Senior Year

Tuesday, 20 May 2003

Senior Year was by far my best year of college. My grades were superb, I had a room all to myself, the football team under the new tutelage of Tyrone Willingham, was 10-2, and to crown it all off, the fencing team won the national championship, and I get a ring out of it!

It started out innocently enough, fall semester is always ridiculously busy, and mine was more so than usual since I was taking an Intermediate Film Production class, a class my professor described more as about stress management than making an actual film. The football season was spectacular, and rejuvenated the withering ND spirit. The last home game as a senior was against Rutgers, the same team we played at my first ND game, when I was 16. I cried afterward.

I also got to travel with the fencing team, something I would have done the previous year, apart from my dislocated knee incident. This was quite enjoyable, though it did eat into my weekends considerably. Most of the rides were by bus, but the flight to the Duke Duals in North Carolina was great. And then I have the honor of being named the Knute-Rockne Scholar Athlete, and receiving the DeCicco/Langford Inspiration award. Not only that, but a picture of me, and a little blurb accompanying [sp?] it was put on the wall between the Football Office and the Basketball Office.

Graduation was a bit of a disappointment, the ceremonies were a drag, the Baccalaureate Mass, and the homily that went with it, seemed focused on trying to convince us to donate money to the University, and the speech by Sen. Richard Lugar, was completely inappropriate. He did not address the graduates except in passing, and focused on a pro-war foreign policy speech better suited to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee than a notably anti-war Catholic campus.

It was, however, quite nice to have my family show up at the ceremonies.

This is what I learned in college:

  1. How to make banana bombs.
  2. That the breezeway always smells like wet dog
  3. Once you find out a girl likes you, it is already too late to do anything about it.
  4. It is quite possible to climb the walls of the dorm, provided your shoes have enough traction, you have strong wrists, and ample leverage.
  5. The only time the Grotto is empty is when the weather is too intense for even the townies.
  6. Quarter Dogs are like very cheap crack, and much more dangerous.
  7. While you might be able to drink 12 oz of Cuervo, polishing it off with a shot of Everclear is not intelligent.
  8. No one cares about fencing, even the friends of fencers.
  9. It is only acceptable for women to write poems about rape.
  10. How to think


Wednesday, 30 April 2003

so… i’m – aahh – i had a poem in the student literary magazine, The Juggler. does that make me a published poet? or does it have to count elsewhere? can i call myself a poet now or is that still premature?

i was also inducted into the lambda alpha beta chapter of the Anthropology Honor Society. I got a groovy card and a certificate. I don’t really know what it means to be whatever I am now. In fact, I think it is just a thing to say that you are and has no real meaning or impact. Kinda like Shriners. Or maybe not, cuz Shriners get to drive around in go-carts at parades and they get to wear fezzes (sp? fezi?). More like a member of Congress. Yeah, definitely congress.

Sophomore Year 2001-2002

Friday, 25 April 2003

this year was my second best in college, mostly due to being on the fencing team, which let me expel my – excess – energies. i also declared my majors, Anthropology and Film & Television, and got firmly into the swing of my classes. First semester I got a pity D in my Classical Greek 103 class mostly because I was one of three undergraduates in a class of graduate theology students, thus the professor structured the class toward them and did not realize it until it was too late for myself and another undergrad. The third undergrad had taken Greek in High School and was the best in class at translating the Iliad.

I took an existentialist philosophy class, and really got into that for awhile. I saw myself as an existentialist of the Albert Camus school, except instead of being automatic in my life of absurdity, i laughed along with it.Thus, when the campus sprinklers would turn on and spray me, i could do nothing more than shake a rueful head. some things (the sprinklers for instance) never change.

i still lived in section 4B, and it was great to have a group of freshmen in the section. We told them to do things and they did them. hehe. I also made a good friend out of Jeremy May, a new guy in 4B but a senior, who lived at the end of the hall. Through, him I also became friends with Steve Luke who spent inordinate amounts of time in my room playing Playstation (46 hours in one week that we kept track of).

Rooming with Mike was pretty darn good, apart from his taste in music which i thought rather tasteless. Our room was the common room for much of the section and it would not surprise either of us to come back from classes and find someone else in the room doing something (usually steve).

the football season was much better than the previous year, we were 9-2 and went to the Fiesta Bowl, a debacle where we were beaten to death by Beavers from Oregon State. On the fencing end of my sports life, i was working my tail off, coming in early and doing drills, begging for lessons, etc. I began to improve slowly, and my big break came when my captain Jan had to be in Cuba for a fencing tournament the same weekend of one of our tourneys at Northwestern. Thus, I got to travel, I did relatively well for my first collegiate fencing experience and by the end of the year I had managed to win enough bouts to monogram, a feat I was told was impressive for first year walkons. (PUFF PUFF EGO PUFF PUFF)

my love life sucked, but i also wasn’t trying that hard. I was sexiled for a 17 hour stretch one evening/night/morning by my roommate who let his girlfriend “accidentally” sleep past visiting hours and then told her she would have to spend the night. I spent the night on a couch in the section lounge. I then wrote about this in Harlem’s Hitlist, the vulgar section newsletter i wrote for the section in place of the incredibly sporadic ‘Roos News. This newsletter, quite harmless really, picked on particular people in the section each week, but the person picked on was always in good humor about it. except the RA, he took it upon himself, and also the rector, who happened to read my most offensive version to tell me to cease and desist, i instead took it underground and distributed it via email. i cannot be stopped.

I finally managed to get into the introductory film course, second semester of my sophomore year, after jumping through flaming hoops and wading through piranha infested waters. i had declared as a major yet they (the department) still would not give me a spot. I eventually got a spot through the general registration period, but because of the Film department’s extreme helpfulness, I was two semesters behind and therefore I was never able to take Advanced Film Production or Pro Video Production.

Thus endeth the year of the half-wise.

Freshman Year 1999-2001

Wednesday, 23 April 2003

This is supposed to be the toughest year of college, and in terms of intellectual growth that rings true. Although personal/social growth would also top this list if not for my Junior year. That comes later however.

I suppose I was a bit scared about going to college and living in an 8′ x 14′ room with someone I had never met before and sharing another room with two other people I had never met before. Actually, perhaps I was quite scared, or even terrified. Needless to say, my lifestyle was not suited to that of my roommates. I did not have a fake ID, nor did I drink. at all. I also liked my sleep, 8 hours if I could get it. My roommate Mike Lane and my other quadmates John Antonucci and Paul Buser were all business majors, whilst I was an Arts & Letters major. Business majors have it easiest here at Notre Dame in regard to class difficulty and course work (with the possible exception of the Sociology Dept.) and they would often throw impromptu parties 2 or 3 times a week. On nights when they didn’t have parties they often went to the Boat Club and stumbled back usually at 5 in the morning. This happened pretty much the whole year.

On top of this, my roommate, who drank at least 5 times a week, and skipped most of his classes most of the time sleeping off the alcohol managed to swing a 4.0 his first semster, while I struggled with chemistry and calculus and got a 2.7.

As for the other freshmen in my section I was the only A&L major. 14 total freshmen, 3 pre-med, 1 engineering, 1 A&L, and 9 business majors. The upperclassmen consisted to a great majority of sophomores who were nice but had their own things to do, some juniors who I never even talked to, and a group of seniors who I owe quite a bit to.

The football games took a bit of getting used to, but here I knew what to do, hiding in plain sight covered in blue and gold body paint with a bright blue wig. The seats were in the corner as is usual for freshmen, but we were also the heart from whence all spirit was pumped. Bob Davie was the unfortunate coach at this time. He sucks. The tailgating before the games was not great fun however, drinking drinking drinking everywhere. Was there nothing else to do at ND?

I struggled with this, even to the point of considering a transfer to a state school where it was easier to get off campus, where many off campus places are geared toward the students and to where I wouldn’t feel as pressured to drink, and to where the gender relations would be something approaching normal for college students. Apparently, that didn’t happen – although perhaps it did in an alternate universe.

The seniors Jes s Morales, Liam Thidemann, and AJ Boyd, and my RA Joe Hyder had a great deal to do with pulling me out of my shell. There was this nasty concoction that the DH would serve about once every two weeks called Toad-In-The-Hole. I will not describe it suffice to say it was horrendous. Each time it was served I would smuggle out one more than the last time and present them to my RA in creative ways (ex: The Blair Toad Project). He had no idea who it was until someone snitched. But it was all in good fun. The seniors who deshelled me to some extent did so when one day Jes s noticed that I had a Magic deck. He also played. and from there it was downhill.

We started playing magic, which led to Starcraft, which led to me allowing them to set me up for the Chariot Race dance. Which led to me meeting Brian Johnsen. Which led me to meeting Brian Stone, who when I expressed an interest in learning to fence agreed to teach me to do so, as he was the assistant coach of the fencing team. So its a good thing I played Magic or I would be a totally different person today.

I also made a friend from out east named Abby. I met her through AIM and she came out to visit me on her spring break and I reciprocated once the school year ended. I last spoke with her during this last summer but perhaps she still reads this.

Other notable things that happened my freshman year: I saw the Smashing Pumpkins for the first time at Purdue University where I visited my friends Brian Rose, David Ledman, and Bo Ledman and met his soon to be wife Kerri. I lost my virginity. I learned what a glorious thing Stolichnaya vodka can be. I made friends with Meagan Call. I downloaded my first mp3 using Napster. I decided to be roommates in a double (glorious! more room!) with the lone engineer in the section, Mike Castorano. I successfully walked on to the Notre Dame Fencing Team. I ate at both Bibler’s Pancake House and CJ’s Pub in the same day.


Thursday, 17 April 2003

with four relatively decent sized papers looming over me this easter weekend i am staying on campus for the duration. the papers are due as follows

  1. April 24th – Film Theory – 8-10 pages. I’m writing on how class structures are assumed into racial identities and how that plays into film spectatorship in Spike Lee’s Bamboozled.
  2. May 2nd – Irish Cinema Culture – 10 pages. I’m writing on the differing portrayals of Irish immigrant community life in Far and Away and Gangs of New York.
  3. May 4th – Otherworldly Literature – 10-12 pages. I’m writing on how J.R.R. Tolkien’s various works are filled with an almost atavistic sense of history through a frame of English literature in a worldwide form.
  4. ?????? – International Migration – 6-10 pages. I’m not really sure what I’m going to write about this. I’ve only been to two classes.

Hit the Fan

Wednesday, 16 April 2003

it hit the fan today in poetry class, but i do not feel vilified. what i wanted was discussion and by gum i got it. some few were offended, most discussed what exactly i was going for, ranging from satire to prima nocta rights. some wanted me to make the ending different to acknowledge my understanding of rape = bad. others disagreed. everyone had something to say. all was well. i successfully stirred the pot. then i was allowed to speak. i said that there have been a significant amount of rape poems written in this class by various people and that i have had trouble engaging within them. there is the female victim, which women can identify with, but for men there is only the rapist. i said that i do not feel that i am being addressed by these poems.

there was much disagreement to this. i was told i was wrong, that i was being addressed. alas, there was no more time for discussion, because the professor made us move on. if so i would have responded that if i do not feel like i am being addressed but i am supposed to be, then there is a fundamental problem with the poetry. also, i would have said that even if i did feel addressed, i am still offered no frame of reference for how to associate myself as a non-threatening male toward a victimized female. the dialogue takes place between the rapist and his victim only.

overall the class became what i wanted it to. i am quite pleased.


Tuesday, 8 April 2003

i’ve been getting emails from the class i dropped lately. apparently, the group i had signed up to do a presentation with at the beginning of the year had not realized i dropped the class over a month ago. i’ve been reveling in their email struggles to set up a time to meet with my professor. today however, my sadistic voyeurism ended. the prof finally realized that i was on the email list and was no longer in the class, thereby informing the rest of the group that “Adam Harvey is no longer a part of the class.” i could sense the venom in those words, especially since she sent the email to me as well. poor craptastic ex-teacher of mine.

in other news, i’m so tired of reading poems about rape in my poetry class that i am going to fight back. Now, the very fact that each week there is at least one poem a week written by a girl about sexual assault or rape or the invasive, violent aspects of sex, points to a variety of problems. first, that things like this occur on a scale such as this, second, that even if said writers have not been raped, they still feel that they must write about it constantly. third, that i have yet to see a poem that is constructive or feels even slightly enjoyable toward the sexual act. And fourth, that the poems i’ve been reading about rape are so unconstructive and have become so stale that i feel that i must write a poem from the standpoint of a rapist. at first my friend Kate suggested i write a poem as if i’d been raped. i immediately changed it to being a rapist. its quite more confrontational and i think i can channel my exasperation after 13 weeks of rape poems quite nicely. what is my poetry class coming to? jeebus.