28 March 2007

Boot 'N Paddle - March 2, 2007

As many of you know, last week was “Major Declaration Week.” You probably saw the banner hanging up in the student center, or received the many emails, or even heard your friends talking about it. A major declaration in many ways shapes the following years of one’s college career. It’s something every college student must do.

I do have one concern.
The banner in the student center seemed to stress “Major Declaration Week” as being something that comes once a year. The truth of the matter is you can make a major declaration anytime you want. And the beauty part is, anyone can! Sophomores are the target demographic but freshman can do it! Juniors can. And seniors can, too!
Check this out; I’ll make a major declaration right now.
I am the most able-bodied athlete on this campus.
This is a pretty weighty declaration, and it’s also only semi-true. Here’s a more common one:
I will never like mayo.
Notice there is no room for dissent or misinterpretation.
I will never like mayo. That’s that. Take it or leave.
There are certain words that work very well in major declarations, words that let the listener know you mean business (And if you’re making a major declaration, you mean business). Words like, Must, Is, Will, and Destroy. Of course taken out of context these words don’t carry a lot weight, but in context…
I must have it!
That sweater is incredible.
I will destroy you.
These are basic words that help structure a major declaration. However there are many other words that will really spice things up. Listen to Joseph Conrad. “Woe to the man whose heart has not learned while young to hope, to love…blah blah…”
“Woe?” Whoa. The presence of that one three-letter word can add pizzazz to the most minor of declarations. (Avoid minor declarations. No one cares if you sometimes do the reading for class.)
Doctors are great at major declarations. When was the last time you heard a doctor say, “You kinda have Spastic Spinal Monoplegia Syndrome?” Or, “I’m pretty sure you need a laparoscopic cholecystectom.” A doctor tells you what you DO have and what you MUST do about it.
There’s a common misconception that a declaration’s place is in politics (thank you Declaration of Independence). That is not true! If you like something, declare it! If you feel something, declare it!
If you want something…declare it!

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