I’m the opposite of a pack rat. In fact, I hate clutter so much that my wife spends most of every Sunday night sorting through the trash that I have readied for pick-up the next day. She’s concerned that in my compulsive “tidying” I might throw away something of value. Okay, maybe I was a bit hasty trashing that album full of photos of her great-grandfather, but they were in black and white. You can’t keep everything.
The only thing I have trouble throwing away is old periodicals. Hundreds of Time magazines, for example, are piling up — about seven years of them. Why? I have always believed history repeats itself, and if that starts happening, I could cancel my subscription and save a few bucks by simply re-reading old issues in my basement. Honestly, I’m not 100 percent sure that history really repeats itself. I did repeat it in the ninth grade.
Another publication I have stacked in a corner of my office is the George Washington University Alumni Magazine. I seldom read it because I know there is no chance I’m going to be mentioned in it. Most of the folks who earn a shout-out are either CEOs of mega-corporations, lobbyists, celebrities — or men and women who have passed on but had the foresight to hand over half their fortune to the GWU endowment. I am in none of those categories and the result is that I am considered alumnus non grata.
I think every university has an obligation to celebrate all graduates, even average Joes like me. Here’s the kind of thing I’d like the association to print sometime:
Eric Henchman (Class of ’67): Eric blew off his senior year, spending most of his time in the pool room at the all-women’s dorm. Fortunately for him, his dad left him a boatload of cash, none of which this office has ever seen. But he’s a nostalgic guy and still occasionally hangs out at the girls’ dorm—just for old time’s sake.