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September 30, 2007
Homecoming Has Already Come and Gone
What can I say about these ancient traditions of Wabash? What of Chapel Sing? What of the Chants? The Float? The Homecoming King and Queen?
Even tough I was sleep deprived and stressed last year, I think my freshman Homecoming, Homecoming 2006, was more meaningful. Of course, it's because I was involved in every homecoming event and my interests were invested on the outcome. It was necessary for Beta to win so the Brothers would be proud.
And now I am one of those Brothers who has approve the pledges efforts this year in Homecoming. With everything that happened, I am inclined to applaud the Beta pledges. For the most part, I think they had a successful Homecoming week. First, I must admit their Chapel Sing was a bit more intense than mine. It's not because the Sphinx Club was more aggressive toward the pledges, but the pledges were more aggressive toward each other. Betas are known for guarding the Chapel steps. So when a group of pledges from the mall have to walk inside the Chapel, the Betas make them walk around to the side. Well, this year, about 3 pledge classes said they were going to go through the Beta line and walk right through the middle. Bad idea. All I saw was a Phi Delt trying to push his way through the middle and the next thing I knew he was rolling backwards on the ground. This first time around the Phi Delts just walked around. But there was a second time. This time the entire Phi Delt pledge class decided to rush right through the middle of the Betas. There was a scuffle and surprisingly Dean Raters did not disqualify either house on the spot. Once the Phi Delt's recived their W, they chose not to return to the mall, but stand right behind the Betas and sing the song. I think it was meant to throw the Beta pledges off, but Phi Delt's rendition of Old Wabash was kind of weak. The point of the story is that a rivalry has begun between the two houses. We'll have to see where it goes.
Next were the Chants. The Betas Chants were pitiful this year. I must say I was extremely disappointed. I feel like our Chant was more successful because I was a music guy and understood how to learn and to teach a Chant, which is essentially a song. I don't think this pledge class had one of those types of guys. Thus, the Betas were being booed before they were half-way finished.
Next was the Float. I'm proud of the Float this year, but I am kinda ticked that it was censored. Apparently the first Float would have been an embarrassment on the college. So, the Deans told the pledges they needed to change it. I think the pledges made an appropriate change that still kept the essence of what they were trying to portray.
Finally, there were the Homecoming King and Queen. I'll let you decide how feel about them from the pictures.
There was a party here last night as well. Several Beta Alumni made an appearance. It was good hanging out with them again. Overall, a good night.
Well, I've said too much. I took a ton of pictures so I feel free to look at them here.
September 25, 2007
Wabash and the Jena Six Conflict
Last week, Amina McIntyre, assistant director of the MXI, sent out a campus email asking us to pay attention to a couple racial conflicts going on right now, including Jena Six. If you've been living under a rock and you don't know what's going on, here's a quick recap. I pulled all this info from CNN. Well CNN directed me to a site called Democracy Now! Where I found this info:
Six black students at Jena High School in Central Louisiana were arrested last December after a school fight in which a white student was beaten and suffered a concussion and multiple bruises. The six black students were charged with attempted murder and conspiracy. They face up to 100 years in prison without parole. The fight took place amid mounting racial tension after a black student sat under a tree in the schoolyard where only white students sat. The next day three nooses were hanging from the tree.
Some may question why Amina would even send such an email. They may think how does any of this relate to my life at Wabash, but I think I understand her reasoning. It is very easy to become caught in the bubble of Wabash College and not realize that life moves on outside our walls. Anyway, her email elicited several responses that been filling up my email account for the past week. In one of his first responses to Amina's email, Dr. Webb suggests that Mychal Bell, who was convicted and got his conviction overturned, deserved his punishment. Webb stated that this case reflects how our judicial system work. When someone assaults someone else, they do time in jail. There have been several other emails concerning this issue, but like I said that was just Webb’s first response. Webb suggested it would be more "productive" to talk about the Duke case where some faculty "rushed to judgment against some students, and some faculty even talked about lynching these students..." He says this issue is being swept under the carpet.
I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t consider the Duke case, but I wonder why is it necessary we turn our attention away from Jena Six. This one event may turn out to be the beginning of a social movement. Al Sharpton suggests that this maybe a 2nd wave of the Civil Rights Movement. He’s trying to represent the unrepresented; he even wants to form a march on Washington, DC.
Now, I’ve heard criticism from a representative of the Conservative Union that the idea that this is the 2nd wave of the Civil Rights Movement is ridiculous. He said the Jena Six incident was an isolated event. There are still racial issues in America, but Americans have come along way since 1960. If it were 1960, those Black kids would have been lynched.
But I think that social movements begin with isolated incidents. Remember Rosa Parks. Her refusal to give up her seat on the bus was an isolated incident, yet it sparked the 1st Civil Rights Movement.
Whether this is the 2nd Civil Rights Movement or not, it seems that it is pretty significant. As an African-American, it feels like this event is symbolic of some larger forces at play in America. I’m sure if I was in Memphis I would be able to see the movement first hand. But I’m not. I’m just stuck in Crawfordsville reading e-mails from outspoken Professors with opinions that diminish the significance of a conflict that speaks volumes about the time in which we live.
September 24, 2007
An Idle Pledge is a Bad Pledge
There are several philosophies surrounding how to unite a pledge class. I mean realistically trying to turn 20 guys into best friends is a huge challenge. They come from all across the country and from different financial, educational, and cultural backgrounds. Really, there are more factors that work against a pledge class than for them. But I don't feel like going into all the specifics that hinder pledges from forming friendships. I want to talk about the good stuff.
This Sunday we took our pledges to do philanthropy. What better way to help these guys unite than to have them combine their efforts for someone else's benefit. They went to Crawfordsville's Women Shelter and offered some muscle. They moved furniture, painted a fence, and trimmed a few bushes. I think that this little project was a good bonding experience. When you paint a fence in 100 degree weather, you gotta joke around or the project is just going to seem unbearable. I took some pics while they were hard at work.
September 21, 2007
APO Pledge Ceremony
And my life moves forward.
This week was the pledge ceremony for Alpha Phi Omega. I'm not sure why this event was so significant to me, but I feel as though it was a milestone. Maybe its because for the first time in a long time I've dedicated myself to something that isn't meant to meet my own ends. The work I'm doing for others. Indirectly, I am benefited because it makes me feel something. I really don't understand it, but I feel its important.
Furthermore, I was elected the pledge class President. So, now I have real obligations to the organization. The biggest problem in APO is guys not showing up. I can’t be one of those guys. I feel as though I have to be an example. By me being involved, I hope my actions say something like, “I have 3 papers, two tests, and practice this week, but I still made time to help out someone else.”
I really hope this is a good experience for me.
September 17, 2007
The Little Old Lady Project
This semester I am pledging APO, the community service organization. I felt like it was time for me to give back... So much has been given to me since I moved to Crawfordsville. I want to do more for the community... I want to do more for the world.
This past Saturday, I went to a "little old lady's" house and cleaned it up. The paint job was terrible, the plant life was overgrown, and just the general condition of the house was dilapidated. So, I spent my Saturday cutting down trees and scraping paint off the sides of her house. Honestly, the work was tedious, but it also was necessary.
Why should I not lend a hand to this helpless woman? She was in no condition to cut down the trees and bushes that were overgrown in her yard... what is a legitimate reason that I could not help her out? I can't think of one.
So it's is my plan to join this organization and do my part for the community when I can. I mean, why shouldn't I?
September 12, 2007
I Hate Wednesdays...
I hate Wednesday. There is always too much going on. Why do all the clubs feel the need to meet Wednesday night? So my whole evening is devoted from going to one club meeting to the next. But its not just my evening thats jammed packed.... its the whole day.
I have 3 consecutive classes from 9-12. It's not a real big deal because I like these classes. Then I have my lunch which is only about 30 minutes because I need to get a work out in before I go to work at 2. I stay at work from 2-4. Then from 4-6, I need either to practice piano or start on homework. By the time I slow down by 10 o'clock, I dont feel like doing anything but laying my head on my pillow.
I wish I could say that its only tomorrow that's going to be like that. But its every Wednesday. Every Wednesday, I can look forward to a day of stress and pressure. What joy.
September 11, 2007
Watermelon Bust '07
This past weekend marked the beginning of the party season at Wabash College. The Watermelon Bust kicks off the semester. Lambda Chi hosts the event and this year it was suppose to double as a fund raiser. Some of the proceeds from the party went to the Crawfordsville community... so thats kinda cool.
I think I'm getting to point in my college career where partying just gets old. Watermelon Bust was cool and everrything, but I feel like I've done that scene a million times already. Same old songs, same old faces... I think I'm getting tired of it. The most fun I had this weekend was hanging out in the room with my roommates and their friends. We sat around and watched Old School and then marched over to the party.
I hope I was just in a crappy mood this weekend that I didn't feel like partying to hard. I really hope this doesn't foreshadow the rest of my party season.
September 06, 2007
Reflections from a Pledge....
These words come Nic Schrader. A Beta Pledge toiling night and day to join the brotherhood... these are his thoughts last weekend from painting the bench:
"It was a nice little bonding experince for us. There were cliques before painting the bench. The football guys kinda stuck together and the rest of the guys kinda just fell together. But after we painted the bench, we were more of a unit. It was a fusing experience for us. Jared Graber is a apperently a singer/songwriter. He's made a CD and we were fortunate enough to listen to 8 of his tracks. Also, another funny thing that happen with us is that 2 guys decided to go streaking across campus. Because we wanted to mess with their heads, we told them we hid their clothes in the TKE House. Thus they walked through their house naked. Overall, the night was pretty badass."
Now, if I recall a year ago when I painted the bench, we didn't nearly have as much fun. It was a more stressful evening for us. Guys were disappearing left and right, and we were scared that we weren't going to finish. It rained that night and the paint kept running off. So we were in a kinda bind because we thought it wasn't going to get done. Needless to say, it wasn't the bonding experience the freshman had this year.
I did this little compare and constrast piece because I thought it was interesting to see how pledgeships change from year to year.
September 02, 2007
Behind Enemy Lines...
Last night I went to DePauw for some partying. It was one of those weekends at Wabash where there was nothing going on. My pledge brothers and I could have got something started at the House, but the lack of girls always presents a roadblock for these types of Saturday nights. Fortunately, my roommate, Bobby, went on a first date with this girl from DePauw Friday. At about 9:48 pm Saturday night, I decide I want to go out and about because I bored. He made a girl to his "girlfriend," she invited us up.
4 of us went in total. And this number worked out because Bob's "girlfriend" is in a sorority at DePauw. So the numbers worked out in our favor: 120 girls to 4 guys... niiicceeee.
When we got to DePauw, we hung out at the sorority for a second, but I soon discovered that we couldn't stay. Apparently, sororities aren't allowed to host boys in their Houses. So, to get the party started, we visited the Beta House at DePauw. Of course, I wasn't going to say I was from Wabash when I had to introduce myself to my Beta brethren. I was Tyler Ferguson and I attended NYU.
When it was time for bed, Bob's girl snuck us inside her sorority house, and we slept upstairs in some girls room who had gone home from the weekend. It felt weird sneaking around the House at 3 in the morning.
On the whole, the entire night was memorable.