“Even those of you who have graduated and gone on to learn that real life is either just as fake or largely lame as I promised you it would be. I was reluctant to let you in on that secret, but it's no real secret, and by now you would've known anyway. It wasn't even a spoiler in any proper sense, because most of life after school is spoiled, no matter what hints of uncertain excitement or potential or other sorts of otherwise-ness you felt during your last days of classes and exams. You felt guardedly happy, no? It was nice, even liberating, but also precipitous, that sensation, right? Like you were jumping up and down with a smile while wondering how all of a sudden a wide chasm gaped beneath you? You had all those feelings, and they were all fine and useful to have at the time, but then a week later everything was back to being strangely, dangerously normal. Routine, quotidian, lacking in enthusiasm of all sorts. Especially by now, months later. Weeks of whatever. That chasm gaping beneath you before? That was the great yawn of the boredom that is the future. And now you've fallen in.
I'm kidding, of course.
No, I'm just mildly exaggerating.”
—An excerpt from my friend (and CUNY Art History and Italian professor) Paul D’Agostino’s email to his students in advance of the Fall semester, quoted with permission.