By Jeff DeMartino

I’ve fielded quite a few comments over my years here. Some of them more positive than others:

“Jeff DeMartino, you are ignorant .” starts one letter from the spring of 1998, in response to a Hoya column I penned on Puerto Rico.

“If you talk like that at any other college campus you’ll get your block knocked off,” another fine citizen wrote The Hoya last September.

“The attack by the former Hoya [Editor in Chief] in today’s viewpoint section [Feb. 12, 1999, if you’re wondering] is THE MOST OFFENSIVE, MEAN SPIRITED AD HOMINEM ATTACK I have EVER seen at Georgetown,” one alum wrote.

The more positive commentary, however, has not been in the CREEPY and quite OFF-PUTTING STYLE that is CAPS LOCK. No, CONSTRUCTIVE people don’t type like KIDNAPPERS.

When constructive people give advice, they do it by example. I’ve been so fortunate to have met so many men and women at Georgetown who’ve got élan aplenty. And now that I’m supposed to impart wisdom myself, I feel pressed to show a dual life as studious chap and bon vivant. Isn’t that what $120,000 is supposed to get you these days?

So here are a few suggestions, should you ever land yourself in my size nine irregulars. Perhaps you’ll see a river running through it all. I don’t – yet:

Read the same book five times.

If one of your buddies tells you that he invented the term “Ill na na” at his Maine high school, don’t believe him.

Stay away from a guy who drinks so hard that when GERMS shows up and asks him where he lives, he replies: “Chadwick’s.” Keep a half-eaten baguette in your bathroom for three months.

Go abroad if you can. You’ll regret not leaving when, in the middle of another all-night caffeine bender, a certain expatriate friend drops you a line from Belgium. (The sender’s name has been changed for posterity’s sake):

Things are decent over here. Pretty much three-quarters of the Belge students are completely worthless which makes things amusing. All of the guys in my apartment routinely drink to the point of throwing up four out of five weeknights. Last Monday night, I came home from this business presentation at around 10 p.m. and all of my housemates were bombed. Our living room window faces a walkway and one of my housemates was p—ing out the window aiming it at people walking by. Later on, there were two girls and a guy walking by and one of the housemates went over to the window and started screaming for them to shut up because he was trying to study. When the guy outside pointed out that they weren’t making any noise my housemate started throwing bottles at him. Later on that night someone ripped both toilets out of the floor. It’s study time now though, and things are starting to get a little more tame. All right then. I’ll talk to you soon.

Much love, Nipsey Russell

Get to know some Belgians. Don’t urinate on people.

Start an intramural basketball team. Rent a coach, cheerleaders and a pudgy 5-foot-5 Panamanian exchange student named Olmedo. Lose every game. Try again the next year, except without Olmedo.

If the kind police officer asks for your I.D., don’t give him your real Massachusetts and your fake Georgia at the same time.

Take May and June off. Make margaritas after your 4 p.m. wake-up call. Figure out the Marriott Conference Center wake-up-call number.

Your opinion should get you in trouble with the national press at least twice in the same year.

Move into a house so dismal that cockroaches won’t even live there. Spruce up the living room with a leaky kegerator and a three-legged table. Buy a couch with fleas that nip at your ankles. Keep it for five months.

If your neighbor has a forest green Jaguar, two can play that game. Tool around in a bright red Safeway cart.

Think you’re a great writer? Take a poetry class. Write crud like this:

Delta Airlines Cocktail Napkin

They put me in first class so I’ll have another like Kerouac without the stomach embolism poetry is imminent- I get some page bites: Torpid beverages Schadenfreude Cringe benefits And something about loneliness versus ego, The emptiness of words Across the stuffed suit in 2B the stewardess reaches for my napkin. I snatch it- The thing feels like risk or embarrassment.

Good poets know: Keep it simple.

They might also tell you that negotiations and love songs are often confused for one and the same. Know the difference.

An editor in chief is a lucky guy. A columnist is even luckier.

Call your parents now. Thank them as long as you can.

Meet people like Welden, Juan, Gardiner, Tommy, Johanson, Gettings, DeHoe, Cochard, Bovo, Eichmann, Travers, Jonah, Ameeta, ary & Meg, Stanitz, Kristen, Justin, Stefan, Benke, Jenny, Raposo, Miguel, Katie, Keenan, Khalil, Clay, Kramme, Gaertner, Reilein, Flynn, Jimbo, Lyndsay, Sloane, North, Jeff G., Ann L. and the Tombs gang.

What a wonderful career. I’ve got more gas in my tank, but this’ll do for now. Kids shouldn’t have memoirs, anyway. I know I’ve got 31 – make that 30 – days left, and in that time even this column will probably change.

Jeff DeMartino is a former editor in chief, senior news editor, contributing editor, member of the board of directors and columnist for The Hoya.

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