In his new book “Five College Dialogues,” Ian Thomas Malone reflects on various aspects of college life. The book is a collection of dialogues between fictional yet realistic characters, including George Tecce, also known as “The Chief,” a graduate student and teaching assistant for a freshmen English class.

In the prologue, Malone stresses that the purpose of his writing is to provide a guide to undergraduate college and all of the experiences that come with it. He hopes readers come away from his novel with a reflective attitude and are ready to enjoy the overall undergraduate journey.

Three of the five dialogues involve George discussing an issue with one of his freshmen English students. These issues range from dorm room drinking, to effort and engagement in classes, to the hookup culture. George hides nothing; he not only gives thoughtful advice but also shares his own experiences pertaining to the issue at hand.

George is also on the receiving end of the advice when he talks with the professor of the freshmen English class, who advises him on how to lead a successful life. The final dialogue is between George and the Dean of the college, who has received numerous complaints about George and his interaction with students and has no other choice but to fire George.

As a whole, the dialogues are clearly a statement on the ups and downs of the college experience. Students who are seeking advice are lucky to find George, but not are all so fortunate. The termination of this graduate student who seemingly had all the answers reflects on how getting all the tips is not what the undergraduate experience is about. College is a time to grow and learn from mistakes, and figuring them out on your own is often the most challenging yet most rewarding part.

It’s also important to note the memoir-like scenes that take place throughout the dialogues. Malone is a very recent college graduate and that is unmistakably reflected in his novel. Anecdotes and certain snippets of advice are personalized and specific, making it clear that Malone took a lot away from his college experience and wants to ensure that his readers do the same.

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