My mom says that when my sister and I fell while we were learning how to walk, instead of coddling us and worrying, she would smile, laugh and go “ka-boom!” so we would giggle back.

To this day if I ever trip and fall, no matter how grisly, I can’t help but laugh at least a little at my own clumsiness. That’s something that worked its way into my personality, and is a moral I stand by to this day. That even when we fall hard, a little laughter really is good medicine.

In high school, I was always a bit of a goof. Whether it was doodling during class, or cracking a few jokes when it was opportune, I tried to seize the funny. Some of my teachers even claimed I was the class clown. Being a goof was part of who I was, and my friends supported me for it. Then everything changed when I went to Binghamton University. I went up with few friends, a bad case of pneumonia and no way to be my goofy self.

Once I was finally able to attend meetings regularly, I found myself a part of the school’s stand-up comedy club, creatively named Bing Stand-Up. There were so many funny and talented people and I felt so out of place that even after doing my own jokes for the first time, I wanted to quit. The club’s then-president, Lyla, pulled me aside afterward. She told me that everyone has those first steps, falls and can get back up to laugh at their own mistakes. Familiar, right? So I stayed and created some great friendships and even greater memories. I’ve seen it grow so much from the little family it was then. While I’m not as involved now, I’m still a member of the club to this day, always ready to help support my fellow comedians.

The family I’ve had throughout college was Chanbara, a martial arts performance group. Every semester we film, choreograph and perform several fight scenes at big club events, creating stories and plots that felt straight out of an action movie. It’s always been small, but I felt like a part of something bigger. Sure, we had grueling practices and performances. But in those dragging times, friends made it all the better, whether it was cackling during Jackbox games, dressing in gi and hakama in the Nature Preserve or getting sliced mid-fight and hearing the crowd gasp at my bleeding face. These memories have helped me push through, especially in the last two years when I’ve dealt with the responsibility of being president of the club. There were so many moments with Chanbara that could have dragged, but even when there’s three people to the name and our backs are against the wall, it’s those friends that I’d rather (literally) be fighting with.

And finally, I come to Pipe Dream. After having read the paper for a little while and hearing recommendations to join, I started as a contributor for Fun Page. At first I thought it would be a fun little thing to do, to draw comic strips like in my high school days. Boy, oh boy, was I wrong. It was incredible. Within a month, I was serenaded daily by the musical stylings of Ween’s “Ocean Man.” I had questioned whether I was more muppet than man. And most important of all, I had the pleasure of making a fool out of Harvey G. Stenger. Fun Page was a place where I could really be my true blue goofy self, and Nate and Annabeth hopped right on the train with me. In the years to follow, we only got better after Sarah, Spencer and Tara (with Chris and Michelle too) joined our parade. That little back office was another little family, hardships and all. Becoming a part of the staff this year as the Assistant Fun Editor allowed me to grow as well. I got to meet some amazing people in the rest of the staff and was able to create friendships that will last the rest of my life.

So I only get about 20 more words for this thing. Pipe Dream was awesome, thank you everyone! I love Kermit.

Daniel Eisenhower is a senior majoring in mechanical engineering and assistant fun editor.