A Letter to My Alma Mater

Dear Keystone College,

Hey, how’ve you been?  Long time no see!  Looking forward to another school year, huh?  It’s just about that time again.  Ah, Keystone, we had some great times, didn’t we?  I almost miss you, undergrad.

So anyway, I’m not just writing to shoot the fat and chew the breeze.  As you may or may not be aware, I’ve recently attained a fair amount of success in life, what with my burgeoning political career, my advanced degree in creative writing, my relocation halfway across the country, and my complete avoidance of any crippling drug dependencies.  Yes sirree, I’m an exemplary alumnus to such an extraordinary degree that I think you should benefit.

It’s like this, Keystone – I’ve waited around for you folks to come a-rap-tap-tapping, but I’m sure you were busy or more likely too shy to get in contact with someone at my current altitude in society.  It’s okay, I understand.  If I were anyone but me I wouldn’t try to contact me either.  So I’m reaching out to you to get this ball rolling.

As it will now be seven long years this May since I last darkened your corridors, I think it is high time for me to return, and draw a handsome salary in the doing.  I’m sure there are some administrators on the decline, or maybe just willing to step aside so that this guy can take his rightful place in the hierarchy.  Heck, I’m willing to teach a class or two if needs be, for a lark, to kill time between any executive lunches or tee times I’ve got cooking.

I should point out, in regards to this offer of yours, that as I only twelve weeks ago completed my move to the Midwest, I will not be able to perform my job functions in what you’d describe as an “on-campus” capacity.  I severely doubt this will handicap my job performance no matter the position, and appreciate in advance your flexibility in making this work.  Through a utilization of video conferencing, online course work, telecommuting, and cardboard cut-out likenesses, I’m sure my presence will be felt and my absence hardly noticed even though I’ll be seven hundred miles away at all times.

Are you excited at the prospect of more of this?

Are you excited at the prospect of more of this?

This leads to your next and more obvious offer, which I gratefully accept.  I will be the commencement speaker in May, absolutely.  If the speech I delivered in 2002 was any indication, I am ready and able to tear the mother up in ’09.  And where last time I focused somewhat on me, being the outstanding graduate, and also on the people I knew in my years as an undergrad, this time I will concentrate almost exclusively on myself, as I don’t know anyone currently matriculating there.

To give you a little taste of what’s in store, I’ve brainstormed some topics and snippets of bits I may use before the graduating class.  Please, hold your applause until the end!

I might start with some jokes, to lighten the kids up, something like “Smoke ’em if you got ’em!  And I know you’ve got ’em, Keystoners!  Puff, puff, give!”  That’ll set the tone and put everyone at ease.

I’ll continue in this vein by discussing at length the night I got blasted on Milwaukee’s Best behind the soccer field and then nearly destroyed Moffat Hall in a hailstorm of sickness and narcolepsy.  This will make the students see I can relate to them.  Plus, it’s a dynamite tale filled with sound effects and wild gesticulation that I regret not including in my original graduation speech.

Solicitations for campaign contributions for my 2016 Presidential run will be made, and the hat will then get passed around.

“Time and time again I’ve asked myself,” I’ll tell them, “‘why didn’t I go to NYU?’ And the answer comes back ‘You didn’t get accepted.’ And that’s primarily why I went to Keystone.  They let me in.”

The fact that smoking indoors on campus wasn’t prohibited until after I graduated will be touched on generously, as will the fact that I don’t plan to sue if I develop lung cancer someday.  So’s you know!

“Horseradish may look like ranch dressing, but it’s not ranch dressing.  And on a salad it’s totally disgusting.”

“I don’t recall one minute from January of 1999.  Not one.”

“If they have dollar beers where you are drinking, by all means get them.  You may think that six buck import is better somehow, but the fact of the matter is beers are beers, money is money, and drunk is drunk.”

I may start crying at some point, just to show that I have a heart, a point which is often overlooked.

I also plan to generously quote from my novel The Sunshine Man, in hopes to drum up interest.  If we can then set up a table selling my book, preferably next to the stack of diplomas, that would be great.

Some appropriate Sunshine quotes may be:

“(He was) gazing up at it with an unhealthy lust in his eye…”

“‘In the backseat of my Impala,’ Nina added.”

“I spent forty grand two nights ago on egg salad and hand jobs.”

And so on.  There’s much, much more I have planned, but I don’t want to spoil all the surprises for you.  Needless to say, I will cover a great deal in those two hours, and no one will be left wanting of my wisdom.

So let me know what benefits I can expect with this new partnership of ours, and what the salary is as well.  Certain requirements are expected by a man in my position, and I hope you take that into consideration before insulting me with a low ball figure.  Also be sure to include what position I will be taking on, if you could. If there are multiple available please allow me to decide which suits my talents and abilities best, as after all, I would be the best judge of such a thing.

I look forward to receiving your offer and generous retainer (a check made out to “CASH,” preferably).  I’ll start setting up office hours on my AOL Instant Messenger immediately.

Congratulations on this exciting opportunity, for you and your students!


Joe Cetta

Class of ’00, ’01,’02


Filed under College, Correspondence, humor, Writing

11 responses to “A Letter to My Alma Mater

  1. Schwartz Masterson

    As a 3 credit shy of graduating graduate I will offer my full support in making sure Keystone makes your dream a reality! Even though i’ve made my mistakes such as getting caught in a room that smelled like dank, running through the halls covered in shaving cream with a candle on my head on my 19th birthday, Making a video deamed pornographic in the giants grill on Big brother Big sister day, Offending one homosexual professor and throughout the year talking about him in ear shot, and getting caught smoking dope with John “The Ox” Gundling when school wasn’t even in session. I moved to New York so they will respect the hell out of that, not to mention I won first place at the thrid annual speech contest unprepared and completly stoned. One phone call from me and you will be well on your way!

  2. bill honchell

    I love you cetta.

  3. Bronwyn

    Cardboard cut-out likenesses! Yup, that’ll teach ’em.

  4. Sounds like you have it all figured out.

    Good luck with the new teaching gig (or whatever it is).

  5. Anthony

    Dude, they fired Kosmala!!

  6. Meg

    If you’ve made it this far without any crippling drug dependencies, you’re doing better than I am.

  7. It could be that I just didn’t get out enough in my post-formative years. But hey, anything’s still possible.

  8. wavemaker2

    Yea, man good luck!! And I think YOU have it all figured out!! I love the starting out comment’s.. Go get’em!! And YOUR right, it will break the ice for sure…LOL…!! til l8er

  9. Maybe we could team up for a commencement address? Kind of like vaudeville… only less funny and more offensive.

  10. If you need a goat jumping out of a cake at the perfect strategic moment of your speech to drive home a point, I’m your man!

    – Sister Mary Margaret of Our Lady Goatherders of Supreme Suffering

  11. That might be the final piece of the puzzle right there, Goats. I’ll keep you on speed dial.

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