Humor

Josh Feinblatt met his hero. His name is Kent Syverud.

Chancellor Kent Syverud is my biggest fan. He is. It’s not a joke. I know I’m the humor columnist, but I use that quote as my tagline because it’s true. I would never lie.

We forged our relationship when I sent in my application to Syracuse University. Well, I like to think that’s when we first met. I know he reads all the accepted students application to get to know them. Good for you, Kent.

The first time we met one-on-one was in my class last semester. The chancellor sat in on my class, “Presidential Election and New Media.” Last semester I wrote the election humor column and I spoke about it in my Presidential Election class. It was on topic. It was a great plug. I do not need to defend myself against you.

After class, I thanked the chancellor for coming to our class, approaching him with a bow. That’s what you do with royalty, and a chancellor is royalty.

When I did, Kent said, “Can I admit to you that I’m actually a big fan of your columns?” I’m remembering that quote so I’m sure he said something like that, although it may not be exact.

I was astonished. We discussed for a few minutes that I was a fan of his emails – so my admiration was reciprocated. It was a highlight of my life if I’m being quite honest.

But, after that interaction, I would not have been surprised if Kent and I did not see each other until graduation. It’s not often people meet their biggest fans. But clearly I had not read enough stories about friendship, because fate always finds a way. Then, I was invited with one of my groups on campus to visit the chancellor’s house. It was the biggest miracle off of ice in history. Kent and I, back in action.

I knew it was going to bring more than best friendship — Kent and I are going to become partners in something. I was not sure in what context yet, and I did not want to make a decision without my partner, but all the coolest friendships are some sort of partners. Bonnie and Clyde: partners in crime; Batman and Robin: superhero partners; Romeo and Juliet: love partners. Would Kent and I be one of those, or would we carve our own path in life?

The day of the event, I arrived at his house ready to meet my biggest fan. I even brought my Chancellor Kent Syverud bobble head. Do not ask me how I got it, but I definitely did not make it by hand.

The reception was nice, but I could not find my partner anywhere. So many questions rushed through my mind. Where was Kent? Was I supposed to seek him out?

Then, after minutes of meaningless mingling, Kent emerged like a cheetah. He might not have been the king of the jungle, but he was certainly the chancellor of our land. He gave a toast and thanked everyone for coming, and invited everyone to get dinner. I stayed back. I knew getting him before dinner would mean he would be more likely to remember me because he was not thinking about dessert, at least that’s how I think. I do not even recognize my own family in the time between dinner and dessert.

I approached the chancellor and reminded him of when we last met. He knew, and asked how my column had been. He said he had not seen them in a few weeks. I’m sure he was just trying to come off much cooler. If I met Taylor Swift I would not tell her that I’ve memorized every lyric to every one of her songs, I would just say I’m her biggest fan in the world. See? Playing it cool.

We spoke for a few minutes. We caught each other up on what’s been happening since we saw each other last. We even talked about the election for a few minutes because when we last hung out, that was our class discussion. One-on-one, Kent is a very lovely man. He even invited me on a tour of the house later in the night.

The tour was the best part of the night, except I did not get on his tour. I know Kent has other fans to appease as well, so I got the second best thing. I went on a tour with the chancelloress, Dr. Ruth Chen. She is a wonderful tour guide. The chancellor’s house is great. One of the best things I saw was a little sign next to his computer that said “How can this help students?” That really was impactful to me because I also have signs next to my computer. Usually mine say, “Hey, stop looking at pictures of Mila Kunis.” So, I’m glad to see that the chancellor and I have something in common.

The coolest part of the tour is the attic. Most attics are just used for stuff. I’m pretty sure if you ask every American what they use their attic for, at least 51 percent of them would say “stuff.” People just put stuff in their attics, but not the chancellor. He’s got a man-cave. I know this is probably the last thing you would imagine, but for some reason I knew. The attic of the chancellor’s house has a foosball table, pool table, ping pong table, and tons of movies. What more can you want? The rest of the house has big and had complicated books about law, politics and much more, but the attic is where the chancellor turns into his real bro-self.

After the tour, it was almost time to leave. Despite repeated requests, I was not allowed to sleep over. But, I was not leaving the chancellor’s house without a picture of me, the chancellor, and my mini-chancellor that I hang out with when I’m not with the real one. The chancellor was kind enough to not only let me take leftovers home, but also the picture of a lifetime.

Thank you, Chancellor Syverud. I can say that, because I know you’re reading. Let’s meet up soon. Varsity on you?

Josh Feinblatt is a sophomore television, radio and film major. He is best friends with Kent, so stop beating him up because he’ll tell on you. He can be reached on Twitter @joshfeinblatt, by email jfeinbla@syr.edu or by visiting the chancellor.

Comments

Top Stories