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Welcome to college!!! You’re in for the ride of your lifeenough ’70s parties to wear down the seat of those vinyl camouflage pants your dad gave you for graduation; all-night rap sessions about men, women, and Pat; moonlight kisses on the football field after the lights have been extinguished. If you’re especially photogenic, you may even find yourself having an animated conversation with a professor in front of a blazing maple tree and, later, in an admissions brochure.
In the above endeavors you don’t need much guidance; just follow your libido and the fashion dictates of Abercrombie & Fitch. But college isn’t all Felicity-style hangin’; as the stacks of forms colleges send incoming freshmen attest, there’s a lot of practical stuff to deal with. How do you go about choosing four classes from a catalog of three thousand, let alone how do you survive them? How do you get a vomit stain out of your comforter and the neighborhood cockroaches out of your Tupperware? What should you do if your roommate develops severe stomach pains and is too weak to get to the infirmary? How can you avoid spending more on books than you did on plane fare? How do you build a loft? How can you maintain fullbody fitness without leaving your Barcalounger? And, most important of all, how can you ensure that your nocturnally foraging roommate is out cold, his coonskin cap covering his face, by midnight the evening before your “rocks for jocks” exam?
We know the solutions to these and other pressing problems because we’ve been there; we’ve been through freshman year and the memory is still fresh as dog doo. You see, my friend, we’re college students just like you, only a little older (juniors), a little wiser, and a little more obsessed with corn. We know that you could find out everything in this book by yourself if you had to and that many of your less literate classmates will, and more. But there is just so much fun to be had . . . why reinvent the wheel when you could be out burning up the road?
We come originally from Minnesota, where we rose out of the cornfields of our youth to attend high school in the lovely but unfortunately cropfree city of Minneapolis. There we lived in friendship, gossip, and a pizza restaurant called Sydney’s; there we parted, each bound for a different part of the country and a different type of collegiate environment. Two years later we came together again, possessed by a mission to spread the lessons we learned from our mistakes and experiences, and the gospel of grain. The result of our reminiscences, Jolt-fed brainstorming, and piety: the book you now hold in your trembling hand.
From our class, our campuses, and our fields to yours, then, our gift.
Copyright © 1996, 2002 by Jennifer Hanson. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.