Written by Joseph Krzyston
It is that time of year again. People who couldn’t find Greece on a map slap the letters of its alphabet on their chests and parade around campus. For some, it’s a surely a meaningful exercise in friendship and personal growth. A study recently conducted by the University of my Ears and Eyes and Brain (very prestigious), however, has found that, for many, these throngs of people congregated on our various quads are baffling background noise.
“It’s not a problem, and I’m not opposed to it,” said a source who is absolutely a real person and definitely not a rhetorical device constructed by the author to express his ideas in a different voice, “but it’s just kind of odd. I find myself rounding the occasional corner, thinking happily of dove fields and trout streams, and what do I see but a massive bunch of people in shirts, standing around, maybe playing corn-hole, maybe conducting an elaborate sack race. It’s not a big deal, but it is another peripheral thing I feel I ought to know something about. I’m always asking my peers, only to find it’s the fifteenth annual Rho Beta Phi No Better Guy Invitational Polo Tournament for the Cure or whatever the hell. It’s hard to keep up with all this.”
“Absolutely,” chimed another student, also real, “it’s a whole thing. It’s kind of like having bad seats to a boxing match and not really caring about boxing in the first place. You know what does ruffle my feathers though? The people who aren’t Greek but who are constantly rattling off about Greek life. It doesn’t bother me when people join the organizations, but it does strike me as sad as all hell when people with no actual ties to the organizations talk nonstop about their stuff. It’s kind of like people’s lives are so devoid of meaningful stimuli that they’re willing to fill the void with just about anything. Shucks, that was awfully heavy, wasn’t it?”
Our remarkably self-aware source is not alone, or maybe she more or less is. It’s hard to know what anybody thinks about anything. That’s sort of the tightrope walk of the human experience, isn’t it? Just a constant push and pull between solipsism and egomaniacal projection. Still, only a quarter of the campus is involved in the stuff (a figure I’ve taken from Wikipedia, I confess). When that is considered, it seems pretty clear that at least a few folks think the whole thing is just a little silly. I’m not asking anybody to stop doing anything, but it would be nice if absolute indifference was something we could wear as proudly as some people wear their letters.