Posts Tagged 'Auburn University'

HISTORY, CIVICS, AND PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY PART 3

INTELLECTUAL REDNECK

Because I’m a Southerner, and I’m not ashamed

Because I’m a descendant of Confederate veterans, and I’m not ashamed

Because I’m from Mobile, Alabama, and I’m not ashamed

Because I drive a pickup truck, and I’m not ashamed

Because I’m vehemently opposed to this cultural genocide of the American South, this posthumous extermination of the Confederate States of America, and I’m not ashamed

I’m a redneck?

So be it.

I’m an anti-Zionist redneck!

I’m a Beethoven-listening redneck!

I’m a coffeehouse redneck!

I’m a dare-to-speak-the-truth redneck!

I’m an enemy-of-apathy redneck!

I’m a fear-fighting redneck!

I’m a Guinness-drinking redneck!

I’m a home-is-where-the-past-is redneck!

I’m an intellectual redneck!

I’m a Jesus-following, non-Christian redneck!

I’m a know-nothing, know-everything redneck!

I’m a landlubbing redneck!

I’m a mother-fleeing redneck!

I’m a near-death redneck!

I’m an opposite-of-a-redneck redneck!

I’m a pussy-starved redneck!

I’m a question-everything redneck!

I’m a rage-against-the-Digital-Age redneck!

I’m a soothsaying redneck!

I’m a talk-to-strangers redneck!

I’m an unconventional redneck!

I’m a violently peace-seeking redneck!

I’m a War Eagle redneck!

I’m a xenophilic redneck!

I’m a young, old redneck!

I’m a Zen-now redneck!

 

(in the style of Fast Speaking Woman, by Anne Waldman)

DRUNKEN POST #40

You know it’s been a long time since I’ve had any alcohol when I can remember the last month I had any alcohol–and thereby find out what number this drunken post is to be via my archives!

How’s that for a run-on sentence?

(If you’re viewing this post via a mobile device while driving, walking, or bicycling, please put it down–it can wait.)

While listening to “Baba O’Riley” by The Who, drinking Irish coffee in my living room earlier, I thought of a particular wild-though-harmless drunken escapade at Auburn University (I wasn’t driving–freshman weren’t allowed a car on campus)–and I thought of how I set myself up for a crash, while attending Auburn by having my expectations too high.  And I share this personal information as a warning–especially for teenagers and twenty-somethings.

After graduating from Murphy High School in Mobile, in 1984, I decided to attend Auburn University.  That’s where I had attended my first college football game, where I had danced with a girl for the first time, and where my sister Elaine had met my brother-in-law Jeff.  And I very proudly told everyone in the high-school graduate reception line at my church that I was going to Auburn.  There was no problem with that, at all.

The problem was that I had three unrealistic goals for myself, beginning with my first quarter at Auburn University–summer of 1984.

I expected to be a straight-“A” student, from the beginning.

I expected to join a fraternity in my freshman year.

And I expected to have a girlfriend in my freshman year.

Let’s take a look at these:

The only one of these goals that was in my control at all was to make straight-“A”s from the beginning.  Yet I had never been a straight-“A” student in high school.  And this was college–even more difficult.

So I didn’t make straight-“A”s in my freshman year at Auburn.

Joining a fraternity was not in my control at all–I had to be accepted into a fraternity.  I went to rush events for more than one fraternity, though the most promising was the Farmhouse.  The Farmhouse was a non-alcohol fraternity.  A typical social fraternity with that one difference–no alcohol allowed at social events.  That was cool, I didn’t regularly drink anyway.  And I had a good chance at being accepted–my now-brother-in-law Jeff’s best friend was a member of the Farmhouse.  I attended the rush party, and made a very good impression.  But I wasn’t accepted into the fraternity.  I found out why, later–I was seriously considered, but one of the Farmhouse brothers’ actual brother was rushing, and he was accepted instead of me (they could only accept so many pledges at a time).  Looking back, I’m not really sorry I wasn’t accepted into a fraternity–being the non-conformist that I am.  But I didn’t realize I was such a non-conformist then.

So I didn’t join a fraternity in my freshman year at Auburn.

And having a girlfriend?  That was even less in my control than joining a fraternity.  I didn’t even get a date that year.  I tried to attract girls the best I could, but they simply weren’t interested.  Maybe I tried too hard, maybe not hard enough–but of course there was no way I could control the hearts of young women.  There is no way anyone can control the heart of anyone else–there never has been.

So I didn’t have a girlfriend in my freshman year at Auburn.

Still, the summer of 1985 was the best summer of my life.

In a previous post–an answer to one of Gregory Stock’s questions from “The Book of Questions: Love and Sex”–I described a girl named Melanie.  I didn’t love Melanie, of course (I hadn’t gotten to know her well enough), but I was really in love with Melanie.  And on her last night in Mobile, I ended up in the backseat of my car with Melanie.  And we made-out, big time–but she simply wouldn’t let me have sex with her, despite my verbal expression of desire.  Her reason?  She was too old for me.  It was really ridiculous–she was only five years older than I, but that was her reason.  And I certainly wouldn’t force myself on her–I cared about her.  But I did cry like a baby–and this ruined any future chances with her.

And I returned to Auburn University in the fall of 1985–broken-hearted as hell. And I missed class after class–I couldn’t concentrate.

I did find a following of freshman disciples who looked up to me, a sophomore now–but that wasn’t enough.  I was determined to find a girlfriend right then.  I told my mom, over a payphone at the dorm, that I would leave Auburn if I didn’t find a girlfriend in a week.  She told me that wasn’t realistic, but I wouldn’t listen. And of course I didn’t find a girlfriend in a week.  And I can still see the faces of my freshman friends in a window of the dorm as I left–they would miss me.  Yet it would be over twenty-five years before I would miss them.

And in November, 1985, I ended-up in a psychiatric hospital in my Mobile hometown, having torn up my parents’ kitchen while they were at work (never knowing why I did that).  That was my crash, my breakdown–the time when my mental illness surfaced.  And thirty years later, I still haven’t recovered from it.

Yet I know I set myself up for it–with three unrealistic expectations:

To be a straight-“A” student.

To join a fraternity.

To have a girlfriend.

All in my freshman year.

And I would give my life to be back there, at Auburn University, in the fall of 1985–to be able to stay there, with the knowledge of what I’ve learned.  I’d be an “A” & “B”–with an occasional “C”–student.  And I’d have some good friends.  And I’d have a girlfriend before I knew it–might even end up marrying her.  And to hell with a damned fraternity–I’d know I didn’t need one.

It’s good to have goals–but your goals must be realistic.

Please keep that in mind, whatever your age.

A TALE OF TWO TEAMS (UNFINISHED)

I sure wish I could be in Pasadena tonight–not just to see this historic game, but to get out of this cold weather!  But like most everyone else, I can only watch it on television.  I’ve got my DVR set to record it, of course.  I pre-record everything I watch on TV–especially games like this.  If my favorite team wins, I later watch the recorded game, specifically for the winning plays.  But if my favorite team loses, I delete the recording.  The main reason I record everything, for later viewing is that I absolutely despise commercials.  I realize they’re a necessary evil, but they’re a most annoying evil, nonetheless.  I also do it so I can stop the show, any time I need to piss, shit, answer the phone, or even eat.  Yet with a game like this, I refuse to watch it live for another reason–it makes me too damned nervous!  As aforementioned, I attended Auburn University my first year of college–so naturally I’m hoping Auburn will win.  When I first moved here to Florida, I expected most college football fans to favor the University of Florida’s team or Florida State University’s team.  But most football fans–at least here in Escambia County Florida–favor neither.  They’re Bama fans–and they’re among the loudest, most arrogant, and most obnoxious Bama fans I’ve ever encountered!  Of course the majority of Bama fans are not alumni of the University of Alabama–they’re just following fame (certainly due to the legacy of Coach Bear Bryant).  Still, it just makes more sense to me that “native” Floridians favor Florida or Florida State.

This is going to be a tough game.  Both Auburn and Florida State are especially tough teams.  If you’re an alumnus of Florida State–I expect you to support Florida State.  Even if you’re an alumnus of neither university, but a “native” Floridian, I expect you to support Florida State.  Yet otherwise, I respectfully ask that you root for Auburn.  Now, I don’t ask you to pray for whatever outcome you want–only the coaches, managers, and players have any right to do that (if anyone has a right at all–this is a game, not a war).  But I ask you to root for Auburn–in opposition to Alabama.  Now Bama has won more national championships than Auburn.  But the University of Alabama’s football team receives more publicity than Auburn University’s football team–due primarily to biased sports news coverage.  And this needs to change. 

It will be an honor for Florida State to play Auburn for this title–it will be an honor for Auburn to play Florida State for this title.  Now, on with the clash of titans!auburn-fsu_1387573807959_4821276_ver1.0_640_480florida-state-seminoles-auburn-tigers


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