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Ustening to what you say during class; laugh after you finish speaking. You consider dropping out but your girlfriend others

convinces you not to. Things could be worse, she says. Things could be much worse.

And then

a junior and things get improves, you know how park your oft towed car, and lose nearly as many sneakers in The love of your life has quit


better. Your GPA and where to you don't the mud.

school to marry a man she admires because he can wiggle his ears without effort. You're confused and eventually find

girl with more sense. You finally out of the dorms and now live downthe-line. Your housemates threaten to drown you in Narragansett Bay if you don't

another move


the parts of the house you occupy along with them at all.

clean. You don't get The



of your housemates see a priest and he

carries bothers you. You hears your confession. worse, he



could be

you. You pray.

finally you're a senior and you smile you're a freshman again. The days longer as graduation nears. You like to miss those early classes, but you're always up by noon and you feel good about that. You laugh at the freshman who sink in the mud until you park your aging car too close to one particularly messy patch of earth and it drops to its bumpers. Then you attend your last lecture and complete your final exams and relax as you lay on the warm sands of a near by beach. As you




he first day you're a freshman, and you don't know to be careful after it rains. As .

you follow what looks to be a worn path to Hope dining hall, you lose yourself in a vast of mud. That first day you sink up to your knees, and lose your white sneakers the things you've worn since high school sea


the hidden undertow that has

swallowed the shoes of every class since the early years of this century. The suction was too great, and you waddle back to your dorm in black socks. Things could be worse, you tell yourself as you hurry back.

Upperclassmen could be

stare and





graduation present. parked it at Keaney,

the tuition

You would have but



horror stories about stolen autos. Instead you park it next to the building in which you have class. You enjoy your class and you walk out still a freshman hour later smiling in the sunshine.

you're an

You're young, you're handsome, you're educated, and you're happy. But you



and dad forked


in the

freshman and you learn. You cry to your parents long distance that fall. But things could be worse, they summer.



tell you. And you agree. The next year you're a sophomore and your GPA slips. Dad threatens you and mom cries. Your relatives shake their heads


day you're still a freshman, and daddy's high school park your car

The second you

parked your car in the wrong place, and it's being towed. Without thinking, you panic and call the police about your stolen Oldsmobile. The police console you and tell you where you can pick up your car after you've paid certain fees above and beyond


they see you, and you can't look your peers in the eye. Certain professors stop

stare out to the horizon while cool water

washes upon you and encircles the con tours of your body, a cold shiver suddenly runs


down your

spine. Damn, you

yourself. Things


could be much


You will

graduate. Do I have to leave? Is it really a jungle out there? Do they tow cars in other places? Not if you park in the mud, you reassure yourself. Everythings okay. Things never really got much worse. As a matter of fact, URI was pretty damn good. Somehow it all came together and even as you say a final goodbye to many close friends, one thought stands out in your mind. Throughout the past four years, through all the trials, the tailgates, the tests, and the towings, you were always reaching for a dream. And now, as you receive your diploma and prepare to leave and start your career, your dream is realized in a vision of excellence. Bill





yolurTi|-.83 .^ ^ M i T'tt 'C *-. '-: _.\-'^* '>*-: ,v " ' \ %^tS 4 mm


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