Papa Joe leaves lessons, Percocet

Holy mackerel! It’s already May and before the Percocet wears off enough for my synapses to realize it, I’ll be bound to a gurney awaiting my impending lethal injection for inexcusable crimes against humanity. But, before that, I’ll be graduating from Yale College with a “degree,” which is probably the best accessory any parent could provide for his/her child in lieu of affection and physical presence.

The month of May also concludes my time with a publication that doesn’t involve Polaroid cameras, soiled mattresses or Dov Charney’s penis. So since I still have access to this forum, I thought it might be wise to focus less on calling you fat and more on imparting what little wisdom I have gained these past years. What catalyzed this sentimental magnum opus dei? To be honest, it’s partly (read: mostly) the E-talking, so I really have to get this out quickly before my pupils contract and I start to contemplate suicide.

And thus I present my Top Five Life Lessons at Yale.

Lesson #1: Just because you go to Yale doesn’t mean you’re good at everything. It’s discouraging, I know, but Yale is just as much about the discovery of what you suck at, as it is about the discovery of your ability to pull your feet behind your head on command (cash and credit cards accepted). When I got into Yale, I thought I could do anything. My time here, however, has taught me that I’m really bad at Foucault. And I’m okay with that, because, while deficient in some areas, I am really great at other things. Nevertheless one must exercise great caution with such logic, because Lesson #2: If you think you’re the best at something, you’re not. I know it’s terribly easy, especially in this Yale bubble and even more especially if you went to Harvard-Westlake, to convince yourself that you’ve seen it all and arrived at the convenient conclusion that you’re essentially the shit — but that’s really just an emotional byproduct of your Zoloft intake. The world is, like, a really, really big fucking place, so Lesson #3: Get over yourself. No, really. Just do it. Right now. Lower yourself gently from that high horse, stop concatenating formulae on that Excel spreadsheet, and get over yourself. I’m sure you’re some kind of B.F.D. Yale celebrity and you probably already have an offer from Goldman Sachs, but that really doesn’t mean jack and you really don’t mean jack. Of course, in saying such things, I must keep in mind Lesson #4: Get over myself. I’m composing this piece presuming that, firstly, people actually read this fodder and that, secondly, people would actually treat my advice as credible. My bad.

If you’ve read this far and haven’t started to cut yourself, you’re probably wondering — what with all this dismal and nihilistic advice from Joe — what’s the point of anything? The answer to this, while quite possibly Wikipedia-ble, is rather simple: Lesson #5: You matter. Despite everything I said about fifty words ago (or forty-nine if you’re OCD), you really do mean something. I am aware this logic is quite clichéd and actually forces my entire argument (e.g. you suck, no really, you suck, etc.) to collapse on itself, but “meaning” doesn’t have to be as complicated as an enigma wrapped in a conundrum, seasoned with fallacy and dusted with cocaine. Meaning only becomes complicated when you lose track of yourself, and that loss of self is what begets all the madness: So don’t lose yourself! I’ve lost myself many-a-time here and ended up wasting precious moments and opportunities, being “over it” and forgetting about me; forgetting that I do matter. So while I might chastise you and your self-importance, Yale would be absolutely nothing if people didn’t live with conviction, purpose and volition. (Besides, being “over it” is just so over…)

And on that note, I’m signing off … but always remember I’m actually on ghost and just reading your away messages from time to time and analyzing your choice of diction and syntax as a means of projecting of my own insecurities onto you. While I’m gone, however, could I ask you all to do me one, small favor?

Don’t have any fun without me.

Joe Aphinyanaphongs wants you to take the above lessons to heart next year … and buy L’Oreal: because you’re worth it.

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