I really don’t want to try to say anything profound to sum up my college experience cos I’m really not good at that sort of thing. I’d rather just sit here and wax nostalgically about Ireland and the dorms and commuting 2 hours each weekend to visit girlfriends back home, and running into people I vaguely recognize in the Union, in Aggieville, at Wal*mart, of endless summertime hoodapranks with Ess and Ell like Ya Prick! and Don’t Worry Can’t See a Thang!, and BINGO (and BAAAANGO!), and diverting traffic with sticky reflectors and arts and crafts and Mormon Glasses and yellow meat watermelons and WOW! hands and poppers times infinity and many more so unmentionable and mentionable (Neil Diamond, ehem), and personal health kicks waxing and waning in short order, and painting (terrible, terrible paintings), and of a growing neice and newer nephews, and of a growing DVD collection, and lack of books read, and lack of refunds on textbooks not read, nor even opened, and of late nights (& extremely late nights), and a summer of such early nights on the road in SC, Maine, Oregon and everywhichawhere, and count them one two three four five hard drives that eventually said “Operating System Not Found” — fuckers, and my first Guinness (indeed my first real beer), my first flip flops, and so many other firsts: some unmentionable, others slightly more mentionable, and that one time in Minnesota when I was so freakin happy to just be alive and awake that I ran barefoot down the middle of the empty highway for no longer than 20 seconds and absorbed all the life from the heavens in that short span, and bleaching my hair blonde (we all did that), and that time I seriously thought I needed anti-anxiety pills, and that time I actually TOOK mini-thins (we all did that), and oh my god, and oh. my. god. of the biggest crush of my life (and involving so many people in my obsession, including HER, thank god), and nervously EVERYthing about her… thinking, seeing, avoiding, “stalking”, talking, yikes… and concerts, so many damn fine musicians (remember Rufus and Eisley and DMB x 3 and Wakarusa and Nickel Creek and Jason Mraz and Ben Folds and G. Love and John Mayer and Guster and Maroon 5 and NEIL DIAMOND?) and my “Certified Mixologist” diploma, thanks to an expedited course of bartending school, and the subsequent drunken weekend when Tony & I realized there’s no damn such thing as a Chocolate Martini — just something that will make your puke taste a little bit nicer, and that time I ran all over campus at three in the morning and laid down and took a quick nap in the middle of the Old Stadium field, and being extremely underpaid for my genius for most of my college career, and all those verbose and only-slightly poorly-written essays in English I, II and III, and driving all the way to KC just for a mediocre haircut that I thought was much better than it really was only because the guy who cut my hair said “shit” and wore Diesel shoes, and my usual “seat” at the 50 yard line of every home football game, but not of the drunken assholes who spit their tobacco right where I wanted to sit during the band’s halftime show of a “Looney Toons” medley, and of Spring Breaks to Colorado to London to Florida to Greece, Italy, Iceland, and that there-and-back weekend to Chicago with Bryan, solely for a trip to Ikea, and that there-and-back weekend to Minneapolis with Tony, soley for a silver Passat with black leather seats and a sunroof, and of summer Sundays under Starlight for a season of Broadway, and beyond my return from Ireland, of pining for Ireland, and squinting my senses until I WAS Ireland and I still need to go back, and oh my god, that second ridiculous crush when I was smitten with those twins, but more so for the reaction of friends and novelty than any honest-to-god and VALID reason, but don’t let that stop me from feeling anxious about it, no, or bothering others with it, sorry guys, and that one time I thought I could be a Rhodes Scholar if I posted the four criteria they look for on little post-it notes around my apartment, but first you have to have some interest in writing huge friggin essays and finding references, of which I have neither, and oh: crossword puzzles!, if I thank you for but one thing K-State Collegian (obviously NOT that you covered my AMAZING and NEWSWORTHY feat of planting a sculpture on CAMPUS in the MIDDLE of the fucking NIGHT, thank you very much losers) it’s that you supplied me with adequate crossword puzzles to survive a handful of tedious lecture classes (like World Geography and MIS and Art History I (the first time)), and also beyond actual events and real-life anecdotes, just knowing that I’ve grown and learned so much, that I have a semblance of understanding statistics and how to spell ‘semblance’ and most other words for that matter (quiz me), and feeling more comfortable with my personal aesthetic less for DKNYs sake, but for JOSHs, and knowing that I can talk in front of larger and larger groups all the time without so much fear of blushing or stumbling over my words, though I still do that, but knowing that I have less reservations now anyway, and for the ultimate knowledge that there’s very little Taco Bell can’t fix, least of which: a hangover, and tho i’m not without some regrets like never starting my own student organization (was it to be a BINGO club or a silent film club or a Jack Kerouac club?), nor only making it to ONE K-State basketball game despite buying two SEASONS worth of tickets, nor going to more events at the Union by myself and meeting new people (with no hesitation or fear), and of always looking far too cute in that shirt, and those jeans, and damn boy!, but never really FEELING it, you know?, just knowing it, and that’s never quite the same as feeling it, and of getting the unique opportunities to meet famous people, really really famous people like Noam Chomsky and Al Franken and Cokie Roberts and Paul Harvey and Lewis Black and that guy who told us there were penises and vaginas hidden in commercial advertising EVERYWHERE, and finally of things going on far longer than ever anticipated like this nostalgia and also this college career. And finally, thanks to everyone that shared a minute in there. It’s amazing to think of how involved most of you were, starting from years ago, and how a lot of this nostalgia cuts into your life somewhere, not involved necessarily, but osmotically, at the least, so thanks and all, and I can’t wait to give you the hug you deserve for making this such a favorite part of my life.