From the Columbia Chronicle
April 1st, 1993 (April Fool's Issue)

The regularly featured columnist, Christopher P. Auman, is on vacation in Joliet. Substituting for him this week is Columbia senior and freelance caption writer, Joey Germ.

I did not get much sleep last night. Regrettably, two diametrically opposed forces of evil were in collaboration in an all-out effort to deprive me of my rest. Consequently, these twin demons had to be locked in the closet for the duration of the night, but this did little to settle them, in fact, it made them a bit crabby. Used to dealing with such things in a responsible manner, I drank a bottle of NyQuil and had a dreamless three-hour slumber. And now this afternoon, after three 24 oz cups of black coffee, I am awake and a little bit crabby myself. Nevertheless, a small Pacific Northwest sapling has been brutally clubbed to death to provide you the paper you are now reading, so the least I can do is make it worth your while, and so here it goes:

I have always admired the concept of higher education and as I embark on this, the eighth week of my fourth and last semester as a senior, I look back on the last five years as a memorable experience, but with many reservations. This is of course assuming that I do graduate. I still have seven weeks to go and in the immortal words of Roger "Butterfingers" Anderson of the '73 Mets, "It is never too late in the game to completely f*ck up," and he would know if you recall the '73 World Series. But let us assume for the few remaining minutes we have in each other's company that I will indeed graduate. It is then only fitting that I use this time for reflection. Fellow graduating students, graduated students, and students who have been students for a really long time, I know you will be able to relate to this, so please feel free to applaud or throw in an 'amen' or two as the mood suits you:

Ah, college! Remember the good times and the bad times, the good grades, and the bad grades, the really intense hangovers? I bet you do. Remember the incompletes you got for, not just poor attendance, but non-attendance to class, then being scolded by your peers; "Yes, I know I wasted my time and money O'Scholastically Responsible One, but thank you for pointing that out" Remember the hours you spent doodling what you considered to be art but what you close-minded classmates considered to be nothing more than pornography? And daydreaming, yet never fully being able to escape the droning monotone of half-baked, high-minded professors who felt the need to single you out in class just because you made a couple sexist remarks. "Excuse me, I stand politically corrected!" Teachers who think that rudeness and arrogance are all part of a bad-ass academic rep? Instructors who won't let you smoke even in the less populated area of the classroom? I actually had a teacher last semester who had the balls to ask me to dump out my rum and Coke. 8:30 in the morning and I can't have my caffeine? Please! I'm sorry but that just ain't what I had in mind when I decided to come to this backasswards school.

And speaking of class, remember those one or two people to every one of your classes that asked countless, endless, meaningless questions that made you wonder if they decided to have a Stupid Question Contest these people would have many entries to submit and a good chance of winning with any on them.

And how many mornings have you gotten up and cursed God (yours and mine) and all that is holy for making you get out of your warm, loving bed to face the cold January air on an empty stomach, only to come home to dinners of rice and beans, mac and cheese, and your old friends, ramen noodles, on stale wheat bread?

There is no way for you to know this, but there is a small tear rolling slowly down my cheek as I write this and please don't feel embarrassed to admit that there's a salty tear welling up in your eyeball too. Come on, friend, let it go.

Think back to when you had to live in that small cramped two-bedroom apartment with six other people (most of whose names were Snake) who thought that the whole concept of housekeeping was something that Alice did on the Brady Bunch because she enjoyed it; "Alice got paid, man? No way, I thought she was just really into the Bradys." Apartments so dirty that even your parents would politely refuse to enter, having been there once before and having heard about people like your friends on the local news.

Remember those wild parties you used to throw where people you barely know came and did serious damage to walls, windows, and furniture? And the cops, man, the cops would always make the hookers leave early, but they sure knew where the keg line was.

In retrospect, I must admit that there were some good times and a whole lotta bad times, but most of the time it sucked. In a little more than two months, however, it will all be over for me. I can see myself two months from now looking boldly into the future, a young man, "twenty-something" standing tall, proud, unafraid, ready for the world and whatever it might throw up on me. I can see myself standing there slightly drunk, holding my diploma in one hand and a can of Old Style in the other, facing the rising sun and the opportunity I know it will bring because I, like the sun, am ascending. I'm glad we had this special time together for reflection.

Have a Merry Spring.

© 1993 Chris Auman