Home > Red Spiral Notebook > [September, 1995] Senior Year Snapshot

[September, 1995] Senior Year Snapshot


It’s David Dolan’s birthday today. I got his gift on Friday but don’t know when I’ll be able to give it to him. I’ve been keeping in touch with the mad boy for about a month and a half. He’s so cool and sweet, one of those people I’d hate to lose as a bud.

I realize I haven’t even talked about my classes. Photo is a blast. Very complicated but I’m liking it lots. Lit is ok. Want to read Kerouac already. Calculus sucks flat out. Volleyball brings out the spaz in me. Sociology at the college is fine. My project at Childers-Craine is nice. It’s mostly reading manuscripts (or parts of ‘em) and evaluating them.

Once a bookworm, always a bookworm.

Once a bookworm, always a bookworm.

I know, I know. There are so many things wrong with those two paragraphs. I’ll overlook the affectations and poor language choices if you will.

David Dolan was my neighbor in the freak hallway my junior year and graduated the year before. An actor who had bit parts on a couple of major movies in the 90’s and a starring role in a cable show, he was unpretentious and goofy and prone to getting in trouble. We were never super-close, but I always had fun with him and he was one of the few male friends I had who I managed not to have a crush on. Sure, there was probably part of me that was a bit dazzled by his cultish celeb status, but I don’t think I ever talked to him about what it was like making movies or television shows. I remember bumming around the east village with him and meeting his girlfriend, who went on to have a small but recurring role in what is now one of my favorite shows of all time and is still actin today. I don’t remember what I got him for his birthday but I do remember that he introduced me to the Armistead Maupin Tales of the City books, which I adored.

ICY projects were internships that we got class credit for. Since I was planning to be an English/Writing major in college, I wanted to give my time to a publisher or literary agent. I was offered a position with Bantam and also Childers-Craine Literary Agency (which was really one woman). Even though Bantam, a division of Random House, may have looked better on my resume and helped me find work more easily in the future, I was more interested in reading manuscripts than doing menial admin/gofer work, which the publishing houses mostly used interns for (and which I ended up doing plenty of when I worked in publishing years later, anyway).

It was rather remarkable how much responsibility I was given at the agency, taking a first pass at most of the work that was sent in. That’s right, folks, a teenager was rejecting dozens of queries from aspiring writers every week. Years later, when I went on to write my own novel and submit it to agents, I have no doubt that plenty of interns were responsible for the rejection letters I received.

As for the rest of it, Calculus would torture me for months to come, but the rest of my curriculum more than made up for it. As much as I grumble about how terrible life at Hunter sometimes was, my senior year was off to a mostly great start.

(Oh, and I did finally try reading Kerouac’s On the Road earlier this year, but couldn’t get more than 100 pages into it and couldn’t get more than 15 minutes past the film adaptation. I respect the nonconformist, hedonistic spirit of the Beat Generation, but something about Kerouac’s style and storytelling simultaneously grates on me and leaves me thoroughly bored. Oh well, there’s always Ginsberg’s “Howl.”) 


  1. Liz
    May 30, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    Hey – can’t remember if I had a reason to mention this in a comment on a previous post, but a few years ago when I was still living in BK, I could have sworn I saw “David Dolan” shopping at C-Town on 9th St. Didn’t have the nerve to say anything to him at the time, never saw him again. I doubt he’d remember me, but we had some friends in common. He and another guy from the freak hall had collected Snapple bottles all year and were planning to drive to Maine to redeem them (the only state where they were worth cash, as I recall). Back in the glory days of the 90s, all those nickels for the bottles might JUST have covered the cost of the gas it would have taken them to drive there 😉 …probably not though. 😉 Anyway, they invited my friend Meg to go with them, but I don’t think it ever happened.
    On a side note, I too had to take volleyball my senior year. I had managed to get folk/square/ballroom for a second time, but couldn’t get bowling a second time, hence volleyball. However, I amused myself by volunteering to be one of the team captains, deliberately picking all the least athletic people in the class to be on my team, and naming us “The Winners” after all the other teams called themselves the Tigers, Hawks, etc. We also had an informal points system for hitting a light fixture in the gym with the volleyball (100 pts), hitting one light and having it bounce onto a second light (200 pts), all the way up to hitting the weird shy math teacher who used to pass through our gym class wearing tiny, tiny shorts (500 pts, but this never actually happened). 😉
    Ah, memories…

  2. Liz
    May 30, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Oh, and I never found out if it was true that “David Dolan” pulled the chain on the emergency water supply in one of the chem labs, upon finding out that he wouldn’t be allowed to go to graduation or prom or something. I really hope it was true, but it kind of doesn’t matter – it’ll always be true to me. 😉

    • June 2, 2014 at 1:18 am

      I do remember you mentioning the chem lab story, but not the Snapple bottle one. What a kook!

      Oh, and I got to take Folk/Square/Ballroom dancing for one of my gyms either junior or senior year and remember it was super-fun. The best class was learning The Hustle to Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” (though would that be considered a type of folk dance? Either way, it was great).

  1. July 9, 2015 at 3:29 pm

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