Here it is. The end of an era. It feels good to have officially graduate a major university after 22 years of life and 16+ years of school. Here is my reflection. First, the senior-send off I wrote for the Collegian.
I live vicariously through the words of others. This doesn’t mean I don’t have any original thoughts in my daily life—it’s just that I find solace in the words of others. Whenever I go through a period of transition, I look for songs to comfort me. Be it heartbreak, finding love, getting angry at someone or moving on to a new destination in life. In this time—the autumn of my school days—I turn to many different artists to find that cradle to enrich my soul and find peace of mind.
We’ve been in school all our lives, and we’ve only known these institutions. Many people graduating may find their home continuing their education. Some will find the job of their dreams. Some may just get something to pay the bills. Some may do nothing they ever expected. Regardless of what we may find in the next few months of our lives, we are all faced with the fact that this machine has come to a halt.
So in the tradition that I know best, I turn to lyrics to find words of wisdom that I may share with my fellow seniors. It’s a sort of farewell where I will take the words of my favorite artists and mold them into a send-off that I only can give. These lyrics are a gift from me to you.
“Every street is an adventure and every road becomes a thrill. Every turn we take and every decision that we don't make, even the decisions we don't make will bring us into the secrets of the town. Every corner we turn will lead us down the labyrinth and every desire that we earn will guide us, alive, living, loving and searching. And now you know you cannot live alone, but you will find your future is unknown. One day the questions rise. On wings of chance you fly.”
“Do you believe in something beautiful? Then get up and be it. And instead of saying all of your goodbyes, let them know you realize that life goes fast. It's hard to make the good things last. You realize the sun doesn't go down. It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round. Money can't buy back your youth when you're old or a friend when you're lonely, or a love that's grown cold. The wealthiest person is a pauper at times compared to the person with a satisfied mind.”
“And songs are never quite the answer just a soundtrack to a life that is over all too soon. Helps to turn the days to night while I was wrong and you were right. All these places have their moments, with lovers and friends, I still can recall. Some are dead and some are living. In my life I’ve loved them all. You're packing a suitcase for a place none of us have been. A place that has to be believed, to be seen. You could have flown away, a singing bird in an open cage who will only fly for freedom.”
It’s been a great run here at La Salle. I am the sum total of all the experiences I have had with every person I have come in contact here. It would be too hard to say my goodbyes or send my regards to those who meant the most to me, so instead I say thank you to everyone who makes La Salle what it is—the last leg in the giant machine of organized education and the last link in my life as a student. It’s the beginning of a new age—let’s get together before we get much older.
(Thanks to the Refused, Tim Buckley, Ted Leo, The Flaming Lips, Rhodes & Hayes, Badly Drawn Boy, The Beatles, U2, The Velvet Underground and The Who for the words of wisdom.)
Basically, when trying to figure out how to write this peice, I had no idea how to write it. I didn't want it to be too personal, btu I wanted to be from me. And everyone who knows me, knows I love music, so I figured it was fitting to print this. It took me a while to pick the right words to tell everyone so I did what I love best--sat around and listened to lots of music and wrote down the words that struck me as meaningful.
On a more personal note, since this is my blog and everyone who reads it is pretty much in my elite circle of loving friends, I really want to thank all my buddies who have helped me through some tough times and to you who have made some of my best memories. So, here is my top 10 memories over the past four years that have sparked the imagination and have kept a smile on my face to this very day.
10. ~Rock shows with Sworn Allegience in West Chester~
This show was one of my personal fav's to play. Rocking along side Ray Porreca and clan was surely a treat. Sadly enough, when Noringo finally took the stage, they told us we had 20 minutes to play. We were PISSED cuz we came all the way from Jersey to play. So we got on stage, rocked about 5 songs (maybe more... we definitely kept playing and didn't give a shit what the Fennario people said) and during our final song, "The Light", I turn to John, we extend the ending with ridic shredding, massive cymbal crashes and finally, in the fashion of my all time fav band, wrecked the shit out of John's drum set. Needless to say, it was great. Also, in attendance that night was Tara Fleck and Sarah Deal who traveresed a good ways to rock with us. That was awesome times.
9. ~B14 Snowball Fight at 6a.m.~
There really was a surreal feeling the one night at one of the best Borgottas ever. After a long night of gamblign and turning our sweatpants inside out, we got snow! Sadly, classes didn't get cancelled, but at around 6am when gambling finally finished and we were all groggy, we launched an all out snowball fight and caused some mayhem along the townhouses. Hyslop was scared of getting in trouble, but we dragged him out for some great times.
8. ~Peel Slowly and See~
Any time alone can hit home for people, and producing and hosting my own radio show for four years was one of the best experiences ever. I had some great guest spots (Ray Porreca for a monthly visit the first few years, Warren Minnix, Richie, Mike Muller, Carl Cunningham, Brian Meitz, Sarah Deal for a segment of songs here and there, Noringo boys and many more.) I played excellent songs and talked about music to about 45 people total over the years, but it was nice to escape for a bit and be in that booth by myself with my music.
7. ~Pretzel Factory Run to Sailing the Seas of Cheese~
There are those nights the one never forgets, and as random as it seems, driving with Ryan Carey, Norlen and Kevner (I think he was there?) to the Pretzel Factory on the final night of the Collegian in 2005 was one of them. We popped in good ol Primus' Sailing the Seas of Cheese and drove down in Norlen's then new Focus and blasted the tunes. We got there, ordered 50 pretzels, drove back and just as we rolled up, the cd was finished. Thats when you know the world is aligned with the sun and moon for sweet chi. Plus, Pretzel Factory pretzels are the best ever. Esp. fresh at midnight. I reprised the run twice of the next year, but it was never as amazing as the first time.
6. ~Various Bethlehem Trips~
There are quite a few, but traversing up to B-town with Dr. Carey, Chwastyk, Stev and others to see Steelers games or to see Stereo Agency always ends up in mayhem of sorts. The key times were for Stagency at the Funhouse for one of their finest shows, recently when Ryan and I traversed up and I wore Danno's paintball mask and acted like Cobra Commander as I sat on Ryan's lap due to the huge amount of refuse in the back seat and the oen time I went solo and hung with Danno and met the lovely Chelsea who poses to be a good friend of the future (and my internet lover.) There will be more (including this Thursday) and times will only be better when I start going to every Steelers game at Starter's Pub this year.
Ok, I have to admit. Although this semester was the worst ever because of mono, somethign saved it. And that was Brother Gerry Molyneaux's class "American Media: From Sleaze to Sublime" aka Road Trip 5000. The main reason why this class has such cred on this list is because overall, senior year was the most uneventful. However, everythign I will take home with me at the end of the day from the last year of college has stemmed from this class. From the VC to the international symbol of Maximum Carnage to leaving Parks in NYC to Running through the aisles of class singing Ohio by CSNY; this class was insane. I hung out with lots of awesome new people I never really associated with before including Dignam, Jacqui, Trevor, Greg Allen, Sullivan and reinforced relationships with Ed Frizzle Fry and Doc. It was great. Although sometimes annoying, the class really was fun. And having a month and a half off due to mono didn't help, but it kept me going upon returning. Plus, Brog is amazingly ridic in class. Funny and sometimes incoherent, it posed for fun times all around. He's a great man.
4. ~The Sextuplets!~
Anytime I got together with Ms. Deal has been great. But when she introduced me to Tara Fleck and I introduced them to Stev, George and Nini at the Feztival when the Strokes and The Darkness rocked the stage, sweet magic occured and amazing friendships were started. Tara and Sarah are two of the greatest people in my life. This meeting of the minds has led to raucous dancing, slaying raptors, trips to Wilkes Barre, flattened pennies, formals, concerts, getting lost while finding each others residences or just trying to go home and nothign but fun. No drama, no fuss, all smiles! It's true. These people rule my world. I'd hafta say that these five pretty much sum up the best people in my life. These are the people that when we all get together, crazy things like what you see here can happen. The Napkin Game, the Franz Ferd concerts and the other wacky antics, it's pretty much one of the best groups of people I know.
3. ~Denise Maher~
Oh, stop it. You guys all know that these were some of the best moments of my La Salle career. Summer of 2004 was great. I made an excellent friend that summer who will always hold a special place in my heart. We shared great times and we were on the same page for many things. The past year has been impossible due to circumstance, but now that we are back on good terms, I feel great about life again. Denise, you mean more to me then you know. I really don't need to say why you are the only person who gets there OWN number, but I think you know. Great times, some of the best.
2. ~Leo Retreat Weekends!~
Every single one of these events has been amazing. Justin Leo is a true champion of living. He competes with Ryan Carey for Biggest Heart out of our group while Norlen and Kevner fight for biggest loveable cynic. Stev and Muller fight for best sickness during a weekend and Muller and Myself fight for best fantasy fetish. Simon and Dom fight for best newcomer to the weekend. Danno wins the master of random and great advice. Between the food, the games, the insane thrifting, the awesome video finds (Y2K!!!), the Members Only knock offs, the typewriters, the random mixes at the thrift store, the mixes made special for the road and the Issac's toast; these boys have made my home away from home in Lancaster. I tried to recreate it. It was a good time, but without Justin Leo, nothing was the same.
1. ~WEXP Marathon 2003~
Without this, most of what happened above would never have come to be. I met most of the people I was best buds at La Salle here. I don't feel like going into specifics, but spending 24 straight hours of broadcasting with these guys was what I needed to find my place at La Salle. I had a shitty freshman year, but this kept me wanting to go to La Salle.
Overall, college was great, but I am so ready for moving on. Let's keep the rest of the good times coming folks.