I had meant to put this story up ages ago, but I kept forgetting about it. Only recently did someone remind me about it, and I’m glad that they did. Sometime a few years back, my friend, Scott, and me, used to go to Six Flags pretty much every weekend. We had one of those season passes and it was always a great break from college. Or maybe just part of the experience.
Scott and I always did pretty dumb things together from the start. This actually goes way back to middle school where we first met in 6th grade. It was just a fluke that we ended up together, considering we both graduated early, etc. Either way, after one particularly good night doing the college lifestyle, the next morning we decided to go to Six Flag’s Fright Fest. It was still relatively warm and there weren’t too many people yet, so we decided to hit all the good rides first.
Scott wasn’t feeling too great from the night before, and I recall him throwing up a few times on the way there. He decided he should get something on his stomach, and so he bought some popcorn from the vender right after the gate. By the time we made it to the first ride, The Poltergeist, it was obvious he was feeling considerably worse. We looked really out of place next to all the little kids in their Halloween costumes, but we pushed on. I’m not sure why we thought it was a good idea to go on one of the faster rides right off the bat, but we did anyway.
About half way through the ride, I could see Scott’s face and he obviously was not doing well at all. So, by the end, he was fighting with the restraints and I kept screaming at him to not puke on me over and over. He held it in and wormed out of the chair restraint and jumped out out of the ride right as it pulled in. Immediately, he ran over to the edge of the platform and threw up a disgusting mixture of last night and gross leftover popcorn for the day before. I was dying laughing — it’s always good to see a bro in pain, after all.
What we didn’t realize is that immediately below the platform was a little girl exiting the ride. This poor girl was soaked in vomit, covering her princess outfit. We both realized we just ruined some little girl’s princess dreams; she’ll be scarred for life on one of the great’s American holidays. I’m truly sorry, but it was one of the best coincidences in history, and my favorite Six Flag story.
So this is one of the stories I had intended to write a long time ago, but never got around to it and then forgot about it completely until Emily reminded me about it the other day.
In sophomore year of college, I was living with Dan in the Trinity dorms. Although we’re pretty much bros for life, no homo, we started really getting on each other’s nerves and the only way to solve our differences was by pranking each other, and our suitemates, Andrew and Mike. I don’t really know how it started or who was the initial cause, but I definitely remember being locked in the closet once and Dan having all his belongings super glued to the desk. KJ, one of the baseball guys and our friend, actually pranked me pretty good by putting mashed potatoes in my sheets and pillowcase. This was when I was briefly dating Emily, and it definitely made things very awkward — but memorable. The escalation of these pranks turned into a phrase called “Total War”, which basically meant that we were about to turn on each other — all bets were off.
The most memorable prank ever, and probably the greatest prank in the history of human sentience, was on Dan and his crush, some girl named Shelby (who we jokingly called “Cholbi” for some reason…). While Dan was taking a shower one day, I grabbed his phone and changed my name in to the girl’s, so that they looked identical. I actually had to write a research paper that day, so I headed across campus to the library and started researching. I decided this was the perfect time to test and see if he would be able to tell if it was me texting him or the girl, so I sent him a message that invited him to study at the library with her.
Of course, Dan, being the ladies man he was, took up the offer and said he would come to the library at the far end of campus. While this was happening I was on the second story of the library researching for my paper when I saw Emily and we started talking and procrastinating. I let her know about the prank and she decided to stay and watch. When Dan finally got to the library, I told him that she was downstairs and to come find her. When he couldn’t, I said that she went upstairs. In the process of about 20 minutes, he walked around looking for her. Then Emily and I saw him wandering around aimlessly, so we called him over and said hey. I’m pretty sure I was smiling the whole time and Emily was trying her best to be serious (that’s hard to Emily). I asked what he was doing and he coyly just said he was studying, looking for some books. Yeah right, Dan — good cover.
So, after he left, I sent a text to him telling him to meet me at Coates, the university student center, which is a good walk from the library. He did that and when he got there, he texted back asking again where she was, and I replied saying she was in the bathroom and to just wait. So Dan did. For like 35 minutes. Later on, he responded with “I’m going to kill you. Total war.”
I’m sure he pranked me back, but how could anything live up to that? Dan, you got punked.
I’m putting that in quotation marks because I no longer have a Spring Break because I have somehow turned into an adult. That said, I really needed to catch up with all the people I have been telling I would catch up with for years — and this is the perfect time to do it before I ship out on May 17th. Pretty much everything worked out time wise, so I decided to take off this past Wednesday and head into Austin for South by Southwest (or SXSW), which is basically a festival films, technology, art, music, and food. So, uh, pretty much everything I like in one place at one time!
So, Wednesday I headed to Austin for my first event, a Texas devMeet with a lot of the core staff (and friends!) from deviantART which was put on at the Spider House off Guadalupe. I met a lot of new folks because it drew such a crowd, which was nice, but it was also comforting to see the rest of the Texas devMeet guys from our annual meets. We’re pretty much family now. Lots and lots of history there. Interesting how bonds like that form.
I got to talk to Ryan, the creative/marketing guru for dA, and I think we talked way too long about demographics, but for us it was an enjoyable experience. And, of course, I got to see my former bosses, Heidi and Danie, who were pretty awesome. And finally, I had a few drunken rambling conversations with Angelo, the dA CEO and all around badass. During this entire time, I was working on getting completely plastered, at which I completely succeeded.
Finally, we headed to another venue to wrap up the night and I really can only say that I hope they expected me to be truly a memorable experience. I was all kinds of nuts that night for a lot of complicated reasons. In turn, if I ever get to meet them all again some day, I believe I will be “that guy”. Ha.
Thankfully, I survived the night and found a place to stay. I ended up getting some breakfast with Charlie, one of the elite SXSW photographers this year, and a Texas devMeet regular and had more random conversations about life. Good times.
Following that, I headed into San Antonio to link up with Christian and see if he had been betting his life savings on the field. We hit up Koreana off Rittiman and had the best meal in the entire world. I forwarded this image to Dan and he instantly started crying. What a baby. After that, I linked up with KJ, Dylan, and Craig (and worked in a trip to Taco Taco with KJ the following morning before heading out). Then, we did Bays, like the classic Trinity experience where an entirely hammered Rob showed up. Of course, we managed to get to Crabby Jacks (and didn’t even get kicked out). I got to see Stephanie again, which was nice, even though she lost all of my elite CD collection.
After hanging out with Rob for a while that next day (until Ariel came in town!), I got a call from Brennan, the source of my exploits from last year’s spring break. I headed that way and met him in Austin for a SXSW feature about the future of technology in ten years. Unfortunately, the most memorable thing about it was an egg toss and a four dollar Bud Light, but after this, we were set and ready to party. Along the way, probably the funniest thing possible happened to us. But, as usual, it all went down at and around 6th Street (though there were noticeably less people than usual — I guess they were at the VIP parties).
When I woke up, I called up Scott who I went to Creekwood Middle School with in Kingwood, and ended up reuniting with in college freshman year as incoming Trinity freshmen. We ended up making margaritas and heading to meet other Kingwood friends like Matt and Aaron to swim at Barton Springs, a really beautiful natural spring with a nice park area. Then dinner at Garj Mahal, the best Indian place I’ve ever tried, and then back to the 21st St Coop, an interesting coop with a bar set up and lots of music and places to gather. We listened to some screaming music and drank, but the highlight was just getting to see all the guys again.
I wanted to make this post immediately after I got home, otherwise I would delay it and forget it like I usually do. I had a really, really great time. I think it was such an interesting Spring Break because I had four completely unique experiences: a devMeet, a Trinity-style night, a Sam/Brennan 6th Street rager (Sam was with us in spirit. 5 dollar liquor pitcher? Absolutely!), and a chill reunion with my best friends from my childhood. Seriously, what more could you ask for?
There was a possibility of staying another night, but I really had to get back because of work (and my body had become a living alcohol sponge for days straight). Next week will be cut short too because then I’m heading to Houston to see Emily.
Sorry for the super long title and what I’m sure will be a super long post. Basically, I was thinking about what I learned in college and I just kept thinking about the song “I Love College” by Asher Roth — a lot of partying and social things, but not a lot of actual, tangible facts that I can pull from my head. I think my philosophy minor taught me that I don’t actually know anything, meaning college was essentially the experience of learning that I know nothing (read my last essay listed on this page). Sorry, that’s an aside.
The real point of this post is something that I learned how to do really well in college: churn out an essay. Notice that I’m not saying write an essay. This is more out of grinding process where words just manifest in nonsensical and only vaguely related ways for ten pages. The following, in a simple 7 step form, is what professors don’t want you to know, what they don’t want you to write, and what will make you graduate with a 3.5 GPA without spending almost any time writing stupid papers for classes you have little to no interest in. Yes, these papers will suck. Yes, if you do this you lack scholastic integrity. Yes, you can get back to partying with your friends.
Read your essay guidelines that usually suggest topics for you to write. I’m going to choose an actual topic from my senior year, but this method works for any subject or discipline as you will soon see. “Analyze a thematic style from a classic film director studied in this course.” Boom. Okay, find something easy that people will have obviously wrote about in the past. So, I chose “suspense in Alfred Hitchcock movies”. I know, this is an easy example — sometimes essays are harder in those upper level philosophy courses and with those you have to get much more creative in part two…
Immediately get online with your school’s library and choose a database listing. I think my favorite is Academic Search Complete because it’s got something like 50 databases in one. Make sure to check all of the databases so you search everything. So first, enter in “Suspense” and then “Alfred Hitchcock”. You might also find out what movies he has directed and then use “Suspense” and “Movie Name” to find those too, if you’re looking for particular films. Make sure to check “Full text available” on your search”
Click search, and then open about 20 sources and read their little descriptions. If they sound relevant, download the PDF files to a folder so you can get to them easily again. (I also like to check that the PDF articles are searchable when I preview them: who the hell wants to actually read these things to find content? You can search for suspense or whatever and find quotes faster.) You’ll also, at this point, want to make sure you have a RefWorks account (just Google it, but it’s usually provided through your school). This site takes those articles you’re searching and compiles your Works Cited page. Because who the hell wants to try to figure out MLA, APA, ASA or whatever formats? I didn’t, so I just let this site do it for me. You’ll see an “export to Refworks” icon on almost all databases, or something similar. You’re in college, figure it out.
So now, gather the top 10 or however many sources you need, open then, read them if you have to, or just search the PDFs (control + f) for things you need. I take five or six quotes from each article about my topic and past them in a Word document. Make sure to write down page numbers so you can cite them in your paper without having to look at the articles again.
Now you want to make a framework for your paper based on your quotes. Look at what they have in common or don’t have in common. Use this to establish three broad topics, and for each topic, three subtopics. This will give you enough BS to write about to go for several pages. So, for example, three topics in this case can be individual movies, and the subtopics can be how suspense is used in each of the movies (three examples or three different approaches). Something like that. You’ll figure it out as you start pasting it what fits or doesn’t fit.
Write your paper. So from here, write a brief introduction that is probably where the paper will go, then start filling in ways to bridge the quotes. My formula is usually quote, two sentences about the quote, another quote, two sentences, and so on.
Add more filler until you reach your page/word quota. Print it out and turn it in (because professors live in 1910 apparently) or e-mail it to the super future professors who use this advanced technology. If you’re struggling on the filler, you can always blatantly cheap. Google the period trick, which is the best way to gain a page or so when you write a paper.
So, you might be wondering how is this possible? Am I making this up? No, I’m not, and it’s really possible because I certainly did it just like I explained it. I was able to churn out the worst, yet acceptable, papers in just a few hours. So, provided below is every paper I wrote in college at Trinity University. I don’t care what you do with these essays. Use them as a reference, laugh at them, print them out and turn them in as your own (I feel like that might be kind of stupid, but hey, I don’t think many professors actually check).
As an aside, some of these classes I really enjoyed a lot, and, in general, those papers have more interesting content because I had some enjoyment from the class. I’ve denoted those classes with an asterisk after the course title.
ARTH 1307 – Art History Prehistoric to Medieval Final – Roman Verism Portraiture(Note: This is a really awful paper; in the professors feedback she wrote “thesis unclear” and then crossed it out and wrote “thesis missing“. Still got an A, but just a warning.)
COMM 4395 – Communication Major Capstone Thesis – Developing a Targeted Website(Here’s my entire thesis. Someone please print this out and turn it in as their own in an 100 level communication course and let me know what grade you get!)
I’m 22 years old, I’m in the best shape of my life, and I’ve got a great future ahead of me. I’m definitely excited! My dad helped me buy a new pistol, a .45 M1911 A1 that is absolutely sick nasty ill disgusting. (Yes, really that cool.)
When I was getting some food, I saw a pretty girl eating alone. I asked to eat with her and she never touched her sandwich, so I asked why. Here is the exact wording of the conversation:
Girl: I have this thing where I can’t eat because my brain tells my body I’m too fat. Me: Oh, so you have an eating disorder?
Girl: No way! That’s dumb! Me: You literally just gave the definition of anorexia.
Girl: Oh, but I don’t throw up or anything. Me: No, that would be bulimia.
Girl: I don’t know what you’re saying so just give up.
I got up and left. At this moment, I don’t think I’m ever going to talk to another person again.
Note: Below is my senior article I wrote for the Trinitonian (Trinity University’s newspaper) sometime around April 20th. This is the unedited version.
College. It’s really over? It’s hard to reflect on something like this when I’m still writing papers, still walking around campus, and still trying to avoid the garbage they call food in Mabee. Everything is still the same; only after I’m done will I think, “Man, I should have told that story about that one time where everyone got drunk and the rent-a-cops were everywhere and…” – but let’s be honest, that’s a story that I don’t need to tell any of you. Just from the amount of drunken nights where the only memory I have came from photos tagged on Facebook the next day, I know that invariably all of you have been in the same situation at least once. If not, I assure you that you will be.
Just how many days have been a struggle to wake up for class because I was still a little drunk? How many nights have I tried to study and ended up partying with one of you?
Instead of telling you party stories that you can make for yourself, here’s something that happened while attending Trinity that I honestly think can never occur again. It was 3 AM and both of us in the car were coming back from a party. After stopping in Jack in the Box to eat some nasty filth, my friend rolled down the window to order. Suddenly out of nowhere, a human/creature grabs my friend’s hand, slams in a crumpled, wet dollar bill, and screams, “Make change!” Compelled to not be murdered or raped, we scrambled to give him four quarters to get him off our backs. When we finally found enough, he yells to us, “That’s what I get for trusting the cops!” and bolts away into the night. How could I ever forget that?
Somehow, through all of the parties and close calls I made it. I am going to be done and graduated in just a few weeks.
So I want to leave Trinity with another inspiring true story from my life. As a sophomore I went shoe shopping with my friend Cory. While waiting for Cory to take thirteen years to pick a running shoe, I started talking with the sales lady. As it turned out, she was a proud Trinity graduate from 2006. She told me she majored in communication. Awesome. I am a communication major. Surely, I would not end up selling shoes after I graduate. Right?
Now it’s almost May and I’m broke, I have looming debt, and I have no career – let alone a job – in my immediate future. I used to joke that I would end up working at GameStop as an assistant manager. Now I joke that I’ll be working at Jack in the Box as the taco cooker. My joke has changed because GameStop now seems like a viable option. Four years. And there is where I am at right now?
There is a moral here in both of these stories: Trinity can be full of incredible experiences – drunk nights, good times with friends, and even perhaps something that happens in a classroom. No matter what those experiences may be, they are something to remember and something that as you are leaving Trinity, you will learn mean so much more now than ever.