Friday, January 27, 2012

5 Panty-Bunching Nuisances at PSU

Having attended this glorious school for almost four years, I've learned two things about it: the things I love and the things I hate. There seems to be certain habits people develop inside a campus bubble, and many of you students can relate. Now is the time to band together and put an end to these ludicrous practices:

1. The b*tch at the end of the row.  

  • Yeah, you. You know who you are. The person that arrives to lecture hall thirty minutes early and sits right at the end of the row, making everyone who piles in after you climb over your Vera Bradley backpack, laptop cord, umbrella, and gym bag. The worst part? The look I get from you as I'm tumbling over your shit. Sorry I inconvenienced you, see I thought this was class, not your castle.
2. That kid that walks like a tortoise to class.
  • Usually, there's a cellphone involved. It's only safe to think that he's talking to his 86 year old grandmother from South Dakota who just got done watering her plants -- because there's no way in this day-and-age anything else would make a person walk so slow. This sort of thing usually happens when you only have fifteen minutes to get across campus. Just so you know, I'm the one day dreaming about kicking your legs out and making a mad dash around you. 
3. That drunk girl at the football game. 
  • We came to watch the game, not hear you ramble incoherent thoughts through the first two quarters (the third and fourth are when you'll be in the bathroom puking). No, we don't care that you got up at the crack of dawn and funneled 6 beers, in fact, we think you're dumb. And stop cheering, our team is the one in blue, you moron.  
4. Campus chicken games. 
  • It's a beautiful day, and you're walking along peacefully listening to James Taylor when right in front of you, you see three loud and obnoxious individuals prancing your way. You eye them, and they pretend like they don't see you; but both parties know it's war. Who is going to move out of the way, and who's going to wind up walking in the grass of death? Logically, it would only make sense that the three-person party would file into a nice, compact, single-file line and let you pass... but not at Penn State. Sadly, if you're the one-person party, you can bet your ass is grass. 
5. That kid at the bus stop.
  • Maybe its raining, or windy, or maybe you're just feeling lazy... but you think to yourself, "Self, I'm going to take the bus today." So you make your way to the beloved bus stop where you kick yourself for 10 minutes because you could have walked the class in the time you've been standing there waiting for the damn Bloop. Then, here comes Mr. I-Don't-Wait-In-Lines, just one brief minute before the bus pulls up. As everyone lines up in the order the arrived at the bus stop, the aforementioned mastermind pushes himself to the front of the line and gets the last open seat on the bus. 
Since the average walk to class at PSU is 30 minutes (I'm 5'2'' give me a break!), we spend a lot of time walking across our campus. What does that jerk in front of you do that pisses you off?

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Rise and Fall of a Penn State King

Let me start by saying I don't like football. Trust me, I've tried. I come from a family that bleeds football -- high school, college, and NFL; so you can imagine my dismay when I finally came to terms with the fact that no matter how hard I tried, it just meant nothing. Maybe it's the fault of my various coaches throughout my lifespan that assured me, "It's just a game," because to me, that's all it is. I don't understand why people scream at the television screen, and why I am expected to sit through the Superbowl just because I'm supposed to. I bought season tickets for Penn State for two of my four years here, but found myself counting down the minutes until the end of the third quarter when I finally felt safe to leave. No matter how hard I try, I just don't care. Which is kind of upsetting since the whole world is in love with the game.

So imagine my confusion when I found myself crying over the (false) news I heard on Saturday night. Coming back from a ski trip with my boyfriend's small engineering school, I was the only one on the bus who really cared about the alleged death of Joe Paterno. I'm sure his friends knew why I was crying, but I'm not sure they felt the impact. Why was I crying? Wasn't I the one that hated football? That's when it hit me -- one thing they've been telling me is true; Joe Paterno was more than just a football coach.

Then, on Sunday, I cried throughout church. The news was official; Joe Paterno passed away. My boyfriend just sat holding my hand and waited out the second round of water works. It lead me to think of my grandmother telling me how she cried watching the funeral of JFK. Now, I know they are incomparable for various reasons, but it struck me because I always wondered just how my grandmother could waste so much grief on a person she didn't even know. Now, I understand.

It's an amazing feeling when a public figure is someone to look up to; and to me, Joe Pa was the king of public figures. He struck me as a grandfather figure, a glimmer of hope in a world where public figures are tainted. He had that staple of old-fashioned beliefs that the world could benefit from having. At Penn State, we benefited.

I still remember the first time I truly fell in love with Joe. We were watching the football game my senior year of high school, and one of the players ran into him on the sidelines. The whole world gasped as Joe went down, and suffered a leg injury. I found myself gasping, too.

I cannot comment on the recent events at Penn State, because I believe that we have no idea what happened back in 2002. We weren't there, and the media that is force feeding us information weren't there either. I still have faith in my hero. There is just no doubt in my mind that men are inherently good, and Joe Paterno rings good in my mind with resounding intensity. I may not like football; but I will never forget Joe Paterno. We are...