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Today's word on journalism

Monday, January 29, 2007

Words as weapons:

"When he had a pen in his hand it was like giving a kid a machine gun."

--Peter Hall, theater director, on "Angry Young Man" playwright John Osborne (1929-1994)

College memories aren't made by studying

By Marty Archibald

December 15, 2006 | The other day I was faced with a decision I've been facing for the last three years, academics or fun. I made the same choice I make every time. I'll probably regret that choice next week. That's the way I want it.

The academic choice was going to a supplemental instruction session for my upcoming statistics final next week. The fun choice was going to the Utah State University vs. University of Utah basketball game. It was a big game; it was also a big test. I needed to go to the SI. I hadn't done so hot on the other tests. Going to that SI should have been on the top of my to do list. Going to that SI was never even an option for me. I'd been looking forward to this game for more than a month. I wasn't going to miss it.

I couldn't be happier with my decision. I can guarantee that when I get my test score I'll be kicking myself for not going to that SI. No matter what my score is. I know I'm going to regret not going to that SI. But that memory will quickly fade. Had I gone to the SI I'd remember missing that game, not going to the SI. Instead, I'll remember the game.

I'll remember sitting with thousands of my fellow students. I'll remember booing the two U of U students who had the audacity to walk into the student section. I'll remember Jaycee Carroll hitting a game-tying three in the final minute. I'll remember Chaz Spicer hitting a three in the final seconds for the win. The eruption of the crowd after each shot, I'll never forget any of it.

I've failed tests, not done assignments, all because I was probably at a game or partying. But I haven't failed a class yet. My GPA isn't the greatest, but it's not horrible. I'm going to graduate, eventually. I could do better if I applied myself more, but I want to remember my college experience.

I don't remember studying, but I do remember the fun times. I still remember a basketball game two years ago against the University of the Pacific. We were up by 16 with 1:45 left in the game. At this point we were chanting "overrated!" to the nationally ranked Pacific. Within a minute our lead was down to 11. Our overrated chant stopped, but we were still confident. Two seconds left and our lead had shrunk to one. Those two seconds are a blur to me. What I do remember is the only sounds in the Spectrum were coming from the Pacific players and coaches as cheered at the center of our court. There was probably a test I should have been studying for, or a paper that I needed to write. I don't remember, but I do remember that game.

I'm not all fun and games though. I know I study, I remember one time when I must have studied.

"What did you get?" my friend asked me with tears running down her face. I didn't know what to say. She had completely bombed the final paper. It wasn't uncommon for people to bomb that paper. That class is the consensus hardest class in my major. I just stared, gave her a hug and walked off. I didn't know how to tell her I got 100 percent.

There is no way I didn't study for that paper. I'm sure I spent countless hours researching and writing. I don't remember those hours. I only remember getting the paper back.

That's the only time I can remember a grade I got. When people ask me what I got in a particular class I honestly can't tell them. But I can tell them who hooked up with who or the final score of a game from two years ago. I should study a little more than I do. But when people ask me about my four plus years at college, I want to be able to tell them about the game I went to when I probably should have been studying. Not the game I missed because I went to an SI.

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