It’s getting to that point in the semester where seniors are getting overly emotional about literally everything. You could put any three of us in a room and simply say the word, “Future?” and witness a break-down of coherence that you thought was only possible for suburban moms on Black Friday.
In the face of upcoming uncertainty, it’s tempting to get sentimental. I’ve even heard people reminiscing about living in the dorms, like we didn’t spend two years trying to get out of them.
Sure, social life was simple when all your friends were just around the corner, but let’s be real — at a college where it takes less time to walk from one side of campus to the other than for dial-up internet to boot up, your friends are around the corner no matter what.
So in a distinctly unsentimental way, I began to reflect on my illustrious career on the Funnies page of the Record. And the only reason I think I can say it was illustrious is because my former page co-editor Hannah Hostetter and I just won third place in a contest we didn’t even know we were eligible for with a comic we probably came up with in a deadline frenzy last year.
We’re not really sure what this award means, but we’re basically going to act like we won the Pulitzer Prize until anyone tells us differently.
I know, though, that the “Adventures of Ohio Yoder” have been anything but Pulitzer-esque. I’ve written about everything from dad’s SST unit borrowing machine guns from some British soldiers to the top-10 most usable bathrooms on campus.
Interestingly, people almost always have some responses to these topics, whether they’re controversial or not (honestly, I should have been more prepared for comments on Mennonite college students acting like a guerilla warfare outfit than I was). But in any case, I appreciated that people actually followed along with my zany tangents that were somehow deemed “fit to print.”
I’m still not getting sentimental, but what I appreciated even more was giving other people the opportunity to find their funny voice. In my time on this page, Joe Wheeler (Rest in Cambodia) got the word out about the guy in the red coat he kept making eye contact with. Erika Miller and Alex Steiner debated the serious issue of short short use. Hitesh Sharma basically became GC’s longest running sitcom.
The Funnies page has broken real ground in the past few years, all thanks to people who thought they couldn’t be funny (myself included).
The most common response to my request to the funny people I encounter at Goshen to write a funny article is something like, “I wouldn’t be funny on paper.”
My consistent response? Bull crap!
If history majors like Hannah and I can spend half our lives reading books with words longer than a line at the BMV, you (yes, you) can pull yourself away from blowing things up in the chemistry lab to make campus laugh.
In fact, it’s your responsibility, because I’m not going to be around anymore to do it for you.
Yes, I know, it will be hard to live without Ohio Yoder, but I believe in you. You can be funny in person and you can be funny on paper. It’s not about making yourself feel good about how funny other people think you are. It’s just about making other people feel good.
And I hope in some small way that I’ve made you as excited for when the Record comes out every week as I am.
(Special thanks to Anja Kenagy for taking a picture of me when I wasn’t expecting it and making it into a meme. You beat “Soggy Memes” any day.)