For some reason, I have been thinking a lot about you. Maybe it is because it is that time of year when the alumni association keeps calling me for donations. Maybe I yearn for those winter days where I could go back to my dorm after class and snuggle in my bed while watching TV and not feel bad about it. Maybe I miss going to the scarf-n-barf (aka the cafeteria, which wasn’t that bad, really) and hanging out with my friends. Every damn meal. Maybe I am just getting old. Whatever the case. I miss you.
I am so glad my parents forced me to go to have a relationship with you. They probably wish I hadn’t drawn it out for five years like I did, but I wasn’t ready to let go. I needed that extra year to make sure the break was a good one. Don’t worry, I didn’t even apply to grad school until after I left you. I didn’t cheat. I swear!
I never use my degree that you gave me. I dreamt I would be the next Great American Writer, but then I realized that they said IOWA not IDAHO when they were talking about places to go to learn to write. (Just an inside writer’s joke. Move on if you don’t know what I am talking about.)
What I did learn in college has helped me through the years, though. I just want to thank you for these things.
I learned to appreciate music more than I ever knew I could. I listened to a lot of music back then. I listened to horrible, awful stuff, and I learned about new and incredible musicians. I learned to appreciate classical music and punk rock. I learned about Phish and Dave Matthews Band and Widespread Panic, Blues Travelers, and Ani DiFranco, and solidified my love for U2, Pearl Jam, and Tori Amos. I went through an Oasis phase, a Black Happy phase, a Moby phase, a Bush, Frente!, and The Verve phase. So, thanks for that.
Classes that had nothing to do with my major were most undoubtedly my most memorable: yoga, ballroom dance, film studies and pottery. I still think of these classes with fondness and regret that I am still not in them. Why am I not still throwing pottery? I loved that shit. I love my professor, Tony, who studied at Kent State and who sliced his hand open in a slip can when someone left a knife in it, which is why we were never allowed to have knives in class. He couldn’t remember my name, so he sang Mambo Number 5 to me instead.
You also taught me how to appreciate off time. I will never forget laying in the sun outside of Turner Hall, making hemp bracelets and studying, listening to my new U2 bootlegs that I got off that new thing called the Internet. Man, how I miss spoofing time, and not feeling guilty about it.
Also, Doc Martens. I learned about Doc Martens, and I even got myself a pair. And all was right with the world, even though at the same time, I knew everything was really, truly, very wrong.
But most importantly, college, you taught me how to party. And by party, I mean drink, but more than that, to interact with people. Trust me when I say that I was always the first person in the door when my friends and I went to a party. I was always the one who didn’t care, and the one who always found someone to talk to , even if it was the “nerdy” guy who turned out to be a hot tennis player from Canada.
I guess I just wanted to say I miss you, college.
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