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Life Lessons Courtesy of Team 60

Then, there was the time I paid the coupon price for a Chick-Fil-A meal without a coupon; thanks humanity!

However, there has been a recent turn of events on campus that has led me to question the essence of humanity itself: namely, the Team 60 listserv.

For those of you not in the know (i.e. those not familiar with e-mail, the General College advising system or those of you who are not history or like-minded majors), every student at UNC has an advising team, grouped around various majors.

My top adviser, Karen James, left her position last week to take a job in the business school.

And as a thoughtful thank-you gesture, she sent out a message on the Team 60 listserv - a listserv none of us knew existed.

After that, chaos ensued.

Over the weekend, the idea developed that anybody could send in a response.

The first ones were nice.

They were the "Oh Ms. James, thanks for the note and thanks for advising us, we will miss you too," style notes.

I know Ms. James. She is a very nice woman, and deserves all the praise she can get.

That being said, there were a good number of these thank-you notes. Enough to the point that Ms. James sent out another e-mail thanking all these people for their nice e-mails and asking them not to use the listserv for that sort of thing.

Sadly, it was too late.

People just started sending in e-mails. I don't know if they had ever seen a listserv before, but things got pretty sick, pretty quick.

In just a few days about 70 e-mails were sent - all about nothing.

For those of you who did not read these, or were lucky enough not to receive them in the first place, all I can say is that I wish I were you.

It was interesting to watch the e-mail trail progress.

At first, the uncomplimentary e-mails were sent, chastising people for sending in congratulatory notes.

I can't remember who sent these e-mails, since I got so frustrated with all of them Sunday that I decided to delete a lot of this stuff.

As this e-mail chain gradually evolved, the listserv took on a life of its own. It reminded me a lot of the Salem witch trials or McCarthyism.

In other words, mass hysteria took over.

People would e-mail in everything - and I mean everything. In a way it was like a microcosm of life right there on the Team 60 listserv.

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While the vast majority of people on the listserv did not reply, and from what I can tell just got really upset, a good number of people did take the time to send in something to the listserv.

One group got really surly about all of the thank-you notes. These guys had class rivaled only by Coach Mike Krzyzewski's - who runs the score up on teams like Princeton or Davidson (these teams, the Dale Earnhardts of college sports, are intimidating, I know).

The next batch of e-mails were along the lines of being nonsensical. This type of humor is pretty funny, I guess.

An example would be (trust me, these are real): "What's up everyone. I figure I should get in on this too. I don't have a bike, but I have a can opener, so if anyone needs a can of Spaghetti Os opened, let me know via Team 60 chat room. Ya know, we should throw a party Team 60-style ."

Perhaps what is most depressing is how this "throw a party Team 60-style" idea came up. I have never seen something catch fire like this did in my entire life.

Out of nowhere, in about 10 minutes, these listserv-lovers decided to throw a party at the "Rugby House."

From what I read, none of these guys themselves were on the rugby team, much less do they live in the rugby house.

So I asked my friend Craig, who does actually live in the rugby house, about this idea of having hundreds of history majors partying like rock stars in his house.

Craig was not really receptive to the idea, but he did say, "They are more than welcome to buy some T-shirts."

But who are we to stand in the way of a party?

Perhaps my favorite group of people in this whole debacle were the ones who sent e-mails to the listserv passionately asking people to stop sending out e-mails to the listserv.

An example would be the message one gentleman sent out: "PLEASE STOP RESPONDING TO THE LISTSERV!!! IF I GET ONE MORE DAMN E-MAIL I'M GOING TO GO CRAZY!!! SO PLEASE STOP IT!!!!"

Of course, pleas like these were usually answered with responses in the nature of, "Isn't this funny? I am just doing this on policy because so many people are getting irate. I think everybody just needs to chill out and deal with it."

A viscous cycle really.

I really think different groups represent our nation to a T.

There's the vast silent majority, the vocal rabble-rousers, those who plead for other people to get it together, those who make the jokes - and most importantly, the ones who want to party.

William McKinney is a history and political science major from Greenville, S.C. who likes nothing more than to throw it down with other socially dysfunctional history majors. Reach him with questions, comments and party favors at

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