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Day of death


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Arizona Daily Wildcat

Colin McCullough

By Colin McCullough
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
December 8, 1999
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Well, it's fast approaching dead day and the Academic Grim Reaper is coming to stake his claim to all of our scholastic lives.

This may be bad news for some of you who have forgotten just where your discussion sections meet. Dead day may be an opportunity for you to make amends with the gods of academia whom you have ignored all semester. But, don't forget: nine days after the day of death, commencement will take place. Graduation will be the end of undergraduate life for 2,734 of us.

Psychologists contend that shortly before you die, your life flashes before your eyes. As I will soon be experiencing an undergraduate death, I feel it only appropriate to share what I have blazing before my eyes as I prepare to don my cap and gown.

It's difficult to get four years all wrapped up into one column. Actually, it was actually four and a half but, my studies in economics taught me to round down.

We are too close to death, academic and mortal, not to say the things that we want to say - or more specifically the things that people need to hear. There are a few things this university needs to hear.

This is, in a way, a graduation speech. But, concerned, be not. I promise to avoid tiresome cliches, polysyllabic words and philosophical jargon.

Let the stream of consciousness begin...

Ever notice that if you go up to the cash register at the Fiddlee Fig with a side of hash browns, it rings up as "POT HASH .65"? What's going on over there?

Ever been late for class, without a watch, walking towards the student union and looked up at the student union clock tower trying to figure out what time it is only to see that it's 1:10 but, the sun is barely hovering over the horizon? Buy a watch. Dr. Likins has a few other things to take care of before he'll handle that.

Ever suck in your breath and hold it while walking around the Rec Center trying to impress that girl who can probably bench more than you? I have and forgot I was doing it. Almost fainted. Be careful.

Ever notice that you can go an entire semester and have your CDs strewn all about your room without a second thought? But when you've got a paper due in six hours that you haven't started you suddenly realize the importance of alphabetizing them.

Now a few things that may help you in times of despair:

Play catch on the mall, at least once.

Stay up one night and watch the sun rise from the top of Mount Lemmon.

Find a club that you enjoy being involved in. If you can't find one, found one. You only need to find one more person who enjoys it. Perhaps you could found a club dedicated to appreciating my columns.

Learn a foreign language. You'll be able to communicate with another part of the world.

Pig Latin doesn't count.

Finally, don't be afraid to make eye contact or smile to people passing you on campus. This never hurt anybody.

Some cultures recognize, accept and celebrate death in the form of a holiday known as Dia de los Muertos. Likewise those of us graduating should accept graduation as both a death and new life and a chance to make a contribution to the world. Let us see commencement as a stepping stone and choose to leap off of it.

The state has been supporting us in the form tax dollars to allows us a tuition rate one-half of the actual cost the university endures to educate you. (Note: Out-of-state students, do not read the previous sentence). Taxpayers have made their contribution to us. It's time for us to make a contribution to them.

This graduation will be a celebration for those of us who will soon hear "Pomp and Circumstance." Let it also serve as a reality check for those of us who don't take advantage of what you can do on this campus and on this Earth while we still can.

We're all going to die both an undergraduate and a real death eventually. The sooner we come to grips with this, the better off our lives will be.

It's inevitable. You're gonna' die. So am I. Let's do what we can while we're still alive.

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