April 21, 2011 Volume CXXIX Issue 12

You’re exactly the way that I thought you would be.

By PERRY DIXON
The Boy Who Lived Somehow

I have deleted the first paragraph of this article roughly seven times, because it feels both rewarding and futile to write the first words of The Back Page for the last time. The voyage lasting from the beginning of last semester until now has been everything expected and entailed a great deal more that has been utterly unexpected. Although I have been accused of being a malevolent, obnoxious, destructive and immature voice by those who sit behind big doors making big decisions, I regret nothing of what I have printed this year. The purpose of this version of The Back Page was initially to recommend beer, suggest music and vomit random thoughts that the average student would find humorous and with which he or she could sympathize. Once it became clear that the paper should likely be treated as something more than the immature journal of a college senior, I decided to tackle some bigger issues with real significance concerning how Georgetown operates. In return, I have been pleasantly surprised with the support I have received from the student body and the odd faculty member who can appreciate the very serious messages disguised by a writing style best described as a comedy of errors. What has been most rewarding about being the Editor of this Back Page has been the revelation that the student body, if disconnected or fragmented by social affiliation and graduating class, is at the very least united in its tendency to understand when the Administration is trying to force feed it garbage.

The undergraduate student body is not a passive, ignorant, uncritical collective just waiting for direction. We know (among many other things) that our money is not properly spent, that the CEP/NEXUS program is ridiculous, that the College still does not have any concrete identity and that the only methodology seemingly employed by the Administration is the good old “cart-before-the-horse” technique. The problem is that there is an institutionalized system by which student opinion is lost and robbed of its significance. A small solution has, quite bluntly, been pissing off a President and contingency of Trustees by publishing unfiltered student opinion on The Back Page. It is certainly not the case that every student has agreed with my opinions, but the point has always been to keep the flames of public discourse alight. Unfortunately, what seems futile about these last words, is that the College does not only continue to ignore student opinion, but any opinion that is not in line with the specific business model by which the College is run. It is a much more complicated story than one Editor can attack, and I have come to the end of my opportunity to spend my voice any longer. The responsibility is no longer mine and I am grateful for what I have been able to accomplish (or not accomplish, depending what kind of shoes you wear).

As I sit here, about to graduate into what is certainly a new and foreign field of development, I recall feeling something similarly unsettling about four years ago. When we seniors were graduating high school, we had college to look forward to, but now we are confronted with the foreign realm of opportunity allegedly called the “real world.” It is in this new realm that all of the real learning takes place. It is nearly impossible to sort out in nine hundred words what I would like to say to the people with whom I will exit this Cave, so, in Back Page fashion, I have wasted the first six hundred to get to the point where I am ready to try. Additionally, in Back Page fashion, these parting words will come in the form of words taken from the mouths of others.

“To insure the greatest efficiency in the dart, the harpooners of this world must start to their feet from out of idleness, and not from out of toil.” – Herman Melville

“What do you want me to do?”

“Nothing at the moment. I just want you to exist quietly near me while I discover who I am and what the purpose of life is. What is the purpose of life, Hilda?” – Iris Murdoch

“Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” -Ernest Hemingway

“Gentile or Jew

O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,

Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you”

– T. S. Eliot

“I have only a minute.

Only sixty seconds in it.

Forced upon it, can’t refuse it,

Didn’t seek it, didn’t choose it,

And it’s up to me to use it.

I’ll suffer if I lose it,

Give account if I abuse it.

Just a tiny little minute.

But,

There is an eternity in it.”

– Luda Dixon (my high school math teacher, no genetic relation)

An article written in the April 12th issue of The Georgetonian in the year 2000 justifies everything I have ever done.

disclaimer: the contents of the back page are not necessarily true
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