Sunday, December 10, 2006

sagelike wisdom

One of the most valuable lessons I learned in college was in one of my communications classes, but it had (almost) nothing to do with the communication process.

It was in Dr. Brey's argumentation class, and he told us once, apropos of nearly nothing, "If you learn nothing else in college, remember this...don't drink and dial."

Of course, a wet-behind-the-ears freshman girl in the front row raised her hand and said "Don't you mean don't drink and drive?"

He said "No... don't drink and DIAL. Everybody in this room has either experienced this lesson or will soon... but someday this might be one of the most valuable lessons you've ever learned."

It took a while, but I know exactly what he was referring to... because when you're in your mid-20s and have had a few cups of the ol' fire-water, suddenly it seems like a fine idea to call up old girlfriends and profess your love, question why you ever broke up, etc. It always seems like a good idea when you're warm and buzzing, and, well, isn't.

Of course, I suppose nowadays there's a Roosevelt corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, which is "don't drink and text", "don't drink and e-mail", etc.

I was fortunate in that I had a pretty good "out". My best friend moved to Hawai'i after college, so even if I was leaving a bar at 3 AM I could still call her because it was a fairly reasonable hour in Honolulu, they're five hours behind. And before that when I was still in college, well... if I was out at 3 am I was probably with her :)

You could often pick out the freshmen. My first semester at Florida State, I printed out a copy of my schedule of classes, and color-coded it so I would know which one was which and when my breaks were (I had a color printer and was playing with it, plus I was my usual paranoid about now knowing where the rooms were)... I had it in the front pocket of my public speaking class folder. First week of class a girl looks over and says "You're a freshman, aren't you?" I said "How did you know!?!" :-P

So, to paraphrase Wag the Dog, "There are two things I know to be true. One is that there is no difference between good flan and bad flan, the other is don't drink and dial."

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