Columnist reflects on his eventful second semester at UT

Where did the time go? In a handful of weeks, I, and the masses of freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, will be returning home for a glorious summer vacation while our seniors will be graduating, then indulging in a glorious passing out from weeks of near-suicidal tension. But, for now I look back to the last semester, particularly my meditative December editorial and wonder: How in the world did I manage to be so chipper and optimistic last semester?

Now, I’m a bitter old husk that simply wishes summer vacation would begin; a bitter old husk that also never wants to hear of through lines, annotated bibliographies, and ragtime music again (don’t ask).

I’m largely kidding. But between moments of wanting to take a dip in the Hillsborough River-from the height of that increasingly attractive graffiti-spattered bridge-and scrambling to finish this mass of research papers and projects, I feel that somehow this semester has strengthened me invaluably.

In my final editorial of the previous semester, I promoted exploration and openness, always testing what you’re capable of, as the best way to get the most out of the college experience. I feel that I was able to do that in new ways even though I was busier than ever. Though I may not have been sitting on as many Mirze-related classes as I wanted to, I think I’ve mad the best of this semester.

For example, I was lucky enough to travel to New York City for the Associated Writers Program Conference with a group of fellow Quilt members; I’d never been to New York City and that was some experience. I learned more of the business aspect to the literary arts, which finally thrust forth the courage in me to start submitting my work to magazines and journals.

But, greater than that is the personal memories consisting of days of nuttiness as only The Big Apple can produce such as: encountering angry PETA protestors equipped with signs of bloody, dismembered animals; running around Greenwich Village in the lonely hours of the night; bizarre encounters with a dancing man in a purple shirt and a creepy, gyrating lady in blue; and somebody’s cell phone ringing nonstop with mysterious messages from Ohio.

Even back on campus, I balanced my time and squeezed in room to attend art history lectures, poetry readings, and symposia, including a surprisingly interesting lecture on woodcuts-who knew?

But as nostalgic as I may be, the future is ahead and is never as far away as we believe. In the upcoming semester, I’ll be attempting to fill the shoes of Quilt’s Chris Janus and UTs illustrious Letter Advancer himself, Simos Farrell.

If someone would have told me I’d be running a student literary magazine, chances are I wouldn’t have believed them; but, this is just one of those opportunities that you just don’t dismiss.

Anyway, reflection is great, but for now I’m content with whittling my remaining days here away so I can start summer break, which will inevitably include hawking coffee and books at Books-A-Million in Destin. And, before I know it, I’ll be bored with episodes of Jeopardy, Cash Cab, and Family Guy, wanting to come back to the incessant late night fire drills on the coldest nights of the year, anxious for new classes and running an entire organization.

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