A Nondenominational, Pseudo-Religious Prayer-Like Request to the Universe on Behalf of All Students for this New School Year of Two Thousand and Eleven:

Oh, Universe, we are grateful once again to be back on campus, getting an education that many people, in many other life situations, would do so much to obtain. We ask that these people know what it feels like to wake up sweating at 4 a.m., wondering whether or not their term paper on “Anti-Industrialist Themes in Frankenstein and Dracula” is due in three hours, and hopefully these people will go back to what they were doing.

We would also like to express some pre-gratitude for helping us find a parking spot every morning, even though we procrastinated buying a better parking pass AGAIN and ended up with a ‘W’ pass, which are about as exclusive as a Great Clips punch card. Universe, we are also very pre-grateful that the professor in our first class doesn’t count attendance as part of the final grade.

We ask that this year go well. Specifically, we ask that it go better than the last one did because we already lost that academic scholarship, and we don’t want to pay for another year of school by having to go back and work at that same ice cream place that we worked at in high school. Universe, that would be very humiliating. And hard on our new diet.

Please watch over the new freshman boys. Help them realize that they are loud and obnoxious, especially when loitering in large groups. Turn around their ridiculous, flat-brimmed hats that point in ludicrous directions. Yank up their baggy jeans. Break their longboards. Teach them that the people on Jersey Shore will all be dead in 10 years. Most importantly, turn them all into accounting majors.

For the sake of the freshman girls, Universe, help all of those 29-year-old guys who “still haven’t decided on a major yet” to graduate and move away.

We are so happy to have our knowledgeable professors, and ask that their health is preserved. Even the mean ones who think that it’s OK to have an exam on the same day that a large assignment is due. Or the ones that think being really, really smart means they don’t have to be nice to people. And especially bless the professors who “don’t like to give out A’s because it inflates the grading system.” Even them, Universe.

However, if you run out of health to spread around the entire faculty, consider leaving the math teachers to their own luck, which might help some English majors to finally graduate.

Bless our sports teams that they may stay uninjured, and help them give the student newspaper good quotes that aren’t just drawn out of the Big Bucket of Ultra-Safe Sports Cliches.

Help students learn that “liberal” is not the same thing as “godless socialistic whoremonger,” and “conservative” is not the same thing as “everyone who lives in my parents’ subdivision.”

We ask for more open-book tests, Universe. Also, snow days.

A smaller amount of badly constructed PowerPoint lectures would also be appreciated.

And, last of all, we are sincerely grateful for people who can read mildly sacrilegious (and mildly spiritual) humor columns and just laugh.

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