Look, I’ll talk, but you can’t use my name or anything, or maybe you could use, you know, a fake one, but it would have to be something interesting like Cobra or Zeus or … I mean, I’ve thought a lot about choosing a good name when the time comes, and I made a list, but I forgot it and I can’t remember the best names so I’ll have to get back to you on that, but honestly I’m nervous and I just really, really need to get this off my chest.

I mean, I don’t want to get anyone in trouble or anything, but when I found out that you guys were doing an investigation of, you know, the academics here, not just the football team, and wanted some input from students, I can’t say I was completely opposed to it. The investigation, that is. Honestly, I don’t know if what I tell you would qualify as a good hard-hitting story, but you know, if you say so.

Well, I would definitely agree that the academic hours I put in at the University are excessive. It’s a huge mental and physical strain, especially when you’re coming right out of high school. In my high school, you know, and I’d say this is the same for most high schools, except maybe those in the Upper Peninsula that have their own special rules because of the bears, I’d usually be home by 2 or 3 P.M. at the latest. Then, after I was home, I would have an average of only an hour of homework to do, so at most I was putting in five hours of work a week for school.

Here at the University, though, well, hoo boy. I mean, after my classes are all done and I’ve been to the library and I’ve fed the squirrels on the Diag, I’m not getting home until five, six o’clock, and then, jeez, here’s the part that really sweats my gears, I’ve got way more than one hour of work to do. Try four hours, at a minimum, and if you count Internet poker breaks the total comes to five hours. I didn’t sign up for that. Well, the Internet poker I did, but don’t mention it because it’s sort of illegal in the States.

Of course, things got really bad when I started missing my rec basketball games. I would be at the library or in class and my teammates would call me and say, “Dude, where’s our water? You were supposed to bring it, that’s your job,” and I would have to explain in a quiet tone so I wouldn’t upset the professor or anybody nearby that I couldn’t make it right now, and to go use the drinking fountain, but they didn’t take that too well and soon they got a new water boy.

Like this summer I was completely burned out. I mean completely. Zero energy. All I could do was sit in front of the TV or the computer. Sometimes they wouldn’t even be on. So I was just sitting, wishing they were on, praying that someone would come and turn them on, or feed me, but I could never make the effort, you understand, to do anything myself. At one point, I didn’t shower or shave for twelve days. Man, if you had seen me … Well, I mean, if you somehow had seen me, I would probably have had a bit of stubble after the twelve days but nothing seriously resembling a beard, to tell the truth. But I could maybe have used a shower.

So yeah, the rumors are true. I mean, it’s really tough here. I can’t say I was expecting it. That’s why I was so drained this summer. Oh — you have to go? Okay. Yeah. Are you sure you want to print this? Well. I mean, yeah. Um, don’t use my name, okay? Use … Neptune. Neptune’s good.

Will Grundler can be reached at sailgull@umich.edu.

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