Academic Probation

Uphill against the Wind: How I spent My Summer Vacation

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Well kids, there's no denying it-the summer reprieve is drawing to a close, the days are getting shorter, and I've finally succeeded in forgetting all the stuff I learned last year thanks to the intake of vast quantities of home brew. The throbbing pain in my knee tells me that before long, snow will fall, causing the great buffalo herds to migrate to Mexico for industrial-sized strawberry margaritas. In a couple of weeks, we'll hit the books yet again for another bout with integrals, Greek cuisine and other concepts about as useful as your appendix. To make sure you appreciate the time you've had off, I've decided to regale you with tales of tribulation, confrontation, and misfortune, just so you feel good about the last four months. Enjoy, or else.

It was the summer of '99. After a couple of weeks of job searching, I eventually took a position as a dishwasher at a fast food restaurant (our legal counsel has advised us not to name Willy's Hamburgers). It was great! I only got called in once a week, so although I made about as much as your average Stephen Avenue panhandler, I was able to devote my energy to sleeping. All that yelling in the kitchen, the dead rats, my aversion to soap it really helped me appreciate money, contrary to all the social brainwashing I underwent at Winston Churchill High School. Mid-June rolled around, and I moved on to better things-started my own telemarketing organization, sold cheesy coupon books door to door, squeegee kidded, then decided to get a real job. Realizing such a thing didn't exist, I focused mostly on drumming and eating stuff for money.

July is somewhat of a blur, due to that three-week coma brought on by an unfortunate lawn mower accident with Tripod, last year's Academic Probation canine mascot. (We'll miss you, little buddy. Hope you found your other leg in that great big Lost & Found in the sky). I heard that my former girlfriend got married to a Zorro look-alike that she met on the Internet, but there were conflicting reports of what occurred at the wedding, so I'm starting to wonder if it took place at all. Maybe I can still get her back! Yes, and maybe I'll stick a fork in a toaster, too.

At any rate, congratulations, Nell! I would have been there, but like I said and I think I lost the invitation you sent. August arrived and I left town under suspicious circumstances (you can't pin that indecent exposure rap on me, man! I was young and naive!). A quick trip to BC reminded me of how unfortunate we are not to have beaches here. Upon returning to my penthouse bachelor closet pad, I proceeded to indulge in debaucheries of the most idiotic sort, such as the rental of blue movies, the distribution of Marda Gras Awareness pamphlets, and the viewing of Felicity and Ally McBeal. Then there were all the nights at the Republik, where an old acquaintance of mine, peeved at my sabotage of his romantic relationship, decided to remove my arms from their sockets and use them for curling brooms. My diplomacy (and the opportune arrival of some more sympathetic, and violent, acquaintances of mine) resolved the issue quickly. Don't worry. Pat's fine: he's got all-you-can-eat green Jell-O and a lifetime supply of Depends now.

September will be here soon, with its metamorphosis of lush greenery into brown bareness, and baby tees into turtle necks-to my chagrin (the baby tees, not the greenery). On a side note, I failed in my attempts to save my cousin from the flesh-eating disease and to find the cure for cancer. So all in all, it was a pretty dismal summer. Now that you see yours was so much more fulfilling, you can send condolences in the form of cold, hard beer and chicks. Look back on your memories with contentment, and as you move forward, remember the words of Alain Jourgenson: "Welcome to the Fall."

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