Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Alumni Magazine


My college sends out an alumni magazine once or twice a year.

Reading the magazine doesn’t take long.  As I did with The Berenstain Bears before I learned how to read, I quickly flip through the pages, taking note of the pictures.  Then I say “All done!” and deposit it into the trash*.

*I would NEVER throw a Berenstain Bears book into the trash.  Only alumni magazines.

The magazine highlights what is going on in the University.  It touches on the new buildings, new programs, publications/awards of the professors, and other pat-themselves-on-the-back boasts. 

Stuff I’m not interested in, basically.

But the one section of the magazine that I always take a few moments to peruse is the alumni update pages in the back.  This is the section where it shows the special life events of the graduates.

  • So and so had a baby. 
  • So and so got hired as the head basketball coach for such and such a school. 
  • So and so appeared on an episode of a TV show that everyone watches.

After reading a few entries, I feel as if the alumni magazine is mocking me with everyone else’s success.

  • So and so started his own business, is making tons of money, and is essentially kicking life in the ass. 
  • So and so got a PhD and is really, really smart.  Much smarter than you, at least. 
  • So and so got married to so and so.  They have found the happiness that you so desperately seek.  And no, you were not invited to the wedding.

Of course, the only life events that are mentioned are the ones from the people who took the time to send a letter to the alumni.  And I’m not really the kind of person to do that.

"Dearest University, I am penning this correspondence
to notify you of my awesomeness."

But then I thought, why not?  What the hell is stopping me from sending in my life updates and letting my fellow alumni know what I’ve--

I realized the answer before I could even formulate the question.

I haven’t done shit.

Career-wise, I was off the map for a few years while I played poker.  And I don’t think that my Catholic Liberal Arts college would be too keen in publishing any of my accolades from my stint as a professional gambler.

I haven’t fathered any children, which is a good thing considering I am still single and unmarried.

I haven’t appeared in any television shows, except for the time that Jimmy Fallon read one of my tweets on his show.

And I haven’t continued my education and received a Masters or PhD.

Hmmm…

Oh well, screw it.  I don’t need any of these typical life achievements to be recognized for greatness.

I’m not sure what kind of scrutiny these updates undergo, but I sent in a few options.  I figured the more I sent in, the greater the chance of one of them squeaking into publication:

  • While walking down the street, Youngman Brown ’08 found a ten-dollar bill.  He immediately posted the news on Facebook and tried to tag it as a “Life Event,” but didn’t know how.
  • After a two year struggle, Youngman Brown ’08 finally finished reading "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."
  • “Good Youngman Brown,” a blog by Youngman Brown ’08, received the “Enchanted Blog Award,” an award that blogging friends indiscriminately give to one another.
    © Anyone with a blog

  • After sending out multiple queries to women on eHarmony, Youngman Brown ’08 finally received a response from one of them.  It did not lead to a date, but according to him "still felt like a success." 
  • While staying at his parents' house for Easter, Youngman Brown '08 found his Easter Basket in under ten seconds, shattering the record previously held by his sister in 1997.  When asked what motivated him to find the basket of goodies so quickly, 26-year old Brown said, "to get it over with."  Afterward, his father made pancakes, with the first one in a letter "Y" for "Youngman."  

I don't know about you, but I think that my fellow alumni will be totally jealous of my enchanted life.

-Youngman Brown


72 comments:

  1. I graduated from Syracuse University in 2004. I despise the Alumni Magazine. It's full of rich people who were rich when they go to college. And I feel like a loser. A blogging, concert going loser. :) Thanks for a nice post! I'm with ya!

    ReplyDelete
  2. got*. Rich when they got to college. Sorry, OCD.

    ReplyDelete
  3. There are times I won't even open mine for the same face smacking reasons. I don't care how great your life is, how perfect and boast worthy! I'm a freaking nanny with a college degree! Grrr. Now your update...those I'd read. That's what it should be...I'd rather laugh then want to cry after looking through that crap. My update for today:

    "Jewels, class of '02, of According Jewels, recently scandalized the Internet with discussions of sex, dating, and wearing shirts with "fuck so good" written across the back. "

    Be proud mom & dad...be proud!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like it! And I am sure that they are proud!

      Delete
  4. I get alumni emails and constant requests to attend functions, send money, and updates.

    My theory is if I haven't stayed in touch with you since college or high school what makes you think I want you to know anything about my lief now. If you haven't noticed I didn't think enough of you to keep you in my life therefore I don't think enough of you to waste the time updating you about how much better than you I am.

    I am sorry you ego is so needy and self esteem so low that you must broadcast your supposed successes in a desperate attempt for recognition.

    I pity you people. However this Youngman Brown guy **Swoon**

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha wow, you REALLY don't like keeping up to date with them. Are you able to put up with Facebook?

      And thanks for the swoon lol

      Delete
  5. I know just how you feel! I wish the idiots from my old college would stop sending me the bloody alumni mag. I graduated in '97 and have no idea what anyone is doing with their life, nor do I wish to! I hate all those smarmy gits and their stupid achievements! I don't need to be reminded of what an incredible loser I am, thanks! The biggest joke is that just before I graduated, I realised that the field I was going into was the last place I'd ever want to be and that the previous 3 years were an utter waste of time, money and my life! Typical! My education isn't worth the paper it's printed on, either! Story of my life!

    I haven't done shit either. I'm the epitome of loser-rific, lame-tastic and suck-tacular and proud! Society can kiss my ass! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's okay, I haven't done anything with my Computer Science and English degrees either!

      Delete
  6. My grandma just got the leather-bound edition of our alumni book. (I'm the 8th in the family to graduate.) So now it's a permanent fixture in the house.

    When I graduated last May, I had to fill out some paperwork for my college to be eligible for an award for students with both academic and extracurricular achievements.

    (One kid just got back from a five month trip to Malawi to install water purification systems that he designed himself. So, no pressure.)

    It took all I had not to write about my 4 year reign as shoe kicking champion of our neighborhood 4th of July block party, the greatest beer pong shot I have ever made, and the paper airplane one of my Sunday Schoolers made that flew 12 whole feet.

    I don't remember what I actually said, because clearly it wasn't important.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha wow, so you're like, kind of a big deal, huh?

      Delete
    2. Well, now that they have the alumni book, people know me...

      Delete
  7. I'm in the same boat as you (except for the whole success in gambling and such). I wish they would include subtext beneath the entries:

    "So and so had a baby."
    (It was not planned.)

    "So and so appeared on an episode of a TV show that everyone watches."
    (Sexual favors were exchanged.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't that the truth? I wonder how many died trying to catch one of those graduation caps, lol.

      Delete
    2. Yea, I think a lot of people, especially my age, are in the same boat. At least those in America.

      And yes, the subtext would certainly have been better. Although, if you went to a small school like me and basically know everyone in your class, it is easy to add your own subtext :)

      Delete
  8. Bah as long as one is happy with themselves that is all that matters. All those people who send the stuff in have no friends and just need a place to boast anyway. I don't even look at the pictures, in the trash it goes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I should probably deposit it right into the trash and save myself an extra minute or two of my life.

      Delete
  9. I'm right there with ya. The alumni magazines are sort of like those dreaded Christmas letters. Who wants to hear about your amazing success, your beautiful, can-do-no-wrong children and all of the exotic places you've traveled. Get over yourself already.

    ReplyDelete
  10. First of all, this post totally cracked me up. Then I got to the eHarmony one and groaned, as I am NOT looking forward to getting back in to the dating scene, as a newly single woman. Blech.

    What people consider success is so personal I don't bother to read my alumni magazine. I am pretty cool with where I'm at, and I never even found ten dollars on the ground!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yea, I've pretty much given up on online dating, except for a little experiment that I am putting forth. I will probably eventually write something about it.

      Delete
    2. Hey spork...he's single...hahahaha

      Delete
  11. Now I know what to look forward too. I also feel as if I haven't accomplished "life's acheivements" but I'm still on the fence about me feelings towards it. In any event, I think you're a success. And I AM jealous that your dad made you a Y shaped pancake.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also, where do I find this infamous Jimmy Fallon post?

      Delete
    2. To be honest, I lied. It was in the shape of an "M" for my real name, Mike. But I figured that this was an acceptable fib.

      I never wrote a post about the Jimmy Fallon thing. But you can watch the video clip here:

      http://www.hulu.com/watch/308589/late-night-with-jimmy-fallon-hashtags-worstxmasgift

      Delete
  12. Finishing Girl with the Dragon Tattoo should count as a major life achievement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yea, it was rough. Definitely don't get why people thought it was so amazing.

      Delete
  13. Success IS personal. I am musically and artistically talented and never made a career with any of it. My only claim to fame are the 2 children I gave birth too and raised into wonderful adults. I think you're pretty brave for the eHarmony thing though. If I was 28 again I would so totally have been at least the second response!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha thanks, that is very sweet of you to say.

      Delete
  14. Dear Youngman Brown,

    Please do one of the following: 1.) refrain from writing funny; or 2.) offer the reader a warning/ disclaimer type sentence that advises against eating chocolate cookies and drinking milk for a nice refreshing afternoon treat while simultaneously attempting to read your blog, as this leads to potential choking on cookies and spitting milk out violently and basically making a big mess.*

    *you owe me a new keyboard now

    xxo
    MOV

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha the keyboard is in the mail.

      Thanks again for your very kind words and shout-out on your blog, today. You definitely tickled my brain.

      Additionally, I feel all warm inside because you signed this "xxo MOV" instead of your usual "Best, MOV." I am definitely MOVing up in the world.

      Delete
    2. You are more than welcome for the shout-out, you deserve it! and I should have done it sooner!

      (and I am sorry if your phone is vibrating because I am typing this at 4 AM ...)

      xxo
      MOV

      Delete
  15. I get the emails too, which is weird because I never supplied them with my email. Stupid Facebook! I simply delete it because I didn't like anyone there anyway LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you know that if you delete your Facebook profile, twenty angels lose their wings?

      Delete
    2. It may be worth it at this point...

      Delete
  16. Hahah, it's the little victories that count! Alumni magazines are pointless as a school reaches a certain size, I don't recognize most of the names in there anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. In reality, it is nothing more than a marketing tool

      Delete
  17. Also, I'm wondering why they call them potholes? There is absolutely no pot in any of them...I know I checked!! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Maybe I should have a kid so I can have a legitimate reason to be published in one of those alumni magazines.

    But then, quite a number of my high school fellows have beat me to the punch with that. :P

    -Barb the French Bean

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is probably the best reason I have heard to have a child.

      Delete
  19. I feel the same way as you. I haven't done any of the things I thought I would by now other than get married. Hell, my own blog was born of things I was one day gonna do. So I understand how you feel and this is why I don't even receive my school's alumni letters or magazines... and I went to freaking photography school!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's okay, though. Most people take a much different path than they originally set out, an most don't accomplish the things they want to do "one day" until much later in life.

      Delete
  20. HAHAHA!!! I love your awesomeness YoungmanBrown. I think you should totally send in an update about your blog writing, and that you won an award for it. They'd never know...and you and I both know that :-)

    PS - I agree...paging through until you see what your classmates have been up to post college. I get it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha maybe I will. Although the "Liebster Award" has a much better chance of making it through than the "Enchanted Blog Award."

      Delete
  21. Yet another reason to be glad I'm English and never went to any college. I don't get things like this in the post - all I get is bills.

    It sounds as if this magazine is really an early form of facebook, but without the advantage of being able to look at the pictures and see that they got fat/ the partner they are happily married to is ugly/ the kids are ginger.

    You should totally send them an update of your life, it certainly sounds more interesting then mine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha thanks for the vibration.

      And I think I fell a little bit in love with you for referring to it as the "post."

      Delete
    2. Really ?

      Best not tell MOV she might rip my eyes out.
      Let's just elope and not tell her.

      I could do with a toy boy... ?

      Delete
  22. The good news is, eventually those stupid alumni magazines stop coming... or at least they seem to come less frequently. Like you, I would feel like a failure looking at the achievements pages, so I got to where I would just throw the magazine away without even opening it.

    And yes, I am insanely jealous of your enchanted life. Sigh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll look forward to less junk mail from my college, then.

      And like some famous rapper said, "Bein' enchanted ain't easy."

      Or something along those lines.

      Delete
  23. Wait, Jimmy Fallon read one of your tweets on his show?! That's HUGE!!! I am not even kidding when I say that is worthy of sending to your alumni magazine!!!

    P.S. So what was the tweet??? Share the juice!! hahaha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what she said.

      Told you I'd beat you in this game.

      And the tweet was from a show around Christmas-time.

      http://www.hulu.com/watch/308589/late-night-with-jimmy-fallon-hashtags-worstxmasgift

      Delete
    2. Beat me? Thats 1-1. Game on!

      Delete
    3. Grr.

      (and you can't use that as a TWSS)

      Delete
  24. You would throw out your Bernstein Bears books?!?!?! WAT???

    I say submit all of that to your Alum rag! It's fucking hilarious and better achievements that any of those boring alum could hope to garner!

    I never graduated from college, but I send alum updates to the one that I say I graduated from saying "Kat didn't technically graduate from your school, however thanks to lying about it on her resume she managed to have gainful employment for over 12 years** and that's more than most of the asshole who paid you $25000 x 4 years can say!"

    (**This is true by the way. And yes, I know I'm an awful person.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THAT, my friend, is awesome. You do what you got to do. First time I ever heard someone admit that, hilarious.

      Delete
    2. You are not an awful person!

      And no way did I ever throw away Berenstain Bear books. The reference was only to the way I read them, not to actually throwing them out.

      Delete
  25. Dude, this has to be your funniest post to date. I almost feel bad for laughing. Almost. And I get those stupid alumni thingies in the mail too. The most annoying part? The fact that they erroneously ASSUME my financial success and send a big fat envelope for "donations." Bah!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks!

      And yea, they always call and send mail to send them money. I'm sure I will eventually post about this too, because I used to work for the phone-a-thon at my college, so I always feel bad for the kids who call me begging for money.

      Delete
  26. I didn't go to university. But I might try sending random 'news' to random universities.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bet one would get through. It is all about volume!

      Delete
  27. We could start a post twentys mailer caller sorry I dont give a fuck about you finical and personal accomplishments monthy, might be boring though. Great post. I hate those mailers.

    ReplyDelete
  28. We could start a post twentys mailer caller sorry I dont give a fuck about you finical and personal accomplishments monthy, might be boring though. Great post. I hate those mailers.

    ReplyDelete
  29. big bbj just hit table i was seated at earlyer in day. the crazy mo fo that got a 1 hr ban earlyer this morning won it! seriously deranged person! the crazies have all the luck

    ReplyDelete
  30. Guess it depends on our perspective of an 'enchanted life'. A success to one may not be the dream of another. Some people dream of being in the rat race, while some dream of a quiet life in the farm. So you go enjoy your life to the fullest, youngman! That is what matters most.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree!

      And of course, I jest. I think it is great that people are getting married and having babies, and I am happy for them.

      Delete
    2. And I am happy for you, Youngman ;) I think I'll like your life.

      Delete

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