If senior buff Ray Plack’s New Years Resolution was to make history in 2018, he’s already done it. CU has just announced (a little too proudly) that this May, Plack will become the first CU student to ever graduate without his college career getting screwed by a change in the graduation requirements. The Black Sheep contacted Plack to find out what this absolute legend had to say about his incredible feat.
Last Wednesday, TBS met Plack at The Laughing Goat, and couldn’t help but be surprised by the 32-year-old man they met. Once Plack started talking, though, his age began to make sense.
“I graduated high school in ‘04. I was living with my parents in Luckenbach, Texas at the time, and CU was my top choice,” said Plack of his backstory over an espresso. Naturally, we were surprised again to hear of CU being anyone’s top choice, but the CU phenomenon cleared things up once more. “It was fall of 2004. I figured Boulder was one sure place where George W. Bush wouldn’t campaign.”
At this point in the lunch, we knew we were dealing with a serious genius. But this, of course, then raised the question: If Plack is this smart, why did it take him 14 years to graduate?
Like many gifted students, Plack skated through his first three years at Boulder. He was on track to graduate in May of ‘08 as a Philosophy and Comp Sci double-major, and was thinking about moving to the west coast post-college to start his career. After all, that’s the dream, right? However, things took a turn his junior year at the start of spring semester.
“They flipped, like, all of the graduation requirements, and then shit just started to hit the fan. They were telling me I no longer earned my Spanish minor when I completed all the courses freshman year. And then CU added in some bogus prerequisite where you could only graduate if you beat Ralphie in a race — on foot,” Plack shook his head in disbelief, “that’s why every CU alum from ‘08 is fucking jacked.”
CU’s dark history of fucking students over resonates with every Buff, so it’s probably worth mentioning that Plack’s riveting, previously untold anecdote had completely silenced The Laughing Goat and left every occupant on the edge of their seats. It was only after a few beats of tension-filled silence that a brave barista whispered the most anticipated question of the afternoon: “So, like, how did you do it?”
Here, Plack shrugs, “it’s really not a big deal. I left, and swore I’d return only when graduation requirements changed back to how they were in ‘04. Really, wasn’t any skin off my back,” he hastily insists towards the many skeptical faces in the coffeehouse, “I just monitored CU’s website every few months to see what the grad requirements were.”
TBS was so shocked by such a simple and nonchalant response that we had to ask a few more follow-up questions. “How’d you know the grad requirements would ever change back? And what on Earth did you do for 14 years?”
Still modest and laid-back, Plack admitted that while banking on CU’s policy-making skills was risky, he had a lot of faith that CU’s graduation stipulations would eventually reverse. “At the time, I certainly didn’t think I’d be be waiting 14 years, but I also knew that CU can’t make its mind up about anything, so I was confident I’d be back.”
And as for what he did over the past 14 years? “Oh, you know, Life. Travelled in Europe for a few years, and settled back in Boulder by the time I was 26, biding my time. Luckily, I had done enough schooling to where I was able to land a decent-paying job. Got married two years ago — private ceremony, very small, just relatives — you know the deal. My wife’s due with twins in June, so that’s exciting.”
Ray Plack’s heroism and determination will be forever ingrained in the university’s history, which is how we already know that he’ll be one of the few CU alums destined for great things. And while Plack doesn’t know exactly what his future holds, he assured TBS that the first thing he’s doing after graduation is, “getting the fuck away from CU and never coming back”.
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