I want to thank Brian Sutton for punching me in my jaw during our Thursday night drunk boxing matches. It literally clicks every time I open my mouth. I can’t exactly verify that it was his punch that did it (he would be honored I’m sure) but we had that one video where you could hear the pop (if anyone still has these on their computer I’d like to put them up). An amusing story to the drunk fights. I remember having a pretty good record until the one night I was pitted against someone from the ROTC. I was obviously hammered and I have a feeling he wasn’t very tipsy. Anyhow, I was like a jolly, drunken antelope going up against ferocious, lion ready to kill. He was using the black gloves with hardly any padding (my excuse) and beat me to a pulp. I woke up the next morning with a huge shiner and that put a halt to my amateur boxing career. Those Thursday night beer pong nights could go down as some of my favorite nights of my college career. One of the Doors albums was a staple to those nights and I get reminded of that time every time I hear it. I used to be so on point with my beer pong game that you’d have to bring your A game to stand a chance. Now a couple of years later I am a mere shadow of my former self.

I’d like to thank the late Brian Gallagher for introducing me to the music genre known as “classic rock”. Coming out of high school I really only listened to rap. I’m not really sure why but I guess it was a weird phase. I really can’t stand the stuff now. Some of the songs are catchy but there is never anything worth listening to in the songs nowadays. I feel like an old man saying “dang those kids and their hip-hop.” Anyway, Gallagher introduced me to Billy Joel, the Eagles, the Stones, Bruce, and all other classic icons. Music has really changed my life. I mean that no so much that I live my life based on what music says but I like listening to songs with good lyrics and good music. Music can make me happy. If you can sit down in a group of friends, play some good jams, and drink a few beers, I can’t really think of too many things that I’d rather do. And just a Brian Gallagher memento, he really liked the movie Glory Daze and Cocktail. He listened to “i’ve just seen a face” by the Beatles on repeat as well as “moonlight shadow” by mike oldfield, “the rising” by bruce, and “already gone” by the eagles. There were others but these come to mind. He was a good person who got lost in the game of life.

I’d like to thank the teachers from Pitt for teaching me nothing. You can give me formulas, I can plug in numbers, I can get your answers. You taught me about option trading but without real life situations, it just meant nothing. You taught me the time value of money, but not the value of the dollar. You give me interest rates to plug into formulas and I didn’t even know what it stood for in the real world. I come out of college with a plethora of numbers with no meaning. Not to mention all the classes I slept through just to get a stupid letter. I have just past the 4 year mark of working a full time job. In these past 4 years I’ve learned more about real life than I could have ever learned in the sheltered dome of college. I suppose college just gets you ready for the world and is an excuse to party for 4 more years, but I really took nothing out of it but the friends who get lost at no fault to anyone. I value my degree because I did put carefully planned hard work into it, but all it really is is a piece of paper.

My final thank you wasn’t part of my college years but helped me understand how to beat the educational system. Dave Krieg was a crafty jew. I like referring to Jews as crafty because they are always looking for that edge. A lot of my friends are Jewish so I don’t feel like I’m being anti-Semitic but they tend to be smart people looking for ways to beat the system. Dave Krieg taught me two things that I will not forget. The first being “the move”. “The move” is used on the basketball court to beat defenders. I feel bad even exposing it but it’s a jab step left and then a move right. It literally works 97 percent of the time. It can only be used every once and a while because people start to catch on, but in tight times it’s essential to ones arsenal. He also gave me his foul shot routine, which he won’t want me to take credit for, but it’s a one left hand dribble followed by two rights. He was a good foul shooter, sadly, I am not. The second thing he taught me was how to cheat. This is where the craftiness comes out. This guy would literally cheat on his blood test if it would benefit him. We’d take sneak peaks at teachers desks, position our desks to cheat off the smart kid, find people in the same class but earlier periods. It’s all standard procedure but I’m not sure the guy ever had a thought that was his own. I truly admired it. Do as little work as possible and succeed past our educational system.

All these things that go through peoples lives mold them into the people they are today. Sometimes you have to be influenced by other people to become a better person. It’s impossible to know everything by yourself. I can say I’ve grown as a person in the last 4 years coming out of college. I take better care of myself, I’ve learned how to support myself, and I do a better job of helping the economy by contributing to the bars of the area. People are constantly coming and going but the good lord willing, (I don’t believe in god) I will continue to survive and thrive.