~ASC.EDU – Mike Deville Ph.D.~

Breaking news! I will NOT be graduating this May! But don’t cry for me, Alfred, cause it’s all good! And I owe it all to St. Patrick and too much Guinness. Or maybe, just maybe, it was exactly the right amount of Guinness. You decide.

First, I need you to answer a simple question: How much can you really remember about your St. Patrick’s Day night (without peeking at the police report)? Not much, right? I thought so.

Here’s what I remember about that famous, green day. It started like all great Alfred stories, at the Collegiate. I was having breakfast at my usual seat at the ‘Jet. As I washed down my omelette with several mugs of the dark, delicious liquid that first drew me away from TC and across the street to the ‘Jet, I was still digesting the news I’d learned a few days earlier. My Uncle Coupe had revealed a long kept family secret to me: I am Irish!

I know…it’s not like he’d told me I am Southern Baptist or anything really shocking like that. But still…IRISH! I’d always sort of assumed the name Deville was French or maybe British, something not quite American. But IRISH???

Anyhow, I spent a day or two learning ‘how to be Irish.’ I guess it comes naturally, like if you’re raised Irish, but I figured I had to learn how to walk Irish, talk Irish, sit Irish, move my hands Irish, the whole Irish package.  I had to learn how to say words like ‘Erin go bragh’ and ‘shillelagh.’ And, of course, I learned the most important Irish word, according to my best sources in Alfred, GUINNESS.

So by St. Patrick’s Day morning I was stoked about being Irish. I even tried to order Guinness with my breakfast at the ‘Jet, but the waitress pointed me toward Alex’s and G.J,’s and wished me Erin go bragh, shillelagh, and bon voyage.

Fast forward to later that night at G.J.’s. By the time I’d had six Guinness’s, I discovered that I could actually speak Irish! But the only people who could understand me when I spoke Irish were the people who’d also had at least six Guinnesses. It was almost spiritual, in a drunken sort of way, if you know what I mean, and I’ll bet some of you do.

Long story short, I had an epiphany around the time I finished my tenth Guinness late that night at G.J.’s. I always thought epiphanies only happened in boring short stories where nothing is really happening. Well, I’m here to testify that if you drink enough Guinness and then stand at the crossroads of Mill Street and West University at midnight, YOU WILL have an epiphany.

And that’s when it all came together for me and I realized that I have to change my major again! History is a cool major, but I’m done with history. Fasten your seat belts because this may shock you! I’m switching my major to MATH as soon I can meet with the math chair.

I hear you saying MATH? Deville, you’ve never even liked math??!! But here’s the epiphany I had at the crossroads that night by G.J.’s: everything is numbers! Everything! History is just a bunch of numbers. Obviously business is just a bunch of numbers that get manipulated, right? Ditto for engineering. Hey, even sports is mostly numbers!

The way I see it (post-epiphany), if you don’t understand numbers, you don’t understand anything about this world.  You’re just walking around in a fog if you don’t understand math!  I know this might take some time, considering that I flunked MATH 1004 twice, but after my Guinness epiphany, I feel almost driven to change my major to math, no matter how long it takes me to graduate.

So later this week, I’ll try to locate the math department chair to explain why I am on a mission to learn math! Given my past performance in MATH 1004, I’m expecting some token resistance, but with God and Guinness on your side, you are an unstoppable force, at least according to my epiphany. But just in case, I’m bringing ten bottles of Guinness with me to make sure the Chair of the Marth Department has the same epiphany that I had.

Erin go bragh, shillelagh, and bon voyage!!



  1. Glad to see you’re back writing Mike. We missed your enlightening experiences for a few years. Good luck getting that degree next year

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