There’s a lot that could be said
about one’s time at college. There are certain days to
remember, certain places to remember and certain people to
remember. And while I’d love to list them all in this, my
final column, I don’t feel that would explain why I came to
college.

Nope, I came to college to learn and hopefully discover
something about myself. It took four years — and a few crappy
grades — but I did do a little bit of each.

I learned that being smart will only carry you so far and that
two jobs totaling 50 to 60 hours a week will absolutely bury your
sophomore and junior GPA.

I learned failure is something that will occur, but it is not
something that should become acceptable.

I recently learned that the passion of Pudge Rodriguez, the
careful planning for the future of Dave Dombrowski, the endurance
of Bobby Higginson and the overall fun attitude of the 2004 Detroit
Tigers are characteristics that I wish I had more of. And yes, I
know 5-1 does not equal an American League pennant.

I learned that the things that I write in print do carry a
weight and a responsibility behind them, and I’m sorry to my
audience for anytime that I didn’t show a piece of writing
the proper care or research it deserved.

I learned Jim Richardson was the best quote on this campus,
Milan Gajic was the funniest, Lloyd Carr knew how to handle
reporters better than anyone gives him credit for, the
women’s golf team was always up to talk whenever the chance
presented itself and Carol Hutchins may have more drive than anyone
else at this University (yes, that’s why her teams rarely
fail despite having a high school facility of a stadium).

Speaking of high school facilities, I learned that the wrestling
lockerroom is laughable when compared to the new men’s and
women’s basketball lockerrooms installed just feet away from
Ryan Bertin and the rest of his teammates. (Note: If there are rich
Michigan wrestling alumni out there, now is the time to get
yourself a head start on a 2005 tax cut and donate some cash to
rebuild the team’s lockerroom.)

I learned I’m a good, but not great, writer.

I also learned grammar this year. Thank you, John Rubadeau.

I learned that every student needs to take a class taught by
him, Anne Curzan, Donald Lopez, Alethea Raybeck and Ian Fulcher
before they leave. Trust me, it’s the only way you’ll
learn the greatest knock-knock joke of all time, the fact that
linguistics is fun, the Buddhist ways, the importance of poetry and
the importance of comic books in literature.

I learned that the rest of the teachers I had were great, as
well — I just don’t have the space to advertise for
everyone.

I learned that I am a damn good driver — long distance
that is. I also learned that Vanessa Carlton’s “1,000
Miles” was quite the overplayed song during the spring and
summer of 2002. There were other songs that were also overplayed
during road trips that I took, but those tunes have thankfully left
my brain.

I learned Sting is still the best musician and performer,
“South Park” is still reigning king, “The
Simpsons” still surprises us with funny episodes,
“Family Guy” may have jumped the shark by getting
cancelled and sent to Cartoon Network, “The Matrix
Reloaded” and “Star Wars: Episode II” were much
better than what people thought, “The New Guy” was a
horrible and horribly addictive movie and “Madden 2002”
was the perfect way to bond with your roommates — and to see
a hole get punched out of the wall after Brian Campbell, as Donovan
McNabb, threw his third interception of the NFC Championship.

I learned that there will never be a videogame moment funnier
than when Brian Birchler snapped his game of “FIFA Soccer
2002” in half after I improved my overall record against him
to 132-74. Apparently scoring 90-percent of your goals from
midfield is not how the real game is played.

I learned that Adam Cole can’t sing, and that neither can
Nickelback. I learned alcohol does bad, bad things to Rob Palmerlee
and Joe Ypma — beer pong may never be the same. I learned
Jeff Quast and Levi Roodvoets study harder than anyone else I know
— I can only hope for their sake, it pays off. I learned
Brian Bielawski is a good poker player, but susceptible when
bullied back by the table. And I learned Jeff Snyder’s name
is Jeff Snyder (and that right now he’s shaking his head and
thinking about why I’m even writing this.)

I learned what it is to lose.

I learned what goin’ to work was all about.

I learned that my coworkers and bosses at The Michigan Daily and
at Crisler Arena were better than I could have ever hoped for (I
would name-drop here, but I only have so much room).

I learned that I am not envious of those who have to choose
between love and future employment away from that love — if
only because there is barely a winning scenario.

I learned that I’m destined to be me, which isn’t so
bad, I’ve found out. Although, I am a little sick of my
metabolism keeping me at a measly 155 pounds — yeah, I went
there, all you overweight people.

Finally, I learned that, while no one, and I mean no one, knows
our ultimate purpose here in life, I’ve found that the
concepts of happiness, fun and showing respect to others will get
you through the day-to-day grind a lot easier.

It’s been a pleasure sharing my thoughts and my writings
with you for three years.

Thank you.

— Kyle O’Neill would also like to quickly thank
(in no particular order): Jeff Phillips, John Lowe, Jon Schwartz,
Mark Francescutti, Lisa Craft, Chris Ehman, Juan Mathews, J.
Braids, Courtney, Burke, Naweed, Clayts, Tory, Mulinar, Justin,
Tex, Laurie, Darius, Dodick, Shibby, Julie, Mangler, Q, Birchler,
Stefano, Joe, Rob, Levi, Bryan, Snizide5202, UM Coleminator, Sean,
Mom, Dad, Morosi, Wags, Mr. and Mrs. Morosi/Stefaniak/Wags,
Essexville, Garber High School, the University of Michigan, Scott
Paluch, Thomas Jefferson Elementary, MacAlear Sawden Elementary,
Bush Elementary, Cramer Jr. High, the Detroit Tigers, 2019 Briar
Dr. and all surrounding neighbors, Sting, Ah-ha (for “Take On
Me”), G-Filice, Weber, Rosen, Bob, my Bravada!, Sebass,
Harold Holcomb, Rob Garcia, Dave Schwartz, a bunch of great high
school teachers and coaches, a lot of great professors and, last
but not least in this short list of thanks, Kyle wants to thank
Nike, to which he sold his soul to a long time ago. He can be
reached at
“mailto:kylero@umich.edu”>kylero@umich.edu.

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