The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, August 26, 1999, Page 5, Image 5

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    Promises, promises
Lofty aspirations often lead to disappointment
This semester I will_. *
Go ahead. Pick up a pencil, and fill
it out. Write in a promise. Jot in a goal
for the next 18 weeks. Heck, draw a
picture in the blank if it’ll help you kill
time in this class.
But one thing’s for sure. You’re
probably not going to do whatever
gets put into that blank.
Upperclassmen know what I’m
talking about. Each semester starts
with an adrenaline rush of optimism
and goals. But two weeks and six
morning classes later, your optimism
has shrunk more than a condom left in
the wallet of a junior high school boy.
So I’m going to do you a favor.
I’m going to take the work out of mak
ing and breaking those promises.
Somewhere in this column is the
promise you made yourself this
Before you and your dried up
Sheik get disappointed, just keep read
ing. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
Then you can quit worrying about it.
Tell yourself you will work out
more, sweating like an overworked
Clydesdale until you have a butt tight
enough to bounce quarters off of or a
chest muscular enough to scare He
Man, but you will not be able to find
parking at Campus Recreation the
first two times you go.
Your workout routine will be limit
ed to one-rep sets of lifting beer cases
from the grocery cart to your car.
Your gut will become a flotation
device. Even while taking a shower..
Imagine yourself on the dean’s
Not unless you kidnap the dean
and force fluids. Two cases of Pabst
Blue Ribbon might give him or her a
Everyone wants to be better orga
nized - with schoolwork, housekeep
ing, bills.
But a week from now you’ll create
a pile, consisting of “mostly” non-liv
ing objects. Deciding that you’ll never
have time to sort through it, you’ll
move the pile to the comer, kick what
ever part of it still moves and hide it
from company with a polyester throw
Write “I will finally meet that spe
cial someone” in the blank and after
1 ^classified ads on I’m-Not-Ugly
Really-I’m-Not Online, you will set up
a date with your dream lover.
_ His name is Frank. Frank is 62,
Chia Pet-hairy and needs to put his
teeth in before each candlelit meal.
Watching your weight? Paying
particular attention to fat intake, cho
lesterol and sodium?
After three rice cakes, two gallons
of water and what you believe to be a
hunger-induced mental sickness,
you’ll mug a Domino’s pizza man in
your neighborhood and eat the pizza.
You also take his keys and eat the
three other pizzas still in his car.
Some people want to make it to
class every morning, missing that 8:30
a.m. class only when they’re deathly
Interesting how many of them
seem to have been dying all semester.
No professor is impressed when
you say you have polio, especially if
he was one of the men who helped
invent a vaccine for it.
And your attempt to “spot” your
self with chicken pox? Foiled by an
unexpected downpour of rain that
washed off your Crayola marker
Of course, the most important goal
some students have would be to
improve their grades. Maybe not to
dean’s list level, but higher neverthe
But somewhere after Chapter 2 of
your textbook, the football season/
toga party/new season of “The Real
World” begins.
It will all come down to your
finals. Your professor tells you that
you need to score a perfect 100 per
cent, twice.
If you’re the kind who drinks too
much, makes a fool of himself drink
ing or wakes up at the Nebraska
Fairgrounds after drinking, you might
consider a resolution against such
But damn nickel pitcher nights!
Not only will you lose the contents of
your entire wallet or purse on import
ed beer, but you will attempt to sing
“Livin’ La Vida Loca” without the
karaoke machine again.
If you are not murdered outright,
you’ll somehow find sanctuary behind
Broyhill Fountain, mistaking it, per
haps, for a sauna.
Work hard and save up some
money for that thing you’ve always
wanted, but after taxes, textbooks,
overpriced popcorn at the Starship and
several things called “Final
Notices,” you might have just
enough money to buy a
semester’s worth of :;
Ramen Noodles. —
After 16 packages,
you realize “chicken” is
the worst flavor.
You bought nothing
but “chicken” flavor.
Spending more time
doing fun things with
your friends seems like ''
an easy promise to keep. 4
It’s odd, but your
friends want to date
just about everyone
you date. Sometimes
even while you’re still dat
ing them.
Your friends must have
gooa lasie.
After two separate
arguments on “whose
bellbottoms are
whose” the fallout is
complete: each of
you scribble vulgar
insults on one <
another’s wind- / (
shields with white .) \
shoe polish. \ \s
Some of us struggle
for independence, the
gumption not to ask Mom and
Dad for money. A noble goal.
Then comes the night you franti
cally dial your parents at 3 a.m.
Barely comprehensible, you tell
them in a frenzied voice that if they
don’t send money by tomorrow,
Vince and his brother Toby will be
paying you a visit.
Your father tells you that
you’re “alone in the cave
now” and proceeds to acci
dentally hang up the phone.
He then fails to put the
receiver firmly back in the
cradle and somehow sleeps
through the dial tone, the loud
insect tone signifying the phone
had been left off the hook and the
operator’s voice telling him to hang
the phone back up.
Vince, meanwhile, only takes three
Myself, I will be looking for
another job. The perfect job that I
actually enjoy going to and feel
good coming back from.
Will my pride float in the toilet?
Dammit, I hand out flyers better
than anyone on the sidewalk!
It’s an accomplishment really - the
giant beaver costume made it pretty
dang hard the first few weeks.
Kasey Kerber is a senior news-editorial major and a Daily Nebraskan columnist
When I was your age...
Adults need to take responsibility for teaching children to be responsible
“What the hell is the matter with
kids these days?” you ask.
Of course ‘kids’ is rather vague, but
I think I know who you mean. Kids
killing kids, kids having kids, kids
doing drugs, kids carrying weapons,
kids, kids, kids....
Your question is moving to the
forefront of our national, political dis
In fact, it was even addressed on
the political talk show “Politically
Incorrect” with Bill Maher.
And of course you and I both know
nothing is an issue until it’s been
addressed on late-night TV.
Anyhow, so we’re looking at things
like the Woodstock ’99 riots and the
Columbine High School massacre, and
we’re wondering what went wrong and
who’s to blame.
Maher suggested that one genera
tion plants the trees and the next gener
ation gets the shade, and that maybe
this generation just has too much
He supported this hypothesis by
citing the fact that Dylan Klebold and
Eric Harris (the Columbine killers)
both came from upper-middle class
homes, had dates to the prom, had
money for recreation, etc.
Now there’s certainly nothing fan
tastic about the idea - in fact I would
wager that many subscribe to the opin
ion that kids today have it too easy, and
the easy life is the root of all evil, or
something like that.
What’s so amazing is that on the
show that evening there were two indi
viduals that would qualify as members
of Generation X, the lead singer of the
musical group Biohazard and the chair
of the College Republican National
Committee, and they both heartily
agreed with Mr. Maher.
I was aghast - floored even - that
neither one of these guys would
address the moral void which threatens
our kids.
Maybe, just maybe, it’s not that our
children have been given too much
shade. Maybe it’s that the shade they’ve
been given is provided by trees that are
rotting from inside out.
Maybe it really is true that children
learn by example, and we’ve set a piss
poor example.
Maybe we have neglected to teach
them the difference between right and
wrong, abandoned all concepts of per
sonal responsibility.
Maybe-we should teach them some
personal responsibility. I happen to
believe we should. Hold them respon
sible that is.
But it appears that is not the nation
al consensus as all fingers point to par
ents, the National Rifle Association,
school administrators, MTV, Toys ’R
Us and whoever else is within firing
But never the collective failure of
our society.
Kids are confused. They don’t
know what to think or how to behave.
And really, who could blame them.
Look at how they grew up.
One-third of their peers never saw
the light of day.
One-half of those who made it live
with only one parent.
All of them grew up in a nation
whose leaders chose to turn a blind
moral eye to a president who abuses his
power and commits adultery.
Pastor Joe Wright put it best, deliv
ering the invocation for the opening
session of the Kansas Senate last year,
and I’m sharing his prayer in full
because I’ve never heard it stated bet
ter, and I certainly couldn’t have said it
better myself:
“Heavenly Father, we come before
you today to ask Your forgiveness and
to seek Your direction and guidance.
We know Your Word says, 'Woe on
those who call evil good,'but that's
exactly what we have done.
We have lost our spiritual equilib
rium and reversed our values. We con
fess that. .
We have ridiculed the absolute
truth ofYour Word and called it plural
We have worshiped other gods and
called it multiculturalism.
We have endorsed perversion and
called it an alternative lifestyle.
We have exploited the poor and
called it the lottery.
We have neglected the needy and
Jessica Flanagain is a senior English and philosophy major and a Daily Nebraskan columnist
called it self preservation.
We have rewarded laziness and
called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn children
and called it a choice.
We have shot abortionists and
called it justifiable.
We have neglected to discipline our
children and called it building self
We have abused power and called
it political savvy.
We have coveted our neighbor s
possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the air with pro
fanity and pornography and called it
freedom of expression.
We have ridiculed the time-hon
ored values of our forefathers and
called it enlightenment.
Search us, O God, and know our
hearts today; cleanse us from every sin
and set us free. Guide and bless these
men and women who have been sent to
direct us to the centerofYour will.
I ask it in the name ofYour Son, the
living Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
It’s time to give our children some
thing substantial to hold onto instead of
wondering where they went wrong.