I started writing this back in January. Back then I wasn’t such a procrastinator.
I’m breaking my number one rule in column writing – there is nothing that irks me more than a column writer who writes about himself. But I’ve paid my dues, so deal with it.
For five months my last statement has been a work in progress. It’s been chicken soup for my soul, as I realized my life is still a work in progress. Every so often, when I felt the inclination, I would come back to my mental notepad, erasing my thoughts and feelings that changed – or were just misplaced or untimely.
Four years ago, I came to this school wanting to leave my mark – something that will carry on in my place when I’ve graduated. As a self-confessed straight-arrow guy, perhaps it is rather ironic that the mark I am most proud of is probably when I blurred the line between upstanding citizen and rebel.
I remember I was impressed by the fact that every time the University laid cement, there was some student there to carve their legacy into the sidewalk. Outside Thurston Hall, I saw carved out marijuana pipes, long-defunct fraternity letters and years that amazed me.
One spring day, my class ended early in Funger Hall, and I ran outside to find every student’s dream – a fresh coat of cement abandoned by construction workers.
I pulled out my GWorld card (which unfortunately cracked in half that day) and wrote in messy letters “J-a-s-o-n ’99.” That day, I carved my niche into GW, hoping that I had left my mark for eternity. It’s a good thing I wrote my letters small, because my roommate greedy carved up a whole square that was re-paved a day later.
When I moved less than a block from the Smith Center my sophomore year, I always tried to walk by my name in cement. It was as if I was a painter, and the cement was my canvas.
The foot traffic and weather have since dimmed my mark on GW, but it’s still there. One day they’ll probably pave over it again – but at least I have the satisfaction of knowing my mark has outlived my time at this University.
I would say I’ve learned more in one semester than the previous seven. Once I knew I was going to law school, my priorities changed from reaching the next step to savoring the last one.
I’ve spent so much of my life looking forward to the next step that I’ve realized that I have missed so many things along the way. I will never have the chance to roll out of bed and stumble to classes at 2 p.m. only to go back to sleep a few hours later. And I realized when I did do this, I cheated myself out of the things that I convinced myself I wanted to accomplish. For I could blame the Spanish department for scheduling all the upper-level Spanish courses on a Friday, but I’d really be shifting the blame away from myself.
So if you’re a freshman, listen up. You may think I’m ridiculous for saying this, but try not to sleep the days away. I know it’s hard, but, seriously, there is tons of stuff that happens on Friday mornings (and the lines at J Street are a lot shorter, too).
Now I’ve reached that next step, and it’s a scary feeling. I will never be able to sleep late on a Friday, and I actually will have to wake up for class
I’m told I have a random sense of humor. That’s probably because my mind jumps all over the place. Sometimes I write that way, too, and that’s why wishing everybody goodbye is so hard – I have thoughts jumping around my head and only 30 inches to write them. But if you’ve read this far, chances are you know me and you just want to see if I anything to leave you, and if you have read this and I forgot you, then I’m sorry – I’ll get you next time.
Hatchet folks – Mosheh: You’re probably the person I see eye to eye with most on this staff. I’m sure you’ll get to bomb Iraq next year. Stepan: Sorry for not going camping. We’ve come a long way since being asst. news editors, and I’ve got to say I like your hair better this year. Rock on as EIC. T-Mart: You’re way beyond any freshman I’ve ever seen here. If you need somebody to bail you out, give me a call. Liz: You’re awesome. Amanda: Thanks for stepping up.
Safdie: Thanks for being a good sport. I know you might not have always felt appreciated, but you made my job a lot more fun. Itti: Grant may have rubbed off on you, but you are just so sweet. Grant: Hooter’s was great, except we got a nasty waitress. I always enjoyed our super-secret darkroom chats.
Sean: It’s been cool hanging out with you for four years. Silva: You know Ludacris pretty well. That makes you cool.
Rich: It started on New Jersey Ave. and P St., just looking for some tricks. If it wasn’t for you, I would have gotten lost.
Russ: Maybe I haven’t always shown how much I appreciate you, but I want to thank you for giving me a chance and being a good friend. You will surely win a Pulitzer one day, and when that happens, I’ll owe you a dinner (and I won’t even care if you mooch).
And everybody else – Andy, Greenberg and Barron: It’s amazing how smart we all have gotten, eh? Good luck next year, and I will always remember Thurston 513. Aaron: Well basically, I was buff last year. I will be buff this summer, and I know how to get there because of you. Adam: You’re tall and loud, just like me (minus the tall). You’ve been a great friend, and I know we’ll keep in touch. LB and Michelle: I always have so much fun around you guys, and I can’t wait until this summer. Dave E: Yeah, you’re in Florence, but when you want to go to Ozio next year, let me know. Schaffer: It’s so funny how I met you in high school, and then you followed me here. You’re such a great friend.
Dan: Yo, man. You have a nice car, but I’m still stronger than you. Mash: When I’m looking for a movie, you’re the source. And when I wonder what team Jason Giambi plays for, I can call you. Deckel: I might have bit you in pre-school, but that’s only because I like you. Good luck trading.
Mai: I can’t believe it took me this long to find you. You are so sweet, and every day I spend with you is indescribable. But I know this is just the beginning, and there is so much more to come.
Jeni: I will always be jealous of you. You are the sweetest human being to ever walk this Earth.
Omi and Opi: Even though you are far away, you are very special to me. Grandma and Dada: I am so lucky to always have you in my life, and I can’t wait until next year when I get to see you more often (and eat fried chicken).
Mom and Dad: Thanks for giving the chance to be me. You are the best friends I could ever ask for.
-Jason Steinhardt has been an editor since fall 2000.