Senior reconciles with the passage of time after freshman tells them they don’t know about True Commitment

Realizing the True Commitment controversy occurred almost three years ago, TU senior enters a state of panic over how quickly their college years have passed.

During the Wednesday Student Union lunch rush, senior P.J. Trachtenberg experienced an existential crisis when he chatted with a group of friends and offhandedly referenced True Commitment — only to find the freshmen had no idea what he was talking about.

“You know,” Trachtenberg said. “True Commitment. Gerard Clancy. When TU wanted to eliminate 40 percent of mostly humanities classes.”

The freshmen stared blankly back at him.

“What are you talking about?” asked one of the ignorant freshmen. “Plus, the joke right now is Braddy Daddy. Ever go on Yik Yak?”

“Oh, Jesus Christ,” Trachtenberg muttered.

He didn’t realize how out of touch and uncool he became, oafish and awkward compared to the gangly, freshly 18 or 19-year-olds who are way too confident and guzzle beer like water because this is the first time they have lived without consequence. How boring he is now — he could barely muster any excitement to drink more than five on a good night, and here these children are, so vibrant and full of life.

They could not understand what Trachtenberg had lived through: the ignited faculty in-fighting, the chalk scattered throughout campus that denounced the administration’s actions and the Facebook groups and websites and petitions that announced True Commitment the catalyst to the liberal arts education doomsday. Hell, these kids didn’t even know about the cute little funeral celebration for the humanities, where protesting students skipped classes and wore mournful black.

The swirling anxious thoughts expanded. Trachtenberg is twenty-two. He graduates this spring. He still had no idea what he wanted to do with his life. He soon joins the Real World, the mysterious realm briefly outlined by Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5,” where he, too, is swallowed by a relentless “career” (whatever that means), constantly lives for the weekend and, uh, probably joins a trio of women who kill their boss. His Marxist private university education prepared him for that much, but still, he had to contend with the fact that once he graduates, he won’t have his infamous reputation as the guy who took a shit on the tennis court. And what do you expect him to use as a conversation starter now?

True Commitment happened three years ago, and none of these freshmen had to endure class periods of only talking about the subject. Now, Trachtenberg must live with this memory of the sharply political landscape of TU and, ugh, all that information about the misspending of the university.

There was only one way Trachtenberg could soothe his anxieties of graduation and rapid aging: it was time to make a Spotify playlist, title it something like “Where did the time go?” and smother it with nostalgic sounding tracks and sad-voiced singers.

A voice shooed away his thoughts. “So, what happened to True Commitment? Did it get stopped?” asked one of the freshmen, looking up at the wizened, prophetic elder he had become.

“Oh, I have no clue,” Trachtenberg shrugged. “COVID?”

Post Author: Anna Johns