The people who made everything worthwhile

We first met while hanging out in front of Thurston that first week of school. Though we didn’t become best friends until years later, I value your friendship immensely and remind myself it’s better late than never. Who could ask for a better playmate? We could be found wandering around campus at 1 a.m., me in my red wig and you in your long brown one.

Now you, you’ve been my partner in crime for four years – literally. From antics in the darkroom to cops in my dorm room, we’ve had great fun while talking ourselves out of being thrown out of this school. You were the shy boy who didn’t talk to me until Christmas break freshman year, but I haven’t gotten you to shut up since then. Your roles in my life have been my best friend, my roommate and my boss, and we’re truly Dumb and Dumber.

We became friends in Philly my first March here in D.C. I’ll stand by my theory that it was not I who came here one year too late, but you who got here one year too early. It’s okay, though, because even though you’re back home now, we’ll forever be close, my Big Dummy.

You were the third part of the triumvirate who lived in the crack house on 25th Street. We endured a robbery, three fires, numerous visits from MPD and UPD, and got through it all unscathed. I’ll see you in a few weeks when you come back home.

And without him, I wouldn’t have met my two best buddies who are a package deal. You each, in your own way, calm my nerves and give me a place to hang out – I’m practically your roommate. You give me wake-up calls, tape the shows I miss while in class and let me hang out with Frank. You’ve listened to all of my pipe dreams and have even encouraged them.

Speaking of my home away from home in Potomac Park, we first started talking while up on the roof during a Halloween party my freshman year. You were dressed as a baseball player and I as a nun. Through you I’ve learned several games – like Save and Drink-a-Beer-Per-Hole Miniature Golf.

Through him, I met my “boys” who dominated my junior year here. From belligerent trips to Baltimore to even more debauched nights in the Chasleton, we definitely partied like rockstars. You are my “foundation” who is willing to hear anything that spews forth from my mouth and I know you’ll never tell a soul – you are the epitome of the word friend. And you’ve been my personal masseuse and NBA Jams partner as well as a listener and advisor. And you, not a boy at all, have been the source of many funny e-mails (and some not so funny ones), a friend to go out to bars with or just sit home watching the Simpsons and eating some Bella pizza.

Who would have known when you got hired over there at 2000 Penn. that we’d become such good friends? Like many others, you let me vent about anything and everything. Whether we’re skipping out early to go to Happy Hour at the Lion, or schmoozing with the rich and famous once a year, we certainly have fun.

We’re opposites that have so much in common. The diagram on the wall showed you had an organized brain while I had a messy one – our apartments prove this. But you weren’t too composed when I carried you home from the Bottom Line that night. Thanks for countless Monday nights and long talks during my four years here.

It was on your 23rd birthday that I attempted my greatest heist of all. I’d write about it now, but I’d be arrested for grand larceny and most likely assault as well because of all of the broken glass and screaming. If you hadn’t drank so much Jaeger, you could have saved yourself from a night of vomiting into that Gap bag.

This year was highlighted by trips to Atlantic City and Philadelphia with all you fools. You and I have been friends since you lived on Mass. Ave our sophomore year and I look forward to partying in your club in Spain. And you, you’ve been one of my favorite people here at GW and I look forward to us becoming step-sisters in June.

You took your first real visit to see me this final year. It rained the entire weekend, but I know you still had fun going to museums, eating out and telling me your stories from before I was born. My friends had fun at dinner, and it was not just because you bought champagne.

You, on the other hand, got down to D.C. more often, but it was usually to help me move my crap from one place to another. This year, I got to spend two quality weekends with you and I appreciate the time spent telling me about a hard war just so I could write a paper on it. We had fun shooting pool and going out with my friends, and a not so fun few hours in the GW emergency room for my ulcer.

Although you came to D.C. a few times, I’ll definitely remember my college years with you from the times I went to Boston to see your plays or our summers at home in da Village. I do, however, regret not being there when you fell at J Street.

I could not have gotten through these past four years without pretty much daily calls from you two who hail from my home. The “Drunken Trio” was the name pegged by my mother, but most people usually do see us as a threesome. We’ve been best friends for almost a decade now and the things we’ve had to each deal with would have been unbearable without our friendship.

To all those who have made this all quite fun, you know who you are. Thank you and I love you.

To my fellow Hatcheteers – my college career would not have been the same without this fine place. I’ve been an editor since my first week here and I don’t know GW without this paper. The Hatchet townhouse has seen some very talented people and good times.

Elissa, thanks for hiring me that first week of my freshman year. Abdul, thanks for teaching me photo stuff. Steve and Todd, thanks for dealing with my shit, sending me to Disney World and giving me a pay check.

To the other graduating seniors, Monique, Heather, Lee, Megan and Tyson – it’s been a pleasure working with all of you, you’re all very good at what you do and it’s been a lot of fun.

Mo – You and I have had a great four years here; you’ve been a really good friend. I’ve appreciated your constructive criticism and I know you’re right. Just remember, you too have a dark side. (Does Paradise Island and Jell-O shots ring a bell?)

Lee – You’re probably the smartest person here and there’s no one who deserves the Austin program more than you. I’ll always remember drinking beers in the hot tub in Florida as well as the all-nighters we pulled to write papers.

Heather – The story you tell of your first time here warms my heart. I’m just glad J and I were here that day or The Hatchet may have never had the opportunity to know and work with you.

To Ben, my favorite Hatchet person of all time, I’m glad I got to spend three years with you. I may be coming home soon so we can play in NYC together. (I still have your scrapbook.)

To my past assistant Dave and my current assistant Jay, thanks for helping me defend our section while we got yelled at by others.

Erin, Ginzee and Anu – This experience would not have been complete without you guys. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

To the others who remain to carry on our fine legacy, good luck. Just remember, when times get tough, all you have to do is take a break, drink a bone-crusher, chit-chat with the three Leos and everything will be fine. Good luck Margaret, Jay, Josh, Becky, Dave, Helder, Dustin, Ali, Shruti, Dan, Tej, Jody, Jenny, Peggi, Annie, Frank and of course my favorite, Matt.

A special shout-out goes to Bobby C. You’ve given me free meals, trips and T-shirts. It was all worth the harassment I endured.

Thank you Brad and Chris for the work as well as your friendships. If you ever need a photographer, you know who to call.

Rick – You gave me the opportunity of a lifetime at Cox. You’ve given me wonderful assignments and because of you I think, I hope, I’ve become a better photographer. Thanks Kati for getting me the job.

Also at Cox, there’s Larry who gave me reporting assignments. Thanks, even though it was because of your assignment that I will not get my Hill credentials renewed because of the little “incident.”

I feel fortunate to have known Puff. It has been a hard ye
ar without you and I miss you, but the things you taught me before you left will remain with me forever.

Over in the photo department is a wonderful teacher and friend named Jerry. I will graduate from GW with a photo minor that would mean nothing if not for you and your knowledge.

Thanks also to Professors Beverly, Folkerts, May, Churchill, Weiss, Stern, Manson, Paradiso and Bruno for making me a better writer, thinker journalist and artist.

A special farewell to my photo class friends and good luck to fellow graduating seniors Robyn, Shin, Rob and Kirti.

For all the shit The Hatchet gets, I wouldn’t re-do my college career without it. Actually, except for the fact that I do not have a job after graduation that has anything to do with what I have studied (a receptionist and basic office bitch is what I currently have lined-up), everything has gone well and I regret few things – except maybe the “phone incident” that landed me with ten hours of community service.-30–Claire Donovan Duggan will spend her summer working and playing here in the District. After a month or two of travel in the fall (while her lizard, Koppel, vacations in N.J.), she’ll return either to D.C. or the Land of Naughty By Nature in order to save money so maybe one day she can move to Maui and become a picture-taking bartender.

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