My inbox has recently been flooded with emails from the Vassar yearbook staff. For the past three years, I was blissfully unaware that there even was a yearbook, but now I am all too aware. All seniors were requested to submit a photo and a quote for the book. This, of course, led to huge amounts of stress and anxiety. I put off taking pictures until a few days before the due date. My friend and I took a series of us jumping in front of the gorgeous Vassar library. But I wasn’t happy with any of them. What had started out as an inconvenience had turned into a quest to create a preserved version of myself. Last night, just hours before the photos were due, another friend and I took pictures sitting on a stump behind one of the academic buildings. We then took pictures in the stacks of the library. And then in front of the windows in the library. And then we left, because we were getting stared at. As it turns out, the last picture my friend took of me is the one that I will be remembered with. Mama Yagoda said that if I ever run for public office (which is looking less and less likely with every job application), this will be the photo they will dig up. I suppose it’s good I didn’t pick one where I’m naked (This is a joke).
Even after the anxiety of finding the perfect picture, I still needed to worry about a quote. I’ve had some ups and downs in my Vassar career, and had to decide if I wanted my quote to represent those dips, or if I wanted one that represented how I now feel. I remembered the conflict over my senior quote in high school. I had desperately wanted my quote to be the final lines from my favorite Bruce Springsteen song, Thunder Road. The quote would have been, “It’s a town full of losers, and we’re pulling out of here to win.” I was not allowed to use that quote. I ended up with a line from a song in 42nd Street, “We’re young and healthy, so let’s be bold/In a year or two or three, maybe we will be to old.”
I was seriously considering using another Bruce lyric this time around, from Rosalita, “Someday we’ll look back on this and it will all seem funny.” True, but a little too bitter. I was just skimming through my copy of Peter Pan when I found a line I thought to be beautiful and poignant. It read, “Our last glimpse of her shows her at the window, watching them receding into the sky until they were as small as stars.” I thought it was appropriate because it shows Wendy watching her daughter, Margaret, and Peter (and by extension, her youth) fly away to Neverland. She’s sad because she can’t go anymore, but also knows that her time there has ended. She’s a grown-up and can’t regret it. So when the Vassarion comes out in the spring, I will be quoting J.M. Barrie and sitting in a window in the library. I’ll be wearing a short-ish skirt, because, really, for how much longer will I have legs like this.