This piece appeared in the WEEKEND section of the Commencement Issue for the Class of 2014.
This list incorporates corrections to the “College” volume of “Pocket Guide to Jordi Manelic Gassó Jovel” and should be inserted therein before use. An errata sheet is not usually part of a book. “The Chicago Manual of Style” stipulates that it should never be provided to rectify simple errors, only in “extreme cases” where errors are “severe enough to cause misunderstanding.” The sheet is then laid in loose inside the book. Please follow these emendations with care and a dose of empathy.
Page 1: Introduction, 2009 — At the beginning of the pre-orientation section, delete “eager” and substitute “naïve.”
Page 7: Freshman fall — Change each mention of “disciplined” and “confident” to “lost” and “confused.”
Page 12: Safety Dance — American Apparel. The money spent on green suspenders and green socks should be 50% lower.
Page 23: Finals period — Add “sleep.”
Page 40: Experimentation — Philosophy classes. Example 7-3 at top of page. The answer is wrong. The correct answer is: “Don’t take an advanced philosophy class as a second-semester freshman.”
Page 50: First summer — “four months” should be “a productive four months.”
Page 74: YDN — On line 23, “star reporter” should instead read as “instant gratification seeker.”
Page 78: Missing words — “Call” should read “Call your parents”; “Major” should read “Switch your major.”
Page 99: Commencement 2011 — Specify that you’ll witness graduation for the next three classes. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.
Page 104: Paris — Speak more French.
Page 107: Gap year — Remind yourself that this year was necessary.
Page 109: Gap year, redux — When in an all-inclusive resort for spring break with friends, make sure you’re in cahoots with the hotel lobby bartender.
Page 156: Summer in New Haven — Switch majors! Now’s your chance! F**k Economics.
Page 165: Writing workshop — Take a class that will change your life. (You already did? Good.)
Page 167: Junior year, second semester — Welcome to the English major, you late bloomer, you fool.
Page 177: 37 Lynwood Place — Fight with your landlord more often. Cuddle for warmth if the heater breaks. Befriend the rats and the moths. Have more gatherings on Wednesdays.
Page 183: Kindred souls — If you could, every day you’d hug your friends so tight their bones would crack.
Page 188: Priorities — For the first time ever, they’re in order.
Page 191: Editor — If you are going to sleep at the YDN building, make sure you don’t drool all over the red couches.
Page 202: Myrtle — Get in the hot tub, at a certain time, and become pure sensation. You won’t want to return to this place.
Page 212: Seniority — You will learn more about yourself during your last year of college than you have in the past 20 years.
Page 249: Thesis — Break your mind into pieces, make it anew.
Page 254: Job search — Should read “inconclusive.”
Page 271: Reflections — Yale was your marathon and your sprint, your manna and your bane. It broke you, it made you.
Page 272: Reflections, continued — There is no such thing as a Defining Experience.
Page 280: Last week — Donning a cap and gown as a super-senior should feel like sighing for the first time after a clumsy and protracted trip.
Page 290: Commencement 2014 — The writer of this section can’t, he really can’t, despite his best intentions, include a sustained argument about Graduation, or the Future, or the Past Five Years. He’s too terrified. He’s too exhausted. He’s too content.
Page 303: Epilogue — Expectations are for kids. Just keep your head above water. Try to stay relevant, but don’t take yourself so seriously. Take a walk on the wild side. Carve your name on every classroom chair you sat in and write “Here he was, world! Jordi did once exist.” The postscript of your message should read “Thank you.”
Contact Jordi Gassó at firstname.lastname@example.org.