Okay, this is it. This is the final straw.
We hung in there through four, sometimes five years of getting completely stymied both by bitter professors with an inflated sense of self-worth and homely co-eds whose self-worth wasn't the only thing unnecessarily inflated. We dealt with one (1) bar and two (2) Dellys (sic). We tolerated retirees, tourists, and 10,000 tri-cornered hats. We smiled at the rumors of suicides and gay people. We swallowed Katie Koestner. We accepted cans over kegs, statesmen over sports heroes, and big time SAT's over big-time PAT's. Our fraternities were all dorms. Our classmates were all dorks. Our curriculum was straight out of the 50's (1750's), our options for amusement were straight out of witness protection programs, and our friends quickly became some of the closest we would ever have -- on a par with war veterans or cellmates. And we took it. We were made to feel like Blutarsky clichés -- and this diatribe won't do anything to diminish that notion among unfamiliar readers -- but we took it.
We made the best of it. I know I did. Had a ball.
As alumni, we accept that we won't be going to watch our D-I men's basketball team play in one of the biggest annual sporting events in the nation. Ever. The football team is starting to resemble the basketball team in its putridity, even as the Laycock Center (not instructions from the Kama Sutra) still has the "new football complex" smell. But we shrug it off. We know that with each passing year, our alma mater ups its academic standards and lowers its chances of attracting anyone like us to the campus. (Actually, we may even appreciate it, as it unjustly raises our résumés' stock.) Well-rounded -- truly, not just double-major candidates -- students need not apply. The rugby and lacrosse club teams are on their last legs, gasping for air, and we dismiss it as changing with the times. The school makes the news not for something noteworthy and impressive, but because they ran their well-liked -- but only by students and peers, not by Pat Robertson -- president out of town on a rail for the trifling cross thing. We mock it, we write about it condescendingly, and then we forget it. The students are no doubt suffering the constraints of the era and the administration far worse than we did, and anyone of our ilk who squeezes through the gates of admission for some good times and a good education in a state school must certainly find themselves in some sort of intelligence-quotient-arrogance/social-skill-ignorance purgatory, grinding out their days until transfer, graduation, or death. But that's that. Meanwhile, the pleas for alumni donations become more vociferous every year, even as we wonder if it's really the most worthwhile of causes. But we accept it all the way.
And we make the best of it. We come back for Homecomings, but simply resume our pattern of isolation and consumption. We follow the teams, even as they let us down. We look for news items on the school, even as they tend to make us cringe. And many of us write the checks every year. And we enjoy it.
This is it, though. This is beyond what we are expected to take as persons even loosely affiliated with the College of William & Mary. This is a new low in the coolness factor ratings for the College, and I feel a bit lamer just for having been in these Sunken Gardens many a time. (Bangin' chicks and drinkin' brews, undoubtedly.)
Gheorghe: The Blog readers unfamiliar with our alma mater, feast your eyes on this atrocity and please go lightly on us in your future judgments of us.
Meanwhile, for those of us who ever harked upon the gale, or barfed upon the Crim Dell, or overpaid an ungrateful Greek for tepid swill through unclean taps into a cheap plastic cup, or strode the Colonial Mile down DOG Street wondering what it's all about and why we're here and not somewhere else with nickel drafts and beautiful, brainless hallmates with casual morals . . .
. . . well, here's another reason to cringe.