I have the impression that people usually think about what’s happening in their lives. The that. Getting from point A to point B, enjoying the company of friends around you, that sort of thing.
It took me a while to realize that I have an absurdly difficult time remaining in the present. I’m always distracted by a never-ending chirping in my head — no matter what I’m doing, no matter where I am — asking me, “So what? So what?” It demands a purpose for every action. All too frequently, my answer is “not much,” and I’m crushed.
I have searched for meaning all my life and I have still not found it. I’d like to say that doing what I love has given me meaning — and it has certainly given me the most — but it has not given me all of it. I guess it’s not really fair for me to expect it to. There is something uneasy in self-reflection, because the limitations of language create a gap between myself and my words that mean I’ll always get it wrong.
Maybe that’s why I like journalism so much. It gets me inside someone else’s head, removes the thrumming self from my concerns and makes me try to convey another’s existence into words. So thank you, Pipe Dream, for obstructing the whirring implication of pointlessness.
And yet, paradoxically, though journalism may help me forget myself, Pipe Dream shaped me. Three years is a long time to spend in this office, and I wish they stretched further. Pipe Dream isn’t just a job or a place for me to hone my writing and editing skills. It’s a place where I met some of the best people I’ll ever meet, some people who made me who I am today.
So, some shoutouts. Well, a lot of shoutouts. Darian, thank you for this hideous yellow desk. Odeya, here, have it. Katie, keep an eye on her.
Rebecca, I’ll never forget how you were the first person I told when I was hired as a Release writer at the beginning of my freshman year, and how happy you were for me, and still are. Thank you. Little did we know that a year later, Pipe Dream took away what became hundreds of hours that I could have otherwise spent with you. Sorry about that.
To the Slonims and Cheins, thank you for providing a home for me here. You guys are amazing. Rabbi Estersohn, thanks for being willing to study arcane medieval Jewish texts with me. And, of course, my Hayes crew. Friday nights will never be the same. Allison, you’re right, I should have mentioned you that one time; I hope this sentence makes up for it.
Dan, Christina and Rachel, thanks for keeping the ship upright. Jim, I made a note at the end of my sophomore year that I’d thank you in my senior column. I no longer remember why, but it would seem dishonest not to. Thanks, Jim.
My wonderful Release writers, thank you thank you thank you. This paper wouldn’t exist without writers, and I’m so proud to have so many talented people on staff. The prior two sentences do not extend to the jerks who don’t show up to meetings. John and Cari, thanks for making sure Release is consistently the best-looking section in addition to the best-written one.
Thank you, Copy, for saving us all from embarrassment. Sometimes when you guys laugh, I like to think it’s at one of my jokes, and that boosts my self-esteem.
Mikey, Molly and Ashley, you guys are inspirations. Miriam and Ben, thanks for brightening up every room you walk into. Will and Franz, thank you for your quiet dedication. You guys give so much to Pipe Dream.
To those seeking advice, never trust anyone offering unsolicited advice. They are probably more fallible than you. But anyway, don’t forget your classes. Really. These are four years that society has deemed it okay to set aside so that we can learn whatever we want. That’s an amazing thing. You will probably never have this opportunity again, unless you retire. And with that, a thank you to all the professors out there who taught me everything. Professor Haupt, you’re a gem and an inspiration. This University is lucky to have you. Professor Sharp, I’m sorry I didn’t spend more time on our independent study. I’ll try to read some Gombrowicz over the summer. Pindell, I hope you end up publishing that spiritual biography of Stonewall Jackson.
And when you’re not studying, enjoy this place. That Binghamton is a not-so-nice city might lead you to conclude that everything here is worthless and that you should immerse yourself in work and bar culture until you’re out of here. That is a waste. There are so many things that you can do only in college, and that Binghamton is excellent at offering. It could be living in a building where you’re friends with everyone, it could be paying just $5 to see a pretty solid stripped-down rendition of “Angels in America” onstage or it could be learning how to be an excellent stand-up comic. Take advantage of it.
I once scoffed at the idea of allegedly having to choose two between the three choices of work, social life and sleep. I thought I could always get by with just a couple of hours of sleep if I really needed to. What horrified me is when I learned that it still wasn’t enough. If there’s any matter of contention I have with college, it’s that there’s just too much to do and too little time. So many people I wish I had more time to grow close to, so many articles I wish I could have written, so many times I feel like I missed out. I doubt this feeling will end when I graduate. There’s just so much to do. Do not take a second for granted.