A farewell: memories of a year in review

A farewell: memories of a year in review

by Mark Pleiss

Like the Pax Romana and Crystal Clear Pepsi, all good thingsmust eventually come to an end. Sadly, this column and the schoolyear with it is no exception. For those of us experiencing ourfirst year away from family and long-term friends, it has been oneof change and reality shock. If my several thousand dollars a yeareducation at Simpson has taught me nothing else, it’s how to do myown laundry. Mom and dad are no longer here. Responsibility anddecision-making have become crucial. It’s a sad reality when nobodycares how you and your high school buddies used to hit mailboxeswith stolen “Vote for Bush” signs.

A few particular experiences stood out this year. Let’s take alook back to remember these events and what they taught us.

My first and maybe most interesting of collegiate experiencescame from the Simpson stand around. The planners did justice withthe title. Dancing socially forbidden, a better name would havebeen impossible. Here’s an experience where I basically looked outmy window and said, “My God, this can’t be happening. For theentire year I’ll be entrenched in a land of peers, classes and poordecision-making. What more could an aged teen with throbbinghormones ask for?” I left my room seeking adventure in a compendiumof wholesome activities, pupils and free prizes. Disappointmentwasn’t an option. What’d you do that night? I’m looking at you,seniors. Would you have acted differently now?

Another cosmic parallel that stretches to all students’memories, inevitably enslaving them, is the first class of theyear, and the homework that comes with it. For the veterans,syllabus day would merely involve taking a quick gander and gasp.But for the more “fresh” men and women, it’s, “This must be a typo,you mean I have to read the whole book by the end of the week?” and”Why is this font so small?” That day is the consequence for beingon your own and having all day to yourself.

Soon the rhythm of the year takes its place and we findourselves complaining about more subtle entities. With this timecomes the norms of Pfeiffer not having enough variety, or just thatit “sux;” that everyone goes home on the weekend (except you, youdie-hard); or that the guys/girls here just aren’t good-lookingenough. Hey, the man can tell you what age you can drink at, but hecan’t ever silence your ability to complain. Sometime during thisphase of the year also came the “Simpsonian sex scandal” that sentwomen crying and men protecting their children’s reading habits,sickle in hand. During this period, according to one disenchantedreader, The Simpsonian purposely, without journalistic merit,published garbage on every page.

From this era, hate mail nearly tripled. People reading thepaper increased. Death threats to high-ranking editors quadrupled,and overreaction was at an all-time high. Many were outraged. Manycould have cared less. Which side were you on?

Finally, the year began to wind down with just a few weeks togo. Campus Day took full control. The last great rake truly waswhat it promised, but many would never know because of the earlyannouncement of Campus Day that, as older students told me, didn’toccur in years prior. Were you a raker, or a sleeper?

And now we’re here. Just a little over a week until May Term.The Simpsonian’s final issue of the school year. I thank everyonethat has helped me this year, and you should as well. I thank myroommate who taught me what being a towny is really all about. Ithank my enchanted fans, and my worthy critics I love to hate.Writing for your reading was a joy and a blessing.