College lessons I’ve learned
Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself is a book by Alan Alda I bought when the actor came to campus as part of Visions & Voices, and it encompasses some of the most valuable lessons I have learned in college.
Lesson No. 1: No one gets to be at the top by talking to themselves, but by learning from others.
Lesson No. 2: The valuable people receive full names; the bad ones, just initials. I could write many paragraphs complaining about people and situations that have annoyed me while at this university. I have learned that later, however, all of the bad things in our life become mere initials, while those people that truly matter fully last in our memories.
Thus, I will not write about L.L., Housing CSR, C.G. or J.T. Instead, I thank Kristy Morrell, Philip Placenti, Abel Delgado, Sharon Lavery, Michael Powers, Ed McCann, Amanda Foran and Margarita Cardenas. It is because of their devotion that thousands of students choose the Trojan family.
Lesson No. 3: The limits to our potential are not firmly set, they are simply self-imposed.
While USC was busy arguing about the infamous rooftop scandal, we were given another $15 million donation, and Friends and Neighbors Service Day took place on campus. If I had spent half my time helping these initiatives as I did reading banal articles on the pointy and sensitive subject, I would have done more for the community.
I never joined a fraternity because of personal convictions, yet I have always advocated for them. The expectations USC has of them are nothing compared to the potential that these institutions have to better the USC community. If Kappa Sigma had spent half of the time advertising Friends and Neighbors instead of trying to clean up its public image, I can assure you our neighborhood would look a lot better today. The next step rests on the shoulders of President C. L. Max Nikias. Hopefully he can once and for all reconcile the great academic path USC is taking with the moral responsibilities and potential of many of its inhabitants. He sure did it for me.
Pablo B. Ortiz de Urbina
Graduate student, french horn performance