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An Open Letter From Alma

Eighty-nine goddamn years.

Do you know how long 89 years is? It’s 32,485 days. That’s a lot of days. It’s also how long I’ve been standing on this shitty campus with my arms out to “welcome” everyone. I’m just so damn sore at this point. I challenge you to hold out your arms for five minutes without putting them down. Then, explain to me why I should be expected to do this crap day and night for 365 days a year. It’s ridiculous, and honestly, I’m getting sick of it.

You know those days when you skip class because it’s two degrees outside and raining ice? Yeah, I’m still out here staring at freakin’ Panda Express all day and all night.

What’s even more unfair is that the other people on this statue get to stand there shaking hands and hanging out. One of them is even using my chair to lean back and relax. The disrespect is unreal. Why give me a chair in first place if I can’t even use it? Since I’ve been holding my arms up for so long, my delts and pecs are in unbelievable shape, not that you can see them in this shapeless robe I’ve always got on. The others don’t even work out, and one gets to stand there shirtless like a Calvin Klein model. The other gets a designer belt and sash.

Why am I dressed like I’m wed to Christ and not like I’m DTF at a sweaty frat party?

Perhaps it wouldn’t be the worst gig in the world if holding out my arms like a total chach was the only thing I had to deal with, but of course, it’s not. Let’s start with Friday nights.

I’ve seen some things. Hell, I’ve felt them. In the 89 years I’ve been on this campus, I’ve been pissed on and puked on more times than a urinal at KAM’s. At this point, my base might as well say, “to thy shit-faced children of Thursday night Bros, those of the past want you to piss here.” Forget welcoming people to UIUC; I’m pretty much standing here like, “Hey, come projectile vomit on me.”

As if being a public toilet wasn’t enough, I’m also just a supersized dress-up goose for the university. Come by anytime some slightly important event is going on, and I’ll look like that stupid ceramic bird on your grandma’s porch.

The outfits these people put me in are uncomfortable and degrading. Do you know how many times I’ve worn one of those potato sack graduation gowns and silly-looking caps? Too damn many, and that’s not even scratching the surface. It’s like people are looking for an opportunity to wrap me in some oversized t-shirt or sling a guitar around my neck to make me look like some douchebag in Weston Hall.

A few years ago, some dudes came by with a crane and took me off this slab, and I thought it was finally over with. I really thought that’d be the end. I’d been doing this schtick for so long that my skin turned green, and I was literally falling apart. And what do these assholes do? They leave my arms up, and clean me off for another hundred years.

After reading this, you probably think I’m bitter. And you know what? You’re right. After standing here for 89 years, I’m so sick and tired of the B.S. Between holding my arms out, being drenched in other people’s fluids, and being dressed like an idiot, I’m at the end of my rope.

Listen to Talk of Shame, a podcast about being young & dumb. Hosted by 2 drunk girls from The Black Sheep corporate, Mackenzie Harding & Andrea Jablonski. One can’t find her tampon, the other one’s laundry is probably on fire. Subscribe to Talk of Shame:

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