For some reason, I wasn’t asked to be commencement speaker, so I’ll put all of my profound graduation advice here instead.

My time at Goshen has been—how can I best express my enthusiasm?—pretty okay. (I’m sure admissions will find a way to put that stunning testimonial on something, like a postcard or a Justin Rothshank mug.)

I will be graduating in less than two weeks. (Do they still let you graduate if you faceplant while you’re walking across the stage to get your diploma?) In the face of this upcoming life change, I have adopted the strategy of denial, as in “Denial isn’t a word in the dictionary.” I am also very busy. I’ve been reduced to writing things like “clip fingernails” and “eat lunch” on my to-do list, because otherwise I won’t do them.

Post-graduation, well, heaven knows where I am going, and heaven knows how I will get there. This is a well-known lyric from the song “Woyaya,” which means “Crap, It Is Not Supposed To Be Time For Graduation Yet” in Klingon.

This will make for a stressful graduation weekend filled with endless variations of the question “What are you doing next year?” My plan is to distract people from these questions by dyeing my hair neon green. That way, people will ask instead, “What on earth did you do to your hair?” (I could also shave my eyebrows, but only someone completely ridiculous* would actually do that.)

I’ll be honest: I’m scared. I started preschool at age three and I’ve been in school ever since. This means that my marketable non-school-related career skills are playing on the swingset and eating fish sticks, which are not in high demand on the job market (the skills, not the fish sticks). But I’m listing them on my LinkedIn profile anyway.

Actually, there’s one job I will be applying for. That’s right. You’re currently reading the words of a future Goshen College president. The way I see it, there are two main qualifications:

1. Giving speeches in Convo/Chapel/whatever that thing is that’s on Wednesdays now. I have now officially introduced Jimmy B, so I think the next obvious step is replacing Jimmy B for the whole speech. Plus, I’ve already written a great State of the Union Building Address.

2. Adopting a rapper name. According to, I should call myself “Maria J Smack a.k.a Grim Punch.” At least, that’s what it suggested for a male rapper name. Suggestions for a female rapper name were all kind of lame, like “Maria Jay Muffin.” Another solid option is “Ma Rizzle.” I will be taking further suggestions in campus mail.

The one thing I’ve learned since coming to Goshen College is that board decisions are definitely always made according to a majority vote of the student body. If I want to win this majority vote, I will need some solid campaign promises. So, Goshen College, if/when you elect me president, I will support any and all social justice movements, including the Coalition for Better Female Rapper Names. Oh, and I’ll change the hiring policy.

*Like my brother. No, never mind, I’m sure even he isn’t that lowbrow.