>>> Text-Heavy
By staff writer E.E. Southerby
Volume 51 – September 28, 2003

Now Playing: “The Meaning of Goodbye” to James Stewart

I have it on good authority that, while college is a wonderful learning experience, you do 80% of your learning outside the classroom. I'm not sure how someone came up with this statistic, nor how one number can apply to every person, but there you go. Also, I learned this fact in one of my classes, so I'm sure there's some sort of irony there. In that spirit, I present to you, this extremely antisocial edition of Text-Heavy. Here's what happened:

-We're nearly a month into the school year. You know what that means? People will finally stop asking me how my summer was.

-The first three weeks of school are spent meeting people who you knew last year, but not very well. ‘Casual Acquaintances', we'll call them. Here's how every single casual acquaintance conversation the first time you see them goes: “Hey! How was your summer?” “Hey! Fine. You know, I went home and worked.” “Yeah, same here.” “Well, see you around.” “Later.”

-It's weird how casual acquaintances aren't really good for anything. Unless you need someone to slow you down so you can give the obligatory smile and wave while you're already late for class.

-Sometimes, casual acquaintances turn into best friends. It's pretty rare, though. It requires a very delicate balance and the stars to be in just the right alignment. You pretty much have to be at a bar and notice a casual acquaintance there talking to a girl you think is hot. I swear, you'll act like you've known the guy for YEARS.

-Quote of the Moment: My casual acquaintance, Steve, after I suggested that he and I should get together sometime: “I'm just afraid of taking our relationship to the next level. But I'm sure I'll see you around campus or something.” You mean that level where we actually hang out and have more meaningful conversations than “Hey, how's it going?” Yeah, heavens forfend. You've probably already guessed that Steve has some really attractive friends. Damn, I'm shallow.

-I have it on good authority that powdered juice is cheaper than frozen concentrate. I can't stand it, though. Someone always dips a wet spoon into the tin and everything clumps together in a defensive clot and then you just have to throw the whole thing out. It makes me crazy. Sorry, I just had to let that out.

-Do you think vocational colleges have regular classes? Like, do you think the people in Clown College take Physics? (“Ok, kids, today we're going to trace the trajectory of shooting Billy out of a cannon into a vat of banana cream pie filling. Eveyone get out your calculators.”)

-College Translations, the Casual Acquaintances Edition: 1) “Hey, how's it going?” actually means “Sorry, I can't talk. I'm late for class.” 2) “Did you go to that party last night?” actually means “I can't believe you didn't invite me.” 3) “What are you doing this weekend?” actually means “You'd better have plans of your own, because you sure as hell aren't hanging out with me. And aren't you late for class?”

-Some people, mostly females, are huggers. They'll give you a big hug every time they see you, even if you just ran into them a few minutes earlier. This is ok if you know them well, not so much if you're not at all good friends. I'll always be like “Wait, who are you again?” and they'll get all offended and leve in a huff, swearing they'll never talk to me again. Twenty minutes later we'll be outside the cafeteria together and there's another hug waiting for me, as if the first one never happened. It's really weird. I guess some people are just irresistible.

-I have a hard time remembering names. That's why, if I actually do remember a casual acquaintance's name, I'll get really offended if they don't remember mine. I reserved a special space in my brain for the name of a person I'll never see outside of class, and they don't reciprocate? That's just rude. And then there's people I've known for years, but never learned their names in the first place. That always gets awkward. There's one guy I've been calling ‘Max' for a year and a half. It's because when I met him I thought he was wearing a name tag. Turns out it was just an IMAX t-shirt. If you see him, find out what his name is and report back to me. It probably helps if you give him a hug.