I would like to announce my retirement from college. I turn 22 Friday.
As Danny Glover laments in “Lethal Weapon,” “I’m too old for this shit.”
Please trust that I explored my options – I had plans.
I planned to enter the NBA Draft, but the league has no interest in a 5-foot-8 inch, slower-than-Sherman Douglas point guard who has not played organized basketball since the eighth grade.
I planned on coaching at GW, but I think the athletic department remembers my Hatchet work a little too well.
I planned to become a sports writer, but where’s the glory (money) in that?
I planned to do a lot of things after my career, but in reality, planning means nothing.
So instead of pontificating about my future, a subject that every college senior gets asked about at least 32 times a day, I want to say thanks:
Thank you Thurston Hall – home of 1,000 rowdy freshmen – for violently sucking out every last drop of naivete left in my body. It truly was the best experience I’d never want to have again.
Thank you “Animal House.” “PCU” and “Revenge of the Nerds,” for giving me a delightful and unrealistic preview of college.
Thank you George Foreman, my hero. Exquisite grilled cheese would exist merely in my dreams without his wonderful little cooking machine. The less you clean it, the better the food tastes, my roommate Jeff always says.
Thank you Pasta-Anytime, Stouffers macaroni and cheese and Ramen noodles, for being a delicious and cheap alternative to nutritious food.
Thank you beer.
Thank you cheap beer.
Thank you Costco at Pentagon City, the place to buy good beer, cheap. Also, thank you for the great hot dogs and 12-pound-bottles of Pert Plus.
Thank you Cranberry Farms, Crepe-away, Big Burger, Taco Bell, the dodo bird, the beta-max and New Coke.
Thank you J Street, for undergoing more radical face lifts over the past few years than the cast of “Desperate Housewives.” ZING.
Thank you Starbucks. And Starbucks, and Starbucks, and Starbucks, and Starbucks …
Thank you to the lone Dunkin’ Donuts on campus. ‘Nuf said.
Thank you to student “promoters,” for steering me away from the clubs you hand out flyers for.
Thank you Lindy’s, for making the best cheeseburgers in the world. Thank you Lindy’s for making me smell like a combination of cheeseburgers and cigarettes when I leave at 2 a.m.
Thank you AOL Instant Messenger, for alerting me to all my friends drinking habits and weekend plans. Oh, and thank you for telling me that they’re “around” that they’re “in the shower” or that they’ll “Be right back.”
Thank you “Garden State” for allowing me to express my deepest emotions on AIM away messages. Thank you girls, for incessantly using “Sex and the City” quotes in your away messages. Totally unique.
Thank you Web-shots and Facebook, for helping me stalk friends not seen since the last day of high school.
Thank you Prometheus, Blackboard, Webmail and C-Mail, for giving me daily assignments and tons of porn e-mails.
Thank you cell phones, for mercilessly killing off campus room phones. And, for loud Britney Spears-song ring tones that go off in Bio Lab.
Thank you President Trachtenberg, for running this private university like it’s supposed to be run: as a private business. Thank you mom and dad, for paying $40,000 a year to send me to a place with bathrooms in all the dorm rooms.
My parents say thank you to my siblings, for also picking GW. (In case you didn’t know, if two siblings attend GW at the same time, one gets half-priced tuition.)
Thank you, younger siblings of roommates. Sorry we couldn’t find you a good fake ID to use when you visited last month.
Thank you Cherry Blossoms, for always falling off the trees before I get to see you.
Thank you popped collars, Juicy suits, Ugg boots, Burberry scarves and Coach bags. Wait … what?
Thank you GW basketball team, for making me go to Cincinnati in March. Wait … what?
Thank you GW basketball team, for finally playing meaningful games in March.
Thank you Rec. Sports, for helping me live out my unfulfilled high school sports fantasies. Softball tournament champs 2002!
Thank you Georgetown, for the inferiority complex. GW’s way better.
Thank you Health and Wellness Center, for giving intimidating dudes another place to stare at themselves and the mirror and giving me a place to shoot hoops three times a year.
Thank you Washington Nationals, for being the new official baseball cap supplier of the GW undergraduate population.
Thank you chemistry for non-science majors, you taught me that global warming and science classes aren’t really anything to worry about.
Thank you GW, for creating a new language my friends at home think is funny. Community Facilitator? Colonial Inauguration?
Thank you me, for not losing my GWorld card once over four years.
Thank you Fix-It, for promptly draining the brown water in my sink at The Schenley and for unclogging my toilet in E Street.
Thank you Mount Vernon Campus, for finally letting me take the short bus to school.
Thank you parents on campus tours, for asking “is GW safe?” What if the tour guide said “No.”?
Thank you Boston Red Sox, for spurring a more organized, peaceful demonstration than any of the recent IMF or World Bank protests.
Thank you for the Boston teams’ recent championships. Sorry, had to rub it in. Go Pats.
Thank you Metro, for your blinking lights, orange carpets, digital signs and the sultry voice that says, “Doors closing.” Ooh, sexy.
Thank you Ben’s Chili Bowl, for the most well-worth-it cases of heartburn I’ve ever had.
Thank you Fall Fest and Spring Fling, for never saving me one of your cool T-Shirts.
Thank you Student Health, for giving me the best generic penicillin on the market to cure my case of Strep throat.
Thank you Hatchet, for making me a sounding board for all my friends’ complaints.
Thank you Hatchet, for giving me a forum to complain. Thank you to the newest sports editor, and all sports editors in the future, for endlessly getting yelled at by basketball coaches.
Thank you family, friends and my girlfriend, for the ceaseless love, playful abuse, money, absurd nicknames, and for telling me that my long-winded stories just aren’t that funny.
And finally, thank you GW for making me a man, because if you think about it, this place is a giant Bar Mitzvah.
And now it’s over.
-Alan Siegel was sports editor of The Hatchet in 2004-05. He began writing for the paper in January 2002.