures in a foreign city, a charismatic group of friends, and a chance at love.*