Waltham Weekly 20
Exit Freshman Year

13 May 1999

I leave college in 32 hours.

Hey Everybody,

Well, it's been. Just short of a full year in university education & I really dunno what to say about it. There've been good times, bad times, plenty of times at all besides the New York Times (points for catching this reference)... All in all, I must admit that I feel I've grown less in this year than during any other in my life thus far. It's a sobering, almost depressing fact. But I just have to admit that my surroundings have been less than perfectly stimulating, less than perfectly mature, & I'll run with that. But hey, I've met a lotta really groovy people & though it's been a good year for those in the promoting-being-alone business, I have more good friends now than I did 365 days ago. So there's something.

I've spent the past 3 nights at "friendly" Fenway Park, watching no less than 3 (count 'em, three) baseball games between the SEATTLE MARINERS & some other team, oh yeah, that'd be the Boston Red Sox. While the outcomes weren't the best in 2 of the 3 games, the experience was fabulous & I heartilly enjoyed the heckling I received from irate Boston fans all over the ballpark. Decked out in a Mariners hat & my ubiquitous jacket, I stood up for every Mariner run &/or extra-base hit, to the continual cries of "Sit down!" or "Go back to Seattle!". It was a lotta fun. Having not seen an M's game in years, it was quite satisfying to see the entirety of a 3-game set. The timing, right after finals & right before I leave, couldn't have been better.

Speaking of leaving, I'm doing that... real soon. People start flooding off this campus tomorrow & the waters will keep flowing for about 48 hours thereafter... I plan to get out while the getting's good sometime Friday morning. I can't say how long I'll keep my computer running, but I figure once my last paper of my freshman year at college (due in about 6 hours) is done (I should probably start it first), I'll have little reason not to pack this machine up. So, send everything you'd normally send here to "eireduck@hotmail.com", my home-away-from-home in cyberspace, till I get back to Albuquerque. Perhaps you think that this will be only a short hiatus, comparable to the time one might spend to fly home in a day. Ah, naive ones, let me tell you a tale!....

When I leave here Friday, it'll be to head for sunny Atlanta, to see Jake at Georiga Tech. Jake, sadly, still has school. No, Jake, I don't intend to rub this in... too much. I'll be punished for making fun of him still having school by being sent directly to his engineering class, where I will learn all about how to sleep throu-, I mean, how to build a plane, disassemble it, & reassemble it in 10 seconds flat. Calculus should be a good time too. But despite my apparent differences with the peachy city & it's accompanying Mecca-o-science, methinks it'll be a good deal of fun hanging out with Jake & his "crew" down South.

Thereafter, without passing Go or collecting $200, I'll head for sandy San Diego to see the Fishmonger. He, for the record, also will still have school at that time. He'll probably punish me for making fun of this fact by just chucking me in the Pacific (the beach is something like 65 centimeters from Fish's suite) or sending me to Bio class, where all the same rules of GA-Tech apply. Either way, I figure I'll learn more about whales than I used to, &, from the looks of it, perhaps a good bit more about dog-sledding. Long story. Anyway, while I'm rubbing things in, I figure I'd let the world know that WE HAVE STAR WARS TICKETS FOR THE FIRST DAY! Yes, that's right folks, 19 May 1999 will see the release of the biggest release since the film "The Slicing of the Bread" hit the big screen, & Fish & I will be there to see it all unfold. You may deposit your admiration at the first window.

Eventually, when I get tired of bumming off my friends' misfortune at staying in school longer than Brandeis allows, I'll wander home to the Frontier Restaurant & the land-o-enchantment. I expect to hang out with a lot of you there... this is something I'm VERY serious about, because I miss you all!!! & no excuses for not hanging out... you people know who you are...! I'll be home (best current estimate) sometime around the 25th, so then you can once again direct your mail to this address, as the old standby (not that a lot of you have any mail to direct in the first place... ahem ahem!).

How do I summarize my first year at college? Read the previous 19 of these messages! No, in all honesty, it's been a solid year... there've been some definite gaps & emptinesses, with the adjustments & difficulties that come with any major move, but all-in-all, I've enjoyed the experience. Friends like Zack, Ariela, Anna, Greg, & Stina (when she's in her better moods) seem to have the potential to be some of the most important people in my life & have helped me immeasurably through these past 8 months. I've survived 3 roommates with remarkably little trauma. Debate has become a permanent fixture in my life. I've learned how to be more independent. I've learned that independence has very little to do with growing up. I've mellowed out like nobody's business. I've stuck to my convictions. I've written & read less than any would-be writer should allow. I've seen a good bit of my friends from home, as well as other non-Brandeis friends. I've maintained my sanity, whatever particles of it remained from getting out of high school. &, if it were possible, I've picked up worse academic habits... & the more things have changed, the more they just don't seem to. A whole lot of surface stuff can radically alter itself without the underlying themes altering their tunes a note.

Summer will bring with it the ability to communicate with all of you better. I'm sure I sound like a stuck record on the issue of improving communication (& probably w/disappointing results, I know).... BUT, I'll have nothing else to do besides see & write to you all, so there you have it. & I'll feel less compelled to sum up everything into these group e-mails, which should make everyone happy. Or at least mildly adequate. & there you have it--my best effort yet at convincing everyone that I mean what I say.

This message has been brief & fragmented, I know, but seeing my life in boxes around me in a suddenly blank-walled empty room has made me less inspired to write & more filled with the urgency of getting a move-on. That Philosophy paper calls, as do the voices of friends I won't see for 3.5 months after tomorrow. Take care, everyone... I'll see a lot of you very soon!

Peace & Love,

"Half of the time we're gone but we don't know where
but we don't know where"
     -Simon & Garfunkel, "The Only Living Boy in New York"


the Past has come and gone
the Future's far away
but Now only lasts for one second

[Quotes thanks to Hootie]