SENIOR CLASS SPEAKER
Sunday, May 25, 2003
By Evan McGee '03
Hello everyone. Right off the bat, I need to get something off my chest. We've all gone to school for about four years together now. It's been a long haul, and I consider you all pretty good friends of mine. I've got to say I've made a promise a while ago that I'm going to have to break today. I feel a little guilty about it but it's one of those things that has to be done. As you know, today is the twenty-bizth of May. Today is actually my mother's birthday and she is sitting right over here in the front row. I was wondering if we could give her a quick round of applause. She's turning 27, so happy birthday, Mom.
And of course, with birthdays come presents. Mom, your present's coming later. I actually have presents for some fellows and ladies up here on the stage. You all wondered why I had a backpack, didn't you? First of all, we know from Echo articles and from his wonderful baccalaureate speech the other day that President Adams is a fond, fond animal lover. So Moose decided he wanted to come with me. He's been properly bathed and hygienic. He's a little cold right now. President Adams, if you'll just hold Moose for a moment please. [McGee hands a pet ferret to Adams.]
We, as the class of 2003, have been particularly blessed as of late with an administration that has, as President Adams stated yesterday at baccalaureate, made unpopular decisions with regard to the safety of the student body. Well, if you could argue that these decisions were illogical, they do tend to make large portions of the student body exasperated. Combine this frustration with the imminent finals, looming commencement, and the emotional strain of trying to create a wish list--it took me a long, long time and it didn't work--combine this with a bottle of St. Andre's and a few unfortunate souls got left in the drink. So on behalf of Josh, Jess, and the Class of 2003, I'm going to present Dean Kassman with a mud-stained Colby Class of 2003 limited edition shirt. I personally took it down to the pond and rolled around in it, so don't worry about it.
I don't know about you guys, but after all these presents I'm getting a little sentimental up here. Looking down at you I can't help but see about 65 million dollars in education, and 65 million dollars always makes me weep a little bit. I can't help but think how we've spent those 65 million that our parents have so happily given us. I'm just going to list off a few things that I can think of. We started out by going to class when we first got here, picking a major or majors with a total lack of understanding why. Some of us knew beforehand, but most of us just thought it pretty cool to be, I don't know, a physics major or anything else. Thank you Mac. After that we soon learned to avoid 8 a.m. classes like the seventh circle of Hell and we started bitching when classes started before noon, when we used to get up at about 7:30 to go to high school. Something changed in the course of a year. We ate in the dining halls until we couldn't eat any more because there's no limit on how much you can eat. That freshman 15 didn't affect everyone--it affected me.
So did the next problem, which was walking carefully. Now, for those of you who don't live in Maine or don't live in a very cold climate--I know there's a lot of people from faraway lands that actually have sun and warmth--Maine can get extremely cold, very snowy, very wet, very icy, and walking carefully is very important because sometimes these walkways will turn into giant sheets of ice. They are what I used to call the "walkways of instant sobriety," because if you're not, you're going down. This January we had I think about two weeks when it was below zero every day, that's cold.
That leads me to the last one I could think of, which is keeping warm. There's just so much innuendo there and so little time. Well, the blue light is still and shall always be forever burning. But burning things in winter can also keep you warm. Burning calories in winter is a little more difficult unless you go to Sugarloaf, which many of us do on a very regular basis. Driving down to the gym to work out seems kind of like an oxymoron--you're driving to work out--and I got a lot of crap for it, so I'm sure other people did. People think that one of the main things we do here to stay warm is that we have a beer or two and hang out with our friends. That might be true, some of us do have a beer or two, some of us don't, that's a personal choice, I respect that.
You know, I've met a lot of you, frankly, at very interesting parties, I've seen you around at social functions and gatherings, and that's where we sort of interacted for the first time and for the second time and the third time and usually I got your name down by the fourth or fifth time. We all have our own individual stories of depravity and iniquity and for these I'm very thankful. In honor of Ms. Vendler for today, I wrote a brief Shakespearean sonnet to sum up sort of a typical party that we go to. It sort of gets the archetypal ethos, the spirit, the atmosphere, the certain je ne sais quoi that an off-campus party might have. I call this "An Ode to Camp Matoaka" and it's going to be three rhyming quatrains followed by a rhyming couplet. Just try to follow along.
"Ode to Camp Matoaka"
Elm City took forever but we're finally here.
The band is playing their music so sweet;
I get in line for that five-dollar beer
Eager to dance with those girls around Pete.
Taking my steps towards that impending doom,
Huddling with other faces the color of rouge.
But hark! Voices call out from deep in the gloom,
Hey, who wants a keg stand, or maybe an ice luge?
Three hours I dance and cavort with such glee,
Ha ha, what amusement this remarkable stupor,
People jump to the right, I glance left and see
Six foot eight dressed in tan an enormous state trooper.
On how we got home not a soul can expound.
How about we stay on campus next time around?
This is just a little sonnet I put together. If you've been to a couple of those parties you understand what I'm talking about, otherwise I'm getting a lot of blank stares. Which is cool.
Anyway, there are also some sentimental things I wanted to say to the class too now that I got a little humor out of the way. I look down on you guys and you are people I've seen around. Some of you I know very, very, very well, I little bit too well. Some of you I don't know very well at all and I'd like to know better. But it's funny, I look down and I see, aside from the different-colored tassels, a large crowd of men and women dressed all in black. You all look very similar, you're all dressed the same. Then I glance to my left and I see all the faculty dressed in their multi-colored uniforms and outfits, they have such a noble air about them. I glance to the right and I see all of our families. There's so much color and life out there. This actually reminds of another thing, and this goes back to Mr. Lorenz. I was looking at chaos theory a little while ago--I'm a dork, remember?--and you all seem sort of like a homogeneous entity here in the center. But there are little differences in every person. Any one of you can become anything you want to be. You could become a professor, you could become a parent--there are so many avenues for you to explore.
Right now we're all graduating with bachelor degrees--that's one thing we all have in common--but we're all so amazingly different. One thing I've seen at this school is that the students have an unlimited amount of passion. You guys have an incredible ability, a talent, spirit. It doesn't matter what you want to apply it to. I've seen it applied to religion. I've seen it applied to Digest articles, many of which I deleted right away. I've seen it applied to all facets of your college careers and that was something really special. And it's really amazing to see you all out there right now and think that you're going to go out and do these amazing things. Because you are the future leaders of the world, people. It's scary. Look around yourselves. No, seriously, look around. It's creepy.
But I wanted to say that I really had a wonderful time going here. Meeting you all and having you as friends was one of the best things that's ever happened to me and has been the most influential and experiential thing I've ever had. So, to quote Thoreau, "go confidently in the direction of your dreams," and thank you, my friends.
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