Column: I’ve come a long, long way, baby

Column: I’ve come a long, long way, baby

I guess this is the time to cry tears of ink on this page, since this is my last column, but you should know me by now.

If you’ve read this newspaper in the past, you have seen columns by outgoing seniors who reminisce about all the great memories they experienced at this school. Not this time, buddy. I want to tackle this momentous occasion from a different angle. I will reminisce about the great regrets of my college life.

On Sept. 15, 2001, I moved into Smith Hall for my freshman year. In an example of extreme luck, we had our own bathroom. The problem was that everyone in the building knew and they hated us for it. Not a day went by when someone didn’t complain about it to us by barging through our open door. After a while, we had to close our door and, combined with my negligible social skills, I never became part of any type of freshman community. That probably explains why, to this day, Kim Jong-Il has more Northeastern friends on Facebook than I do.

I spent my sophomore year in Davenport A and had about 200 roommates, one after the other. I think my insistence on playing “The Land Before Time” on a never-ending loop in the living room had something to do with that. I do have one great memory from that year because Kevin Spacey came to campus to promote his movie “The Life of David Gale.” He was great. Darrell Hammond, of Saturday Night Live fame, also visited around that time, and he was funny because he looked wasted.

Besides a few other instances, I never made the effort to familiarize myself with this place. I never joined a club. I rarely went to any events on campus, like athletic events. Frankly, I was a member of the Apathy Club that has resisted for decades any attempts to turn this into a campus with a sense of community. Oh, and if you think writing this column means I participated in campus life, then you are mistaken because my pet chimpanzee, Agamemnon, writes these.

My preference for apathy extended into other facets of the stereotypical college life. From watching television, I have gathered that many college kids have indiscriminate sex every weekend, party day and night and play Beirut tournaments. This may not come as a shock, but I did not practice the aforementioned activities. For example, not once did I go to Cancun or Daytona Beach or anything like that on a spring break (I did go to Europe once but that was just to make fun of the French). If an MTV camera was within a 20-mile radius, I was nowhere to be found. This past spring break, I mastered “24: The Game” on PlayStation 2.

Your typical college male could tell me he spent the week having sexual relations with a wide array of women on an exotic beach.

“Oh yeah?” would be my response. “I killed 95 terrorists, saved Los Angeles from a devastating attack and earned a mission ranking of 91 percent. Take that to your bank and smoke it.”

Living off-campus the past three years did not help my campus social life, either. After being denied housing for my middler year, I moved into a basement apartment in Jamaica Plain. Not to say it was a bad place, but I should have charged a couple of rodents rent. They did not just scamper behind the refrigerator or under the kitchen sink at night; they sat on our couch and ate all my Doritos. They never did the dishes either. However, all is good now. I live in a palatial estate in Brookline where I get to throw gold coins at the poor people who walk past my penthouse.

As a result of my off-campus residence, my isolation from the Huntington Avenue Follies became even more pronounced. Besides classes, I had one thing connecting me to the pulse of this campus – Snell Library. I have been working at that bordello of books since 1872 (actually 2001), which makes me one of the more senior employees there. I know you’ve seen me there, too. I am the goofball slouching in his chair at the security desk nodding his head as you show him your Husky Card. Do not be offended if I failed to recognize you while sitting in that Godforsaken hell pit because a hippopotamus could walk in and if it flashes a Husky Card I would not blink an eye. The higher-ups should have replaced me with a bobble-head doll a long time ago.

The fact that working at the library was my main form of campus activity tells you all you need to know. I sat on the sidelines these past five years as the Patriots won three Super Bowls, the Red Sox won a World Series and the campus became infamous for its riots. I was watching as President Richard Freeland canceled Springfest while tuition rose higher and higher. Last but not least, I witnessed and became an unwitting victim of semester conversion, which possibly deemed an aggregate of 400,000 class hours useless for the class of 2006. All the while, I did next to nothing. Perhaps in another life I will get to know this institution of higher learning better.

Fare thee well, Northwestern.

– Stephen Sears can be reached at [email protected]

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