Capstone- Eric Boshart
It was a dark and stormy night, and then it turned to morning. Ben awoke with a certain fear as he put on his shirt with no logos and Levi jeans. This fear stemmed from one aspect of the day: his first Capstone class. He managed to profusely sweat the entire morning. No joke, he was literally pitting in the library, and the library is -70 Fahrenheit. His face was drenched in the Jones Auditorium, where the vents blow out occasional snow. The guy was nervous.
4:55 p.m. came about, and he fainted as he walked up the Moody Hall ramp. He rolled down to all the foreign exchange students smoking cigarettes and yelling at each other. They quickly got up to see what was wrong with him. They put the cigarette in Ben’s mouth and told him to inhale. He did, and he coughed wildly. Those weren’t Camel Lights. But he was awake, and he realized that if he didn’t sprint up that ramp, he would be 1 minute late. He then realized that this tardiness would result in a zero on Submission One.
He dove through the door at 5:00 p.m. as one of the students was closing the door. While on the floor, he looked up. The student was wearing basketball shorts. Ben saw things he didn’t want to see. But he had arrived, and he sat down in the only chair available. In the back row, next to a 40 year-old man. Ben slowly screeched the seat back and plopped himself down. He turned to his peer and saw that this man was no ordinary man. He was the legendary David Balinski, the man that had never left St. Edward’s. Ben froze in shock. He didn’t even know he was in his section. He didn’t even know David Balinski really existed.
David slowly turned his face to Ben’s, revealing a large vertical gash on his face. Ben had heard of this gash. Some say he did it to himself with a No. 2 pencil after failing Submission three for the 15 time. But no, this scar was too big. Others say it was from a tiger that clawed him after doing civic engagement interviews at the zoo when he picked zoo animal violence as his topic in 1992. That’s when Ben was born.
“First time here?” Balinski asked. Ben sat lifeless, hinged on to the reality that he was sitting among one of the most talked about students in St. Ed’s history. “How many times have you done this?” Ben blurted out, not noticing the offensiveness behind his question. Balinski chuckled. “The only thing keeping me from graduating is this one class. This is my…”
“OK class, welcome to Capstone,” the professor exclaimed. She was old, looked 60. “I hope you aren’t scared to be in here. We…”
Ben turned back to Balinski. Balinski was mouthing every word coming out of the professor’s mouth. When he stopped, he turned to Ben. “Me and her had a thing back in ’96. That was when I chose the death penalty topic. We never really worked out.” Ben didn’t know if he was talking about the topic or his relationship with the professor.
Ben looked back at the professor. “I’m going to do this in the summer,” Ben whispered to himself.
“Tried that once or five times. It’s the same thing.”
“Well then I’m going to ACC.”
“Tried that too. Wouldn’t take any of your other credits.”
“Well then I’m leaving the country.”
“Wouldn’t recommend it. I left to Central America and everywhere I went, I only saw potential Capstone topics. Look, now that you’re in here, you can’t leave until you’re done with it.”
Ben started sweating even more. Life had no meaning for him anymore. What were his goals and dreams now? What kept him from becoming the next David Balinski? The walls came closer together, and Ben knew that he was in for the ride of his entire life.
Editor’s Note: Capstone really isn’t that hard. Just do things on time and you’ll be straight.