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Another year has passed and I’m still Rafferty

May 3rd, 2007

Here we are again. Another year at John Carroll is about to become nothing more than a memory.
That means it has been an entire year of “You’re Wrong, I’m Rafferty,” and what a year it’s been. Every week, I gave you guys 110 percent.
That’s ten percent more than the rules of mathematics would usually allow me to give.
I came out of the gates swinging in my first column, advising freshmen not to cut across the Quad. I put myself on the line with that statement. I set the tone, letting the JCU community know I wasn’t going to let people cut across the Quad and not call them out on it.
At this point, the people who cut across the Quad decided they didn’t like me.
In fact, it drew the first letter to the editor that criticized my column. It was one sentence, and needless to say, it didn’t get published.
Everything was peaches and cream, then Halloween came around and things got real interesting. I was in St. Louis when the issue hit newsstands.
From what I hear, riots broke out across campus that Thursday and I was burned in effigy.
My words about the great holiday of Halloween resulted in a slew of letters to fill the CN’s Op/Ed pages, a dialogue change in the “Vagina Monologues” to include my name and various other forms of harassment. I had become the face of sexism.
And really, I would like to take this time to thank all the gentlemen and broads who have ever written or said a bad thing about me or this column. Because of you, what’s black and white and read all over? My column.
I mean, the week after the Halloween column came out, my name appeared in the paper 15 times. I couldn’t ask for a better PR team.
Please, keep yelling at me when you see me around campus, I’ll just smile and wave. Keep those letters coming, too. This column should give you enough material for next year.
Had this vocal minority wrote letters that read something like, “In a response to a column in last week’s issue…,” it may have been a different story. Instead, they made those letters more personal than a taping of Dr. Phil.
Certainly, I don’t want the image of the insensitive, sexist male. But, the people who know me know this is far from true.
I had a teacher who said that you would know you’re a good writer when you can write things that make people mad. Using that measuring stick, I must be up there with Steinbeck and Vonnegut.
It’s when people start to dislike you that they really start to like you. Praise is often whispered when criticism is shouted. The praise far outweighed the criticism, and I want to thank everyone who at one point came up to me and said “Hey, you’re Rafferty, right?”
See, I’m just trying to brighten up your Thursday; some people get it, other people get really mad. I make jokes, like earlier when I wrote “gentlemen and broads.”
This is a shoutout to anyone who ever said, “You should write a column about [fill in the blank].”
A preview of next year’s columns: “Why you should fear owls,” “What’s the deal with Bohannon” and “Where is the library?.”