Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Do As I Ask, Not As I Actually Can, Will, or Do...(if you want)

So, it's my 15th college reunion year. I'm getting old, darn it! The problem with this old-ness is that it is not more than skin deep, really. Because take me back to college, or take me back to the neighborhood and apartment building where I lived and worked right after college, and I will tell you that I am still in my 20s. I still FEEL LIKE I am in my 20s when I am hanging out in my old haunts, to the point of wondering why there is no one familiar grabbing my arm and dragging me to the latest Social Event. I may look like a Mom to the TwentySomethings of Today, but they just DO NOT KNOW WHO I AM.

Somehow despite my lackluster college performance, academic and otherwise, and my relatively modest financial earnings, I was picked out as someone who might be good at asking others to give back to our college during reunion years (perhaps they ask everyone?). Nonetheless, I have a little trouble in this world saying NO, and as Tori Amos sings, "I have enough guilt to start my own religion." And maybe my "okay, yeah, I'll do it..." is fueled by the fact that my financial giving alone will not look like a commitment to my college, to which I am grateful for being allowed in there in the first place, not to mention for the general ignoring of all the lapses in judgment I committed on my way to a very nice B.A. (the Dean of Students did once notice my name as well as hers on one Happy Hour poster promoting a keg party and some unrealized jello wrestling in my dorm room. We had a very informative chat and I learned the consequences of allowing overzealous upperclassmen to advertise parties they talked me into HOSTING). So I said yes in anticipation of the 10th reunion year, and despite a vague sense that I vowed not to do it again, here I am, committed to asking my one-time acquaintances as well as life-long friends to support our college this year.

I don't really have a problem with this in theory. I loved college, I want others to benefit from my college's resources, and I can't wait to see both my college and my college friends at my reunion this summer. But I'll admit that I rebelled against the part of the process that asked me to guess how much my classmates were able to give (I mean, shoot! Giving to your college isn't all about what you have to give. It is quite possibly also about where else you donate your dollars and about how you felt about college then and now--and a whole host of other value-laden, personal reasons why we do what we do and don't do what we don't).

So I will perform this service as a way to contact old friends and convince them to come reunite in June, as well as share why I continue to be grateful to my alma mater for what was really a huge, invaluable, luxurious gift of learning to learn and to live. But I won't beg, cajole, or twist arms.

Bow wow wow.

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