Sunday, June 14, 2015

Dear St. Mary's College Alumni Reunion 2015 Survey

This afternoon, I returned home from my 10 year college reunion.  It was a weekend I desperately needed.  After losing my job a few weeks ago and living in the turmoil of not knowing what comes next, the antidote seemed to be getting together with several of my best friends and returning to the place where we all met.  It was a place where I honed my sense of humor, where I broke out of the uncomfortable shell I lived in through high school, and a place I hold dear in my struggling, meat clogged heart.

Getting home, I had an email already awaiting me, with a survey to let them know what I thought.  Since I have no secrets with me readers, I chose to post it here.

*What is your graduation year?

*Why did you decide to attend Alumni Weekend this year?

*How did you hear about Alumni Weekend?
Check all that apply.
Mailed brochure
Friend/Word of mouth
St. Mary's website
SMCM Email
*When were you last at St. Mary's?
3-5 years

*Was it easy to find parking?

Yes   No

*How would you rate your check-in experience?
Good, not great.

Comments on parking or check-in:

I walked into the checkin tent and was greeted by a volunteer.  The smiling little girl had on a name badge stating she would be Class of 2016.  My brain did not computer that this should be something allowed in reality.  I was class of 2005.  Clearly, this child is not a time traveler, and 2016 is too fat away from 2016 for this infant to be so close the the job hunt I now find myself in.  Despite much head shaking, calling her a liar, and tears on both ends, I was given my name badge.  I later found out I should have been given a 10 Year Alumni pin.  Maybe you should teach your interns that if they want to pretend to be college students, they need to learn to man up, stop crying, and give me what I deserve. 

*Where did you stay during the weekend?
Waring Commons Suites.

If you stayed on campus, how was your housing experience?
Incongruous.  When I lived in those suites 12 years ago, I remember there being more Henry Rollins posters and alcohol in the rooms.  There were none when I arrived.  Also, we all paid to go to this school, hence why we are at Alumni weekend.  I know several 10 year alums that had to stay off campus because the only priority signup was for those that gave money to fundraisers.  I am still paying off my loans after ten years, and you want $300 to stay there again for the weekend, and didn't give any weight towards a person who was there for a 10th, 20th, or 30th year reunion than if it was their 2 year, expect if we had given you even more money. So, even though we paid lots of money ten years ago, we didn't pay any money recently, so we had to wait further in line to give you even more money now.  I think that is called racketeering, but I'm not sure, because my degree hasn't been worth very much.

Did you attend any activities on Friday Night?Yes.  I braved the 100 degree/ 99% humidity weather to wander aimlessly down the walking paths and to get to dinner.  As a man that spends most of his time clinging to familiarity and fleeing from change, I appreciate that my old table and seat in the Great Hall were open.  I was less thrilled to find that my beloved Slurpee machine and soft serve machine had been jettisoned in the last decade.  Your Choco Tacos were a pale comparison, and shame on you for hoping their fudgey gooey goodness would sedate me.  After gorging my face on veggie burgers, collard greens, and "special drink", which is a concoction of Pibb Xtra, Diet Coke, and spirit of dance, I wound on down to the waterfront.  Despite having eaten no meat, I broke out in a horrifying case of the meat sweats, which carried through the rest of the evening.  I was forced to hide on the second floor of the boathouse and drink gin until the alcohol sweats took over.

Did you attend any activities on Saturday Night?

The "band" that was booked to play the dancing tent ranked somewhere between Kathy Griffin singing the collected works of Jefferson Starship and the actual Jefferson Starship.  The band my friend Margaret made up called MOD (Miles of Dick) that afternoon would have been a showstopper.  It features Spike the Uncivil on Tuba, Mad Margaret Mayhem on the other tuba, and yours truly on vocals, jazz hands and pure gumption.  We are available for next year, as long as we aren't booked by the White House for a previous engagement.  Instead on standing under the blazingly hot tent and being deafened by the PA system that was turned to the decibel levels of the voices screaming in Gary Busey's head I went to visit different groups of my friend.  That's what the weekend is supposed to be about, not a cheap R&B band and stale air.   
  Do you have any suggestions for special reunion attendees next year, especially 10th and 25th years?                                                                                                             
Yes.  Acknowledge them some way.  Any way.  Even just a handshake and a pat on the back.  We didn't get jack this year.


  1. So...should I bother next year? It would be my 10th, and my first alumni weekend. Please tell me you at least didn't have to park in Guam.

    1. Absolutely, 100% go. No matter what they do, you are still back at SMCM. You make your own good time with the people you go with and the wonderful campus. I hope to go back next year, in fact.

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