Saturday, May 23, 2009

Senior week, thy name is struggle

Since my return from Puerto Rico my life has been alternately boring and exciting, filled with long blurring montages and a colorful cast of characters. What have I been doing, you ask? Did I go to war? Did I get cast in a CW television show? Did I embark on some kind of madcap musical adventure with a group of ragtag lovable scamps in tow? Well, no, sadly, I did not. Instead, I was experiencing a ritual ancient as time, yet made new again in the baptizing fire of alcohol. I was experiencing senior week.

In the strange and ambivalent time between finals and commencement we here at not-Yale have two free weeks to do with what we wish. While the first week is often spent on a beach in the south of the United States (and I think I've made my thoughts on that sort of thing perfectly clear), the second week becomes a whirlwind of events designed entirely to get the senior class drunk. Every day a peppy email is sent out to the members of the class of not-Yale 2009 informing them of when and where and what they would be drinking, and how to dress appropriately. While many of these soirees seemed at the most repugnant and at the least mildly annoying, the truth is that free wine and snacks are not things I have ever been able to say no to, so despite my reservations, dragged kicking and screaming, I decided that if this was senior week then I was going to be the platonic form of senior, I was going to rock this, I was going to buckle down, alienate my liver and make some new friends.

As I sipped my drink at one of the many odd events not-Yale's money has been so thoughtfully and consistently poured into, this one located in the Center for British Art, I realized a couple of things. One, as much of a struggle as this place can be, the truth is that there are some fantastic people here, and they only get better after a few drinks. Two, it seems that British painters are only interested in making pictures of dogs, horses, horses and dogs, or dogs attacking horses. And three, I sort of resent the way that all of the events of the past week here at not-Yale have been described as our last possible opportunities to do, well, anything at all. Last drinks, last moments with our friends, last chance dance, everything seems to be positing that we really only have this brief period of time to do those things that you might want to do here, that is, getting hopped up and making some bad decisions. But Lord knows that we will all have those opportunities in our futures, and moreover, I would have to hope that our lives will not be ending on Monday afternoon at around 4pm. Because if they are, well, my life is going to end underslept and over simulated in a sea of cheaply made black robes.

Apparently in a nod to a not-Yale of years past, the police are using horses to protect us during this year's commencement ceremonies. This should come in handy what with this revolution from England I keep hearing about.

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