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First Weekend Home

I had not been back at my own home in Logansport since August 19th, and it felt good to finally take a break and head home for the first time in over a month. Don’t get me wrong, Wabash is a great place, and I love every minute of it, but sometimes you just need a break and to sleep in your own bed.

This weekend I planned on only going home, sleeping, enjoying time with my family, and that was it… that did not happen. Instead, because I have no car here at college, my mother and younger brother drove all the way to Crawfordsville, had BDubs with me, and we all drove the almost two hour ride back home. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t beyond happy to see our dog greet me at the door, not knowing where I had been for over a month. My dad was already asleep at the late hour so I briefly announced I was home, and then set to devouring all food that was in the refrigerator. Boy’s gotta eat. Of course, gorged by my feasting, I was naturally tired and proceeded to head up to my bedroom for a much needed reuniting with Mr. Pillow and Mr. Blanket. However, I was instead met by a clean room, with no clutter, lack of mess, and a visible floor. I mean, it has only been a month, next my parents will have turned the room into a man cave.

Instead of sleeping in I decided to drive the forty-five minutes north to Culver Military Academy that Saturday morning for the annual Culver Cross Country Invitational. I planned to see my alma mater race, talk to friends from other schools still in high school, and hangout with my two Wabash teammates Ryan Horner and Mason McKinney.  So for the next 3-4 hours, the three of us spent our morning running back and forth during the race cheering on for those we knew and those possible prospects. It was a hot day for the conditions the Culver Invite is usually known for, and it was still a good race for all those involved. Shout out to all those who participated at the meet Saturday!

After, the three of us drove back to Logansport and partook and the deliciousness that is the homemade ice cream of Logansport’s Charbett’s. BUT the best part of the day was when I came home to find my older sister visiting with my niece and nephew. The rest of the night involved and influx of grandparents from both sides, siblings, three cousins, and aunt, and eventually our neighbors for a spontaneous bonfire and s’mores. A great night spent seeing family I dearly missed over the past several weeks. Tip: Those of you thinking about going to college at Wabash or anywhere else (why?), remember to talk to your family while you are here. People besides your mother and father miss you. If you have a brother, then they probably won’t care. Mine just sat and played Xbox while I was home;)

My first weekend home was great! Quite the need break from studies, however I did leave at 5AM on Sunday to make the 7:30AM long run practice on time. But the early rise was well worth the trip took to DePauw for our run at their quarry. Quite a beautiful place, even if it is part of THAT school down south.

Also, shout out to my grandfather as he turns, in his words, “Too old to even count anymore. HA HA HA HA HA.” He thinks he is quite the comedian.

What Makes Wabash

The actual demographic readings of Wabash do not fully express the diversity here. The few foreigns students here dilute the student population more than you think.
It’s the beginning of the 6th week this Monday and some of the best times I have had so far are talking with eastern Asians about life back home. The topic of these questions vary from “What do you think about your communist president” to . . . typical guy questions.
Here at Martindale there is a Chinese guy, a guy from Vietnam and another guy from South Korea. This week my friend and I were talking to Thanh from Vietnam. One story that struck me was about a women who was imprisoned for distributing pamphlets.That in its self was a shock but when he said the pamphlets were about democracy, it got me thinking about how unappreciative many of us Americans are.
Before I had heard that story my views on the NSA were that they should listen and be allowed to go through all my calls and emails. My mindset was, “I’m no terrorist, what do I have to hide?” But many times we do not understand how privileged we are until we lose or hear about others that do not share our privileges. Privacy and freedom are two of the many ways that Americans like to distinguish themselves from the rest of the world. Even writing about this now, I realize the extent of my privileges. These rights and privileges we Americans possess and take for granted are not universal. They are most of the time are specific to the America.
That’s what makes Wabash, well Wabash. At Wabash we are always in the classroom even outside of the classroom. Being comprehensive and understanding about other cultures and countries is a learning experience you can’t get from a textbook. These one on one conversations are stories I will remember in 20 years. They will be what makes me appreciative, understanding, and knowledgable about what others live through.  Peoples views on real life world issues are much more interesting and enriching when those people speak about their own experiences.

Debate

I’m going to start this blog by giving a short background on myself that I have not put out yet, and as my blog goes on you will understand why I’m doing this, so judge the blog by this first section. Also, don’t think this is a blog on religious justification or a means to put one point more forth than the other.

As a child I was baptized and raised a Roman Catholic by my mother’s side, while my father raised me with the insights of his Methodist beliefs. I spent almost every Sunday of my childhood with a trip to 9:30 AM Mass, and then followed by over two hours of a service at my father’s Methodist church. So you can say I’ve always been exposed to both sides of the spectrum on Christian debate/collisions. While a “Cradle” Catholic, I never felt my views of faith or religion were based solely one side and one teaching. From this, I believe that choices I’ve made for myself in political views, moral views, and everything else has been define by deep thought, questioning, and study; not by simple presumptions or one-sided ideas.

So why am I bringing this up?

Today during an easy five mile run at cross country practice with three of my fellow freshman, one a fellow Phi Gamma Delta pledge, a spirited (not heated) debate arouse on what the Catholic Church stands for versus the doctrine of protestant sects of Christianity. That is all I will say about that, and that is all that is needed to say…

…Because now is the main point of my blog:

Wabash is more than learning in the classroom! Wabash learning, exposure to debate, and others beliefs and ideals does not stop at what the professor tells one in the classroom. Of course hoping they will write it down in their daily notes. For the most part, students here do not go to class each day, take notes, go back to their dorm or fraternity, and sit down and watch ESPN. That happens to some extent, but for the most part Wabash is not a school where learning and growing starts and ends in the classroom. Wabash is a school where, once class is done, discussion among peers begins. It is safe to presume that there are no simple answers to religious questions, political debates, or international disputes over resources, clean water, and food. But, it is safe to presume that life at Wabash will make you think about things differently, from different view points you didn’t ever know of, and allow you to think critically, act responsibly, lead effectively, and live humanely.

 

One Month

One Month… or thereabouts, I haven’t really kept track of time.

It’s been a month since I started at Wabash. Yes, I have been bogged down by classes and events and what have you, but that’s kind of the point. I get a chance to get out among people I don’t really know and learn about topics that I actually find interesting without having to deal with a bunch of other, less interesting topics.

Of course, there are other things that I have to deal with; I’ve been working on my time management, and I do think the pressures of college have helped me a lot in that regard. I’ve been planning out my days and picking out important things to focus on, something that I never really did in high school (and several other people can attest to). With everything going on around Wabash (be it homecoming last weekend or some big exam), having a schedule really helps me get things done, because I have a clear goal that I can focus on. And focus is everything; do you know what you can achieve with good focus. Other than staring at things for a very long time, you can get pretty much anything done. I managed to paint 47 30mm tall miniatures with focus… and actual painting, but focus was really important!

Not mine (well, the blue guy is, the other guys belong to Professor Porter), but you get the idea

… Yeah, I’m ranting now.

Anyway, happy one month of Wabash. Hopefully it will continue.

Homecoming For Independents

Homecoming weekend, and all the hard work and time we independents put in, left me dead tired. I was literally up for 50 hours since Thursday morning till Saturday night with about 4 hours of napping and “sleep.”

This is how it went.

Thursday morning was chapel sing out on the mall. Independents didn’t place for top five, but we didn’t come last. That same night we guarded and painted the bench.

Me, Pat, Andrew, Kyle on Friday

Professors, upperclass men, deans, and even some fraternities had great things to say about the bench.

Keep in mind that  the guys painting the bench had sat least some homework for the friday morning. As Wabash men know, our priorities came first, then the festivities and leisure.

Friday afternoon we started our float and banner in the basement of Martindale hall . . . we still need to finish cleaning up down there. At one point there had have to been 40 people in there while The Who’s Baba O’Riley was blasting. When it hit 8:30, we still had nothing ready for fireside chant. Pat and Andrew took ten minutes and wrote it. That left the rest of us about 15 minutes to learn it. Long story short we won 5th place. Pretty good for a 45 second chant that took ten minutes to write. At 5:30, the remaining 8 or 9 of us historically took turns and drilled the last screw on the float.

Kyle, Andrew, Me and Pat Saturday morning

Saturday morning, I finally hit the hay at 6:00 am and woke up 3 hours later to perform with the Glee Club at Chapel for Alumni. IMA grilled some hotdogs, brots, and burgers behind Martindale again for Independents. By the half time of the game we were ready with our banner flying high and Queen dressed in drag. The independent procession was my friend Kyle carrying the Stars and Stripes. Then Andrew and I carried the banner while the wind was literally lifting and trying to blow us over.

independent Queen, “Patty” being paraded down the track during halftime.

Finally Pat, or should I say Patty, wore her fish nets, wig, skirt, corset, boots and purse. Patty sat in her chair and was carried in front of the stands. The banner won 4th place and the Queen 3rd. Feels great to be have been part of that aspect of homecoming.

Can’t forget to thank all those Independents across campus who donated their money or time for the materials and building. Those who gave some money helped supply the wood, paint, brushes, sheets and PVC pipes for the banner, bench and float.

It hit me why President Hess based his speech on Freshman Saturday on “The 4 Gets in college. I now understand one of the most important “Gets”, “Get Sleep.” I think I’m going to get that now.

Good night Wabash.

Great game Little Giants.


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