The challenge of a column about your impending graduation is that you inevitably have to choose between writing about the past or the future. Unfortunately, I can’t predict the future (except that the movie “Snakes on a Plane” will be in theaters everywhere on August 18) and frankly, I don’t have nearly enough life experience to give out any sort of forward-looking advice. That leaves only one option – a look back at what I could remember from the class of 2006’s time at GW.
The challenge of writing for Commencement also comes with the rare advantage of knowing exactly who your audience is – in this case it’s all my friends, classmates, roommates and miscellaneous Facebook friends from the past four years. We all start at the same place and end at the same place, but everything that happens to us in between is our own story to tell. So, I took it upon myself to draw up a list of some of my top memories from GW:
September 11, 2002: We were the first class in four years to not have been at GW during the attacks, but the second anniversary of that terrible day was still a solemn moment. I’ll never forget returning home from a candlelight memorial on Capitol Hill and running into saxophonist and senior Jonathan Kantor on the bridge to the Hall on Virginia Avenue. He played songs that came from the depths of his heart, and I know they touched everyone who passed by.
That crazy blizzard: It was President’s Day weekend 2003 when a ridiculous snowstorm hit the city. School was canceled for a few days, but since the storm hit on Monday, we had no more beer after a weekend of partying. Almost equally important, HOVA (my dorm at the time) was cut off from the outside world, and I even heard a rumor some of the kids on the Mount Vernon campus had to resort to cannibalism to survive.
Hurricane Isabel: Another entry on the weather phenomenon list. While the hurricane ravaged a large part of the Eastern Seaboard and forced people to find shelter, on campus it meant football on the National Mall and hurricane parties all night long.
The “you know you go to GW if …” online list: My buddy Sigberto Garcia came up with this list of GW stereotypes with a little help from me. My favorite: “You get angry when Marine 1 flies overhead and interrupts your daily siesta.” The Web site we posted it on became more popular than we could have imagined, and the page-hit counter broke at 40,000.
Jon Stewart’s “Crossfire” appearance: He actually called Tucker Carlson a dick! Everyone on campus was talking about this for about a week. A year later, he returned to perform at the Smith Center, and I asked him for a reach-around in front of the whole crowd. Good times.
Election Day: This was an exciting time for all students at one of the most politically active schools in the nation, and I was able to spend it at Democratic candidate John Kerry’s headquarters. If only he would have won.
The GW-Dayton basketball game: This was the most ridiculous sports experience of my life. The last-second lay-up by T.J. Thompson inspired fans to rush the court. It was one of the most impressive sports-related celebrations I had ever seen on campus, along with this next one.
The Red Sox riot on H Street: Yes, I know at least half of you hate them and are Yankees fans, but what other World Series championship riot had an appearance by riot police, a helicopter and motorcycles?
The GW-Charlotte game: I never thought the Dayton game would be topped, but I was wrong. There are just no words to adequately describe how amazing this game was. I’ll leave it at that.
No list could ever do our time here full credit, and these are just a handful of the memories we accumulated during out time here. I’m mentioning these not for the countless visiting parents, grandparents and third cousins who will simply wonder how I managed to get a degree (knock on wood) and a few final column inches in The Hatchet. This one is for you, class of 2006.
-The writer, a senior majoring in political communication, is a Hatchet columnist.