C. Adam Pfander Photograph


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February 14, 2013   

This past Wednesday evening comedian Michael Ian Black visited Hamilton’s campus.  His performance was slated for 9 p.m.—long after I had eater dinner and well into my usual study time.  At 8 p.m. I sat at a desk in KJ drawing graphs for a macroeconomics assignment, completely unaware of Black's impending performance.  I then received an email from one of my very good friends.

The subject line included just one word, written boldly in all-caps: “COMEDY.”  The message explained that there was a comedian performing and I should go.  I considered: I have an economics problem set to finish, an essay to write and 50 pages to read—of course I will go!

It was the right decision.  For the next hour I sat in Wellin Hall while Black performed his stand-up routine.  At times, he went off script and improvised with a few members of the audience.  On the eve of Valentine’s Day, there were plenty of awkward tensions Black could play on; he went so far as to move two audience members closer together, in hopes of sparking some new romance.

I laughed almost straight through the hour and was the better for it.  Though I had a few pangs of guilt for all the work I was putting off, the levity of the performance made it difficult to truly worry.  I exited Wellin feeling significantly better than when I walked in; I was all the more eager to jump into my books, tackle my workload.

I was still chuckling after my schoolwork was done; I fell asleep smiling and woke up enthused—not just because of the comedian, but because I allowed myself this indulgence.  I simply walked away from my work and spent an hour appealing to my sense of humor.  I embraced the freedom of my situation and was the better for it.