Discourse / May 27, 2009

We’ll always have Seymour

Summer’s here, and you’re all bound to be more productive than I am.

I couldn’t land a job this summer, given that the high schoolers managed to snatch them all up before us trimester kids return home. I will amass meager riches in a combined strategy of penny-pinching and babysitting children whose position on shutting play-doh lids is decidedly “con.” You will be a member of the workforce. You will be productive, and I envy you that.

But no matter who among us are unemployed or participating in the world’s most lucrative internships, we all have one job we do share, and that is enjoying our summers with as much resentment as possible. I will show you how, with an easy step-by-step guide.

The moment you return to your homes (or your parents’ homes) after finals are said and done, drop your suitcases with a flourish. Flop down onto your bed and ponder the long three months ahead that will include no hope of Flunk Day, Q’s Café brownies, or animated conversations about what Alumni Hall’s basement used to hold. When you’re invited to choose any restaurant for your welcome-home dinner, pick your local favorite – but in the back of your mind, think, “Who cares? It’ll never be the Landmark…”

As the weeks progress, call up your Knox friends and let them know the extent of your boredom. They will, in turn, cite their own, and you’ll feel a pleasant bond with all that you left behind. Together, you can agree that, no, all your friends from home simply DON’T understand. (Whether or not that is actually true is irrelevant. It’s simply good long-distance fodder.) You will all come back in September— barring those traveling abroad, such as myself— ready to start the next school year as you wished you could end the last: on campus, but workload-free. A time purely meant for reconnection with the prairie. Don’t forget those of us who are gone for a term or two; we intend to return later on with stories that we’ll force you to sit through.

That’s pretty much all the step-by-step basics you’ll need to survive a Knox-free summer. The most important thing to remember is that the more you resent your dog days of monotony, the faster they’ll pass. Bicker as much as possible with hometown connections. Sigh until dizzy. You’ll be all the happier for it.

In all honesty, though, I am excited for summer. I am anxious to see if we get any heat waves, to visit family, to hear and compare stories with the likes of my Wesleyan and Macalester friends, and to test whether I’m capable of writing poems without the tutelage of Old Main’s finest. Even if we fiercely miss this place, that pining can be productive. I hope it is for all of you. I hope the best for us this June, July, and August, because that way we can return in the fall with an enthusiasm for each other that has nothing to do with necessity. These are elective friendships, not in our major fields.

Good luck on finals, and remember: home is where the humdrum is.

Marnie Shure

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