Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Life Is a Highway

The only photo to date of William Brownlow where he is not on the road, tired or drunk.

Wow, several years taking pictures for this paper and I finally get to write something under my own byline. Now I

just have to figure out what an old, worn out photographer can do with 700 words when he is used to dealing in the thousand-word increments of pictures.

Where have these four years taken me? I have been a photographer for The Hoya, a techie for Mask & Bauble, an erstwhile scribe of a senior year gone awry, a racecar driver (I love the Merritt Parkway!), owner of Black Beauty, resident of 3523 R St. and a frequent participant in the travels up and down the Eastern seaboard in search of life. But does that sum up my experience at Georgetown? I do not think it does.

Where am I going to go from here? Nominally, I am going to take some classes this summer, live in Arlington, Va., get a job and continue my life. But what will my experience at Georgetown have to do with any of my life from this point on? I have taken my computer science major and am looking for someone to subsidize my trips to The Tombs and Wellesley. My degree from a prestigious university will open doors and gain me immediate cache in conversations. However, what is the effect of my experiences at Georgetown that will carry forward from May 26?

The people. If there is anything I learned in high school it is that people are what make an institution great. It is the people that I have formed bonds with over newsprint, shows and a little Jack Daniels (every now and then) that are what will make my time at Georgetown great. And it is these same people that will make this university great.

This semester I have put a lot of miles on my car. I have traveled from York, Maine, to Key Largo, Fla. and as far west as Shreveport, La. Most of these trips were in the company of friends, some of them were solo (I-81 is the most boring, beautiful stretch of road to date, but the country stations along it are great). There are many pleasures in these trips, but the most important is the time spent with true friends. At some point, I began keeping a travelogue of our adventures. Each trip this semester is documented with the participants, the route and photos, stories and memories of the time spent getting there, being there and returning.

That book is the story of a semester to finish a fabulous college career. I have not finished everything that I have started, nor ended where I thought I would, but the people on the trip are what has made it special. Four years ago (almost to the day of writing this, April 29) I broke my ankle playing ultimate Frisbee. I was bow in the varsity eight-plus and we were two races into the season. I hated it at first, but it gave me time to spend with my friends right before graduation. I didn’t care about crew anymore because there was nothing to be done about it, the ankle was broken and I couldn’t row until the fall.

Over spring break, when my car broke down in Daytona Beach, Fla., on the way back from Ft. Lauderdale, I gave up caring. The story that came from that trip has the title “When You Just Don’t Care Anymore.” It was the truth, I just didn’t care about when I returned, the fate of my car or what happened next. However, the title should have read, “When You Learn What to Care About.” I learned what to care about – and my car wasn’t it. You care about Georgetown, friends, going to the Cape on a whim; you don’t sweat the small stuff like the entire electrical system (alternator, voltage regulator and battery).

That is what Georgetown has taught me and what I will carry with me for the rest of my life. A friend wrote as part of the inscription for the travelogue: “Still, in the journeys that follow [in this book], we’ve traveled down roads of experience – roads that have been a path of memories that we hope will last a lifetime.” I can say that my memories from Georgetown will last a lifetime, but many more will certainly be added. Let the journey continue.

William Brownlow was photography editor, Web editor and contributing editor for The Hoya.

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