The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, January 14, 1998, Page 5, Image 5
1 CLIFF HICKS is a junior news-editorial and English major and a Daily Nebraskan columnist. “Another year, another headache.” “Well,” James thinks, “this year will be different It has to be.” He sits on the loft bed of his dorm room, looking at his folded hands rest ing in his lap. The room is slowly begmning to warm up, and his luggage is still unpacked on the floor in the cen ter of the room. He’s been thinking a lot over the tweak. ' On the excuse for a desk in the cor ner of the room lies his report card, the grades a bitter reminder of last semes ter’s excesses. Too much drinking, too many parties and not enough studying. 1 “I will learn,” is James’ new mantra. It replaces “Party! Party!” Sarah, James’ ex-girlfriend, knocks on the door, pushing it open a little. They’re still friends, but nothing more. “Hi, James,” she says to him as she peeks her head in. “Hi, Sarah.” “Ready for classes?” she asks as die slips into the room, closing Ae door behind her. “Not really” he confesses, “but are we ever?” Sarah nods, hiking out a pack of -< cigarettes and tapping them on her thigh. “I know what you mean,” she says. “Last year was the same way. We got back and neither one of us wanted to be here. Thatfc the problem with school - it’s just not any fun to learn anymore.” He lifts his head up at the sound of plastic on denim, his blue eyes firm and rejuvenated, ‘lid really rather you didn’t smoke inhere, Sarah.” She looks up, surprised, then puts the packet away in her jacket “Trying to cut down?” “Quit cold tmkey.” Her eyes widen a little as she takes offher jacket, setting it over the back ol one of fee room’s two chairs. “Really?” she asks. “Why?” He smiles a little, shrugging as he jumps from the loft to the floor. “It wasn’t good for me.” Her laugh is as soft and melodic as ever. “Neither is drinking, but you aren’t giving that up.” His smile broadens a little as he picks up an apple, buffing it on his U2 T-shirt. “Who says?” This time she looks even more shocked than the last time. “Oh come on, James! You can’t give up drinking!’ He chuckles, moving to lean against die radiator; the capitol budding visible through the window behind him. “Why not?” he asks before he takes abite of his apple. “What are you going to do at par > ties?” she asks as she straddles the chair, watching him curiously. With the push ofa button, his stereocomes on and the soft, lulling white noise of My Bloody Valentine floods into die room. “I don’t think I’m going to be at very many parties this yeat Sarah,” he remarks, knowing this whole conversation must simply be stunning to her “You’re just going to sit hoe and study all die time?” she laughs. “I’ll believe that when I see it” James moves to open up one of his suitcases, slowly taking out die clothes from inside of it “Well prepare to be a believer then.” He pulls open a drawer; setting ah his neatly folded jeans into it The whole room is James’ this semester, and he knows it will be nice not to have the crowds of people com ing in and out all foe time and the loud yelling at 2 a.m. about stupid topics. When he is ready to sleep, he can sleep, he thinks to himself. Getting up will be the big challenge, though, since he has a tendency to oversleep. “Aren’t you taking French for; like, the fifth time this semester?” she asks, picking up his half-eaten apple and tak ing a bite from it “Itb not that hard of a class. I did it straight through my first time.” He shrugs, rubbing his bare chin. “Some people can do things easier than others.” Sarah sighs, setting the apple back on the counter. “You know, your mom told me once that you were like a genius kid back when you were young. What happened?” Janies takes his shirts and puts them into the next drawer, then closes it before turning back to look at her. “I think I just got lazy. You know, all the basic subjects in school were never that hard for me, so I figured the advanced stuff would come that way too, but it didn’t” “So you change,” she says. “You get back to working hard and doing what you have to do.” “I know,” James replies. “That’s what I’m doing.” She gets up, picking up her jacket with a finger. “You don’t need to isolate yourself to do it, James. You just have to refocus and regroup. Don’t cut back on your social life because you have a problem.” “But what if it’s part of the prob lem?” he asks her. There is a long moment of uncom fortable silence before she puts her jacket on. Sarah thinks to herself that James is just having another one ofhis mood swings. Part ofthe reason they broke up was because he didn’t like her friends and she didn’t like his, so him cutting back on the parties really does n’t surprise her. “Well, I need to get going,” she tells him. “Don’t be a stranger. Give me a call sometime. WfeTl hang out or some thing.” He nods as she slips out the door. ‘Take care of yourself, Sarah.” “You know me, James, it’s all I do well” He locks the door behind her, sigh ing to himself He knows he won’t call her, because she was part of the prob lem. Trying to get him drunk four nights a week, telling him classes don’t matter, trying to wean him away from his friends. - It’s back to basics fra* James, Hard work, lots of studying and hanging out with friends he enjoys-no more sense less partying, no more clouds of ciga rette smoke and no more drinking binges that make him forget his own brother’s name. College life is like a drug - you say a lot of times that this is the last time you do it to excess, but sooner or later, you get that bad hit and you need to get things in working order before they kill you. Sooner or later, you have to quit cold turkey. It’s pot the good life, boNti life and it’s getting better./ “And to think,” he says as he puts his books on the shelf, Irvine Welsh’s “Trainspotting” staring at him ironical ly, “these are the golden years of my life.” With that, he can only laugh. TODD MUNSON is a junior broadcasting major and a Daily Nebraskan columnist. Greetings, my dozen readers. I’ve returned from the land of milk and honey to write for you once again. The last few weeks have been a hoot. I’ve been bustin' a move on tour with Puff Daddy and the Family as their special guest. Quite a bit has changed since the last day of classes. The sun rose and set a few times and a new year has paid us a visit. With a new year comes resolu tions and goals, and in the world of journalism, the obligatory year-in review story. Year-in-review articles are like teen-agers and smoking. Everyone's doing it. At least that’s what the influential ones say. 1 Among all the year-in-review stories, tiie most appalling one came from the Denver Post. On the front page of the Dec. 29 issue was a - photo of Jon Benet Ramsey between Mother Teresa and Princess Diana. The caption said their deaths were the most important events of 1997. Mother Teresa, yes. Princess Di, maybe. But the picture of Jon Benet fiamsey between the next saint and a great humanitarian was just appalling. When I pointed this out to Puffy on the tour bus, he didn’t cease to amuse me. “It’s so obvious that the mother killed her because she was jealous of her husband having sex with her,” he said. V * ~ The next day, the tour was post poned and I checked P.D. into Hard Copy rehab against his will. The doctor tells me he hasn’t mentioned the British Nanny in three days. There’s hope yet that he’ll make it. Anyway, back to the year-in review concept Now it’s my turn, but since I’m not your typical journalist and I’m fighting a Green Bay Packer induced, Old Style headache, I pre- , sent to you the year in review for the first two weeks of 1998. So far there’s been death. Let’s start with Chris Farley. Granted, he died at die ripe old age of 33 on Dec. 18, but the results of his autopsy weren’t published until the Jan. 3, so he counts toward this review. Found face-down, dead and bloated and loaded full of drugs isn’t exactly the most gracious way to go out Farley always said he admired John Belushi, and now he died like him. It was a bit of a shock, but when you weigh 295 pounds and spaz out on crank, your heart is bound to explode after a while. But hey, according to the National Enquirer, he was enter tained that night by an orotic dancer or two. Booze, drugs and lewd women - maybe that is a good way to die. The silva lining to his death is that a spot has opened up for a Chris Farley/John Belushi impersonator, and Fm going to try to be that guy. I could gain 125 pounds, Fm fairly funny to people who are on Prozac , and I guess I could do drugs, like speed, if it meant that I could sweat incessantly at will Ruling in die new year was the death of Michael Kennedy. The son of Robert died while skiing the slopes of Aspen, Colo. Kennedy and pals ignored die warnings from the ski patrol that playing football while skiing among trees is dangerous. Maybe the Kennedy family's rampant inbreeding was the cause of his lack of common sense. Poor guy was really the black sheep of die family. He was a recovering alco holic and was facing chaiges of statutory rape that stemmed from his lustful affair with his family’s teen baby sitter. But after all was said and done, I learned something interesting about the Kennedys. The family lives in a compound, not a home. A compound would be a neat place to begin my bloating and rampant drug use. For a couple days, Michael’s death looked to be cover story to prove can die just as easily. , Their plan worked. Sonny’s look too happy. The university’s football team played a game over the break. They beat Tennessee like a bunch of red headed stepchildren. The citizens of Lincoln took to the streets. The drunken revelry was so intense you’d think Ronald Reagan was re elected for a third term. Sometime during the ruckus, or so the authorities suspect, a statue was removed from the Sheldon’s sculpture garden. It was a silly look ing bronze thing titled “Man in Open Air.” To a group of intoxicated football fans, it was die perfect sou venir of the night. And I thought I was being a rebel by helping myself to a pint glass from a local tavern. The only problem was the bronze figure was worth $500,000.1 would have loved to see the looks on the faces of whoever stole it when they saw on the news that their souvenir, now dressed in a Huskers’jersey, Bermuda shorts, and a hat made from the packaging of a Busch Light 12-pack was worth half a million dollars.