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Sunday, June 23, 2024

College is a time for youthful exploration, limitless learning and planning your funeral.

Wait, what?

Wednesday's Alligator reported on a course called Mindful Living, in which students write their eulogies, obituaries and epitaphs.

It's supposed to "bring more intentionality to our lives, because they're going to end," said Sara Nash, the student professor for the course.

I don't know about all that, but at least it would bring some much-needed legitimacy to the complaint, "This class is the death of me" (insert laugh track).

Apparently, a study in November's issue of Psychological Science says contemplating your death will make you happier than usual.

This reminds me of something a friend of mine once said: "Death is like the bottom of a hill for most people, but I'm going off the top of a cliff."

Well, good for him, but thinking about my death usually makes me sick to my stomach. So, I've decided to live forever.

Woody Allen, my hero, said, "I don't want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve it through not dying."

I agree, and that's why I've never understood organ donors. Some people want to donate their bodies to science, whereas I prefer to donate science to my body.

But if biological research doesn't enable me to escape biology, then it looks like I'll be forced to seek immortality in other ways. Don't be upset with me, Woody.

Now, I don't think these columns I've been writing will stand the test of time. Any newspaper with poor judgment enough to let me write a weekly column clearly has no future.

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I guess I could always get a classroom building on UF's campus named after me, or maybe a residence hall or a road instead. Unfortunately, I would probably have to donate a significant amount of green to my orange and blue.

And I just don't have time to make that kind of money. I have to secure my immortality now, on a college student's budget.

What about the restrooms on the ground floor of Weimer Hall? I'm sure they could give me that for 20 bucks.

If not, I could go the safe route and carve my likeness into the side of a virgin landform. But there aren't really any hills big enough in Gainesville. Maybe that potato thing on Turlington Plaza would work.

Well, there's always the Guinness World Records book. What's the fastest anyone's ever been clocked on Museum Road? I'm sure my 120 miles per hour has to be close.

Think of all the security photos taken of me overdrawing money at ATMs. I'm sure banks save those somewhere. If they put them all together, it would make an interesting age-progression movie.

If production of the movie fails, I have plenty of scientific discoveries to preserve my namesake. I've isolated a new species of insect living under my dirty laundry. And what about that unnamed island I found one night on Google Earth?

If nothing else, I could secure immortality in the stories people tell about me.

For example, a friend told me some guy broke up with her via e-mail, using the introductory phrase, "In other news …." Such understatement will not soon be forgotten.

And, of course, there's always the option of getting Tasered and then registering people to vote.

Vincent Massaro is a senior majoring in journalism. His column appears on Mondays.

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