Can I take out a restraining order against my own school?

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An open letter to the Office of Annual Giving:

Nothing would make me happier than parlaying my Carnegie Mellon education into a career in which I find myself professionally satisfied and financially prosperous. At that time, an army of armored polar bears (sorry, I just saw Golden Compass) could not stop me from monetarily expressing my gratitude to Carnegie Mellon.

Until that time, though, I would really, super-duper, extra-specially-with-a-cherry-on-top appreciate it if you folks at the Office of Annual Giving would get off my back.

You have sent me countless e-mails and letters, all trying to wheedle money out of me. Those are little more than an annoyance, but recently you seem especially intent on crossing the line between dismissible and despicable. In the middle of finals week last semester, for example, you forced your student volunteers to pull out their personal cell phones and telemarket to their own friends and acquaintances.

I’m baffled: What exactly were you trying to accomplish by contacting me during the most demanding week of my senior year and implying that I, somehow, had not yet given Carnegie Mellon enough?

Maybe next you could give your workers paper cups and have them sit on milk crates on Craig Street. (Or would they have to provide their own cups? Sturdy ones can run several dozen cents.)

For much of the past four years (after I got off the meal plan, mostly), I believed that Carnegie Mellon was a place of intellectualism and sincerity; I understood that it was also a business, but hey, that’s capitalism for you. Since the day that chubby envelope arrived in the mail, I have been a ceaseless ambassador for Carnegie Mellon. My enrollment opened a floodgate of applications from my high school. I wear my maroon hoodie like a second skin.

But I guess my attitude and allegiance are just too far removed from what matters most: my cold, hard cash.

On your website you urge students and alumni to update their contact information to ensure that they’re receiving the latest news and event information from Carnegie Mellon. Something about that seems fishy to me — I highly doubt you sit there all atwitter at the prospect of informing me about whatever new sculpture the university is installing because the Federal Aviation Administration won’t let the artist keep it in his backyard. No, I think you want that updated information so that you always know where to outstretch your hand.

In closing, while I have your attention, I was wondering if you’d like to make a donation. See, I’ve just become founder and chairman of the brand-new Office of Leaving Me the Hell Alone So I Can Graduate and Get a Job, and any start-up funds I can accrue will really go a long away toward my stated goal. May I put you down for $20.08? Remember, nothing shows you care like awkward checkbook math!

Please let me know, as I’ll be sending a follow-up e-mail shortly.