The Scarlet & Black

The Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Column:Life: choose a college, choose a state, choose Grinnell

Last Sunday, Slumdog Millionaire took home the Oscar for Best Picture, and its director, Danny Boyle, won the Best Director award.
Danny Boyle also directed the film Trainspotting, which is basically about these heroin addicts in Ireland (think of a lighter Requiem for a Dream, with a slightly happier ending—although any ending is probably happier than Requiem’s).

The beginning sequence of the film is a foot chase: main character Renton (Ewan McGregor) is running away from the cops after knocking off a convenience store for drug money, and all the while, there’s a voiceover of Renton reciting this monologue about how drugs are better than life.

Thus, in honor of Danny Boyle’s win last Sunday, I attempt to emulate that monologue, but with a Grinnell twist. My intent is not to say that Grinnell is better than life, but rather, to present you this monologue and you can make what you want of it:

Choose a college, choose a state, choose Iowa, choose Grinnell. Choose your bed sheets, your toothbrush, your window fan, your clothes, your microwave oven and your fucking laptop computer. Choose a class, a sports team, a clique, choose your friends. Choose a meal plan, choose teriyaki wings, buffalo wings, or spicy wings and hope the meat isn’t pink.

Choose the fireplace lounge, choose Bob’s, Burling first, Burling second, a classroom in Noyce, or a spot in the Grille to sit with your hot tea and shiny, white Mac that’s got your ear buds blasting the latest psychedelic rock song as you talk to your friends pretending to do homework. Choose INSLab, Math Lab, the Creative Computing Lab, or the lab next door where that guy makes drugs. Choose the PEC, choose the fitness center, choose Mac Field, the soccer field, the football field, or a run at five in the morning in your short, red, running shorts.

Choose your first-year tutorial, your second-year roommate, choose your dorm. Choose off-campus, on-campus, sub-free, boy-free, girl-free, or gender neutral. Choose North, South, East, but not West. Choose Cowles, Norris, Dibble, Clark, Gates, Langan, Smith, Younker. Choose Loose, Read, James, Haines, Cleveland, Main. Choose Lazier, Kershaw, Rose, or East D.

Choose a rescue dog, choose a disco ball, choose a fetish, choose a block to party, choose a shirt that you can wear one sleeve off the shoulder while your hair is off to the opposite side in a pony tail.

Choose a major, an advisor, and a coffee maker for those nights when you have to write that fucking paper that you’ve put off for weeks, thinking why the fuck did I choose to take this class and choose this fucking major.

Choose a night, a lounge, a party, and a drinking game where the point is to shoot a little white ball into a red cup filled with beer (or bounce it, if you dare). Choose Gardner, Harris, or High Street. Choose Swimmer House, Soccer House, Frisbee House, White House, and on those rare occasions, choose the Slum. Choose a cup, choose a keg, choose a song, choose a dance. Choose a girl, choose a boy, choose a time, choose a place, and make sure you choose the route for your walk of shame.

Choose fall break plans, winter break plans, spring break plans, summer plans, or just [plans]. Choose auto-read list 1, auto-read list 2, or if you’re one of those kinds of people, choose auto-read list 3. Choose a Facebook picture that doesn’t make you look like a fucking tool.
Choose High Street, Park Street, Broad Street, Main Street, the Brande, or an apartment above the Strand. Choose Chuong’s, Pag’s, Casa’s, Lonn’s, or even China Sea, choose anything but the D-Hall. Choose a senior project, choose a senior seminar, choose a senior citizen to study for a summer MAP. Choose a graduation date, choose a commencement speaker, choose the underwear that you’ll wear when you receive your fucking diploma. “Choose your future, choose life.”

But who needs all that when you’ve got a good education?

For the actual monologue from Trainspotting, Google it.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *