The Last Word

by Linda Romano | 5/29/01 5:00am

How to treat the dreaded last column?? It's getting to be my "last" everything and I'm running out of ideas. I just don't have the strength (This is the part of the column that I like to call the suckiness disclaimer: Don't blame me -- I'm old and emotionally drained. Cursed "milestones" such as graduation. How can I be expected to do something as trivial as string together complete sentences?)

I was going to avoid the topic all together and write one last preachy call-to-arms: wake up, students of Dartmouth, and do something with your lives! But I didn't want to do that, because as many "issues" (will I still be able to use that word when I leave Dartmouth?) as I may have with this place, I've learned a few things about what motivates people, and much as I'd like to think so, these words aren't going to do that.

And besides, what have I really done with my life that I'm in the position to tell anyone anything? (Remember that, folks, when you're recruiting people for whatever "side" you happen to take)

I thought that I would take the sappy approach: "Oh, how I will long for the hallowed halls of Dartmouth...where have the days gone? Sob sob..." But I'm not a particularly sappy person (except when I watch "Beaches." They just reconnected and she has to die! Where is the decency?!), and I'm not sure that I'm going to start longing for those hallowed halls (whatever the hell that means -- I heard Screech say it on "Saved by the Bell" once and thought it sounded good) just yet. So what to do? (Maybe I should just stop using parentheses. I don't want angry hordes of English teachers coming after me.)

My friends and I have been making a list of stuff to do before we graduate -- all of those things we heard about from other people that made us say, "yeah, we gotta do that!" but, to this point, have been too unmotivated to do. So in true Dartmouth tradition, we've left it to the last minute; it's crunch time, and we're going to suck as much as we can out of these last 13 days.

While most of these things we have planned are going to be really fun (anyone care to join us for a Main Street Circuit or a trip to the Man in the Mountain?), they don't really have much to do with Dartmouth -- and I realize that there's tons of little Dartmouth mysteries that I haven't solved, and I'd hate to leave knowing this school one-upped me.

So before I am graduated, I need to find out a few things, including: how to get to the fourth level of Berry (I've ridden elevators for about twenty minutes before giving up and using my friends as sources for papers) , where the new print-out window is (I think it's a secret society, and I'm not sure why I don't belong to it), how to properly paint a chain white (because, as you know, the chains are the backbone of this institution), what they're going to rename "Poison Ivy" ("Athlete's Foot," perhaps?), the brand of air-freshener used at AD (it's working, really!), what they did with the Kiewit rubble (I want a commemorative piece of the place), and the true genius behind food court theme nights (and why they all involve the use of a bubble machine). I think if you can leave college wondering about only these things, then you're definitely ahead of the game.

Well, there you go folks: my last column at Dartmouth. (Unless you all do something stupid next year and I feel compelled to write about it from wherever I've happened to pitch my tent.) And just like just about everything I've done here, it's been random as hell, written two hours before it was due, and earnestly in search of a purpose.