The Cashville Killa: A Memoir

When Bryan Graveline asked me to write once again for the WEB, I was like, “okay.” I mean, I guess I was a little more excited than that, but yeah. And he was like “sweet, well you can basically write about whatever you want,” and I was like “nice.” So, thanks, Bryan/WEB staff; I’m flattered to have been asked to write for y’all again (What do you expect? I live in Tennessee now; it’s inevitable.) Anyway, for those of you who don’t know me (or those who kinda do but maybe we only had like one or two classes together and we never really talked in those classes anyway), I’m a graduate of Ames High in my first year at Vanderbilt University. So, life’s a lot different now than I could have ever imagined in high school. I can say from first-hand experience that Asher Roth’s “I Love College” is a gross misrepresentation of undergraduate life; in fact, if you “pass out at three, wake up at ten, go out to eat, then do it again,” you will probably fail out of college and develop cirrhosis. Anyway, my first week on campus was a blur of culture shock. But it was eventually lifted over the course of the semester as I was busy not passing out at three and waking up at ten, then going out to eat and doing it again. Though I would pass out at one in the morning, wake up at 8:30, then probably go to Rand because their breakfast is better than the one at the Commons Center, unless I had already gotten fourth meal. Then I would probably go take a nap or work on homework, go to another class, go to the library for a bit, then maybe another class or a lab, then go back and chill in the dorm unless something else is going on – I don’t know, maybe Ultimate Frisbee, or an occasional weekday party, or just hanging out on North 5. Or homework. There’s plenty of that. I’ll probably try to squeeze in dinner, probably at the Commons Center, then more homework/chilling, and then it’s time to pass out at one in the morning, and do it again. Man I love college, ayyyyy! Days passed, and then so then weeks, and then months until novelty became familiarity and eventually monotony. Suddenly, November had come. My first visit to Ames from Nashville was a surreal one. It was of an eerie unfamiliarity, for time and distance had acquainted me with a new life – one that glimmered with the promise of liberation and the prospect of discovery. The ever-widening schism between those two realities, which are separated by geography, invoked within me a nervous fear caused by an overwhelming uncertainty. But also born was a profound hope. And it fueled an inexplicable determination to realize my aspirations, spanning the months between and including August and November. Then I went home for Thanksgiving and I saw BK and I was like “whatuppp.” Anyway, what I’m trying to get at here is that college is a time of change and discovery; it’s not only about putting your cup as high in the air as you can and repeating “do something crazy!” or lamenting over not having videotaped that party last night on account of it was so crazy. By the way, if you haven’t seen 127 Hours , you should. There is no better catharsis than watching James Franco slowly and excruciatingly amputate his arm with a dull pocketknife; to make the scene more interesting, I like to imagine that instead of cutting the nerve cord, James Franco had just popped a Sour Warhead and watch his silly facial expressions. But seriously, it’s a really fantastic movie, that scene and beyond. Also, I suppose I haven’t given my family, friends, and the staff at Ames High the appreciation and recognition as they deserve. Without you and your support, I wouldn’t be sitting in my dorm room writing this and listening to Explosions in the Sky at 2:00am. Thank you.