‘Tis the season for frivolity and joy. I have another reason to celebrate this year because I have finally earned my bachelor’s degree. While I am excited to complete a long-awaited goal, my departure from USF will be bittersweet.
With all of these mixed emotions churning inside me, I sought the sage advice of everyone’s favorite jolly old man. No, not Strom Thurmond, you silly willies – Santa Claus.
Now Santa and I have always had a close relationship. Not the Paula Poundstone-foster child type of relationship, you grossy goosies.
Anyhow … it all started when I was very young. Other children would leave cookies and milk for St. Nick, but I would leave imported beer and honey-roasted peanuts. (Don’t worry, Santa took the beer back to the North Pole – the cosmic DUI penalties are brutal.)
So every year I travel to the mall with my list of material wants and head toward the big guy’s chair.
Santa always comes through with the goods, for I am always on the Nice List. But before he promises to bring me the loot, he lectures me about the true meaning of the holidays, which I generally tune out around the “good will toward men” rhetoric.But this year, his words took on a new meaning.
“It’s been a tough year for everyone, Ann,” Santa said. “Perhaps there are others who need good cheer more than you – for you have been truly blessed.”
I thought for a moment.
“No, no one off the top of my head,” I answered. “Now, I want a new car and a great job and a Barbie Dream House and … “Santa shook his head and asked again.
“You can’t think of a person at USF that might need some holiday magic?” he asked. “What about the president of the university, Judy Genshaft? Is there anything she might want from Santa?”
Maybe the leader of our school would appreciate some gifts from the big guy, I thought.
“She has had a tough time,” I said. “With the allegations of suspected terrorists working in the classroom, racial lawsuits from the women’s basketball team and now the university budget cuts.”
“Budget cuts, lawsuits and terrorists – oh my!” Santa replied.
“Exactly, so maybe you could bring the president a year without any scandals?” I asked.
“Ann, I’m just a man, not a miracle worker,” Santa responded.
“Is there anyone else at USF who may need something special?”
As I moved across to Santa’s other knee – I am not as svelte as I used to be – I pondered this.
“How about something grand for all the people who were in my classes … something sparkly for my family at The Oracle … a basket of gratitude for the faculty and staff on campus and some goodies for the people who keep the university running,” I raved.
“What about the mass communications department, Ann?” Santa said.
“More funding might make them happy,” I said. “They’ve been so good to me.”
“Remember what I said before about only being human?” Santa sighed.
At this time the elf pushed me off the platform – for my time was up. I hope Santa grants my wishes, and I hope everyone has enjoyed reading my columns as much as I have enjoyed writing them. Thanks.
- Ann Norsworthy is The Oracle senior staff firstname.lastname@example.org