I just came perilously close to putting a champagne flute into the washing machine.
Fortunately, the sheet it was wrapped in betrayed its bulk just as I was about to shut the door of the machine, so the flute made it out of the situation unscathed. Which is good, because the whole reason the flute traveled back to my parents’ house in the same overstuffed trash bag as my dirty sheets is that my roommate gave it to me as a goodbye gift after our graduation from UCSB on Sunday. My stemware was already packed, and the large bag full of sheets seemed like a soft, safe place to put the thin glass flute.
Or at least it was, until I turned the bag upside down to dump its contents into the Kenmore. Fortunately, the flute was saved, plucked out of the pile of clothes waiting expectantly in the washing machine’s drum, and placed prettily on display atop my dresser, inside a wilting wreath from yesterday’s ceremony.
And now, as I glance over at it from the comfort of a borrowed bed in my parents’ guest apartment, I can’t help but see it as a metaphor for the entire experience of graduating from college.
A simple, if somewhat impractical object, put into a perilous situation which it only survived thanks to the support of a big pile of bedding. To me, that sounds suspiciously like a certain film and media studies major who only made it through college thanks to some serious support. And, much like myself, the champagne glass has spent most of the past two weeks full of various vinos and vodka concoctions. But, unlike me, once you move the supportive sheets, the flute doesn’t stand a chance.
As for me, you can fling my friends as far as the four corners of the earth, and I will still have a support system to keep me from breaking. And really, the most important thing that college can leave a person with is the network of friends, lovers, co-workers, and classmates that you develop in between study sessions. Grades are good, and learning the skills required to raise the money for your rent is even better. But, as far as I’m concerned, the best thing I gained from my undergraduate education is the group of amazing people I’ve met during my time here at UCSB.
Of course, my parents, brothers, Apu and extended family all deserve a lot of thanks. I love you all, and couldn’t have done anything without you. I also have to say a big thank you to the Film & Media Studies faculty, Joe Palladino, the Law & Society professors, Barb, Jerry and J.E. at the Nexus and all the other UCSB faculty and staff who went above and beyond the bureaucracy to ensure our education was about more than just meeting requirements and making grades.
And, a huge thanks to the Independent staff, and to Matt, not only for being so supportive of me, but for ensuring that the Santa Barbara community gets the creative and compelling coverage it deserves.
Sarah G, Sarah S, Teah, Adrianne, Noel, Tess, Amanda, our Sueno neighbors who shared the backyard, our polo boys who shared just about everything else, Maddy my love and Kelly and Craig, my adopted roomies, you have all made living in Isla Vista an insane, inebriated, impossibly incredible experience. Wine, cheese, CSI, SVU, Remington Steele, Casablanca, Cosmopolitans, Buffy and beer - okay, so all of our activities center around alcohol and altogether too much time spent in front of the television set. But, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Juano, never stop being a winner. Dan, you know how special you are, and how much I care about you. Jono, freshman friend and permanent paper writing buddy, you know I heart you. Jeremiah, you’re my cherished chess partner and so much more. And, Richie, you will never lack for frosting as long as I’m around.
All the old Beta guys, Ivan and the Russians, the ranch, I.V. Drip kids, Natural Cafe Goleta staff, all the people I sat next to during fabula-filled film classes in Buchanan, all my fellow Lawsoers, thank you for the many memories and the many nights that were so magnificent I can’t even remember them.
Nexites, past and present, you never cease to inspire me. Especially you, Drew and Aly. The two of you are my grown-up touchstones and two of the smartest, funniest people I know. And, honorary Nexite, Spencer - aim for the hallways in the crappy hotels. That way we can actually go back to the Wynn. Stay classy.
Patty, Lauren, Pavvy, Hoff, Gibby (the holy grail), C.K., V.A., Simon, Rickey, Travis, Will, Sophia, Val, Aria, Ferry, Cameron, Brandon - my Nexus drinking buddies, some of the wildest and wittiest people I know and the best proof UCSB has for that whole You Can Study Buzzed thing. I fully expect to see you in Vegas next year. Or at least on Scrabulous.
Dianne, Kara and Jess, you guys are my best girl friends in the whole entire world. You are my sources of strength, sarcasm, support and so many shared clothes. Sex and the City ain’t got nothin’ on us. I can’t keep going on about how much I love you, because I will start crying, but you have no idea how happy I am that we will all be living close enough to continue the mighty tradition of the mani-pedi.
Eli, Evan, Kurt, Mike, Bill, Steve, Tyler’s friends in general, thank you for letting me tag along all year. You are an amazingly intelligent group of people, and a lot of fun to hang out with - although, I’m not sure my liver would agree with that assessment. I am so glad I got to know all of you, and I hope we can all get together for a good graduate game of beer pong one day.
Tyler. My chocolate-covered pretzel. My semantically ambiguous relationship. My monocled man. I could say that you are my Sam Spade and my Phillip Marlowe, The Man With No Name, Han Solo, Rick, Iron Man, Brendan Frye, Wesley and Gary all rolled into one. But, I think it is much more accurate to say that you are always, admirably, abidingly, yourself. You swept me off my feet, made all my film-fueled fantasies come true, and rescued me from the evil emus. You know how important you are to me, and how confident I am that you will find your success and your satisfaction in life. We’ll always have Solvang and you are, and always will be, mi platanes preferido.
And with that, self-indulgent series of sayonaras, I bid you - whomever you are that has stuck around to read this column in its entirety - adieu. Thank you to everyone that read Eye on Isla Vista the past two years, and to everyone that put up with publishing it. I raise my flute to you, to UCSB and to the inimitable I.V. L’chaim. Cheers, Peace. Adios.
Oh, and ole, ole, ole.