Every notable graduating class in modern memory has pulled a prank the spring of their senior year. I believe that the waning winter winds cause students to emerge out of their studious stupor where they can finally begin to fully appreciate the ruthless, cutthroat job market that awaits them after graduation.In a sad, desperate attempt to cling to the final days of their youth before succumbing to “real adulthood,” seniors sometimes pull hilarious pranks on their beloved educational institution. It’s a despicable practice that is sure to cement an outgoing senior class in the history books as one of the greats.
Past pranks have included launching pies during graduation, or substantial rearrangement of chapel furniture – awesome yes, but also incredibly wicked and sinful behavior. Even though we find that senior pranks come in many shapes and sizes, all are hilarious and worth considering – but only in abstract terms, because we all know pranks are childish and shameful.
I sincerely hope that no one in my class considers greasing up a few hogs and letting them loose in the science building, for as ingenious as that sounds, that would be a real downer on everybody else’s workday. I can’t imagine what kind of student it would take to zip tie all the car doors shut behind Wyse. Or what twisted character would take Ardys Woodward’s bicycle and submerge it in a giant block of jello. Or the disgusting fiend that would tape a small black marker to the inside of the paper dispenser of the art building printer. That would be really, really funny and also totally inappropriate.
No graduate of Goshen College should waste their intellect by relabeling the dumbbells in the Rec Center to lower weights, or edit obscure books in the library to read ‘Menno Simpson’ instead of Menno Simons, or mow a shortcut in the prayer labyrinth. Those would be totally petty, hysterically worthwhile acts.
Pranks are, in the most basic sense, merely pathetic and immature cries for attention that hilariously inconvenience those too busy to stop and smell the roses. They are abhorrent exercises in imagining that life may be too short to be taken so seriously.
In his book “The Modern Age,” philosopher Soren Kierkegaard laments that society lacks “the passion” necessary to achieve any remarkable feats, and that a true “revolutionary age is an age of action; ours is the age of advertisement and publicity. Nothing ever happens but there is immediate publicity everywhere. In the present age, a rebellion is, of all things, the most unthinkable.” In other words, we are satisfied by talk of action and yet are no longer compelled to act.
So fellow seniors, all I ask is that we remain the passionless millennial generation we were destined to be, and leave all creative, imaginative pranking to the purely hypothetical. For we no longer play – we are academics! I would hate for the Class of 2017 to be remembered as the class that repainted ‘The Shield’ sculpture on the center of campus to more closely resemble the waffle fries they were originally designed to be.
Let us instead march stoically into the grim world as humorlessly as all the other unremarkable classes in modern memory!