The Octogenarian: last week on campus

Some interesting happenings occurred to me on campus this past week.

First, in one classroom, the dreaded group project raised its frightening head. I love school, and it is my major form of entertainment. (Please don’t tell the administration as they might try to raise my fees.)

The only thing I fear, based on my 13 years of full-time undergraduate work, is the group project. Our instructor broke the class into six groups, and mine seems to be staffed by some fine and friendly students, based on this being my 26th full-time semester and after some horrific group experiences, I have made a decision.

I am informing my group that considering my advanced age and the possibility that I may expire (a polite way to say die) before we complete our project, that they agree to be on hand to lower my body into its final resting place. So it may be said that, “In the end, his last group let him down in a more positive way!”

Of outstanding entertainment value was the visit of Brother Jed and The Campus Ministry USA and the reaction of our student body. I took time on both Wednesday and Friday to mingle with the students, not just to hear what Sister Cindy had to say but more to listen to my fellow students. I did eventually take Sister Cindy’s hand and tell her sincerely that although I did not believe most of what she was saying, I wished her G_d’s Speed and admired her tenacity and perseverance in delivering her message under adverse conditions. For this I was informed of my imminent residency in hell but, if such a place does exist, I would most certainly eventually be in the company of the vast majority of the students in the crowd (according to the preachers) the two days that I was there.

Some of the more fun observations were of Rob Stray wearing a colander and preaching from, I believe, The King James version of the spaghetti bible while demonstrating with fork and spoon the proper method to eat your spaghetti; hearing a minister tell us that, “He gave his wife the permission she needed from him to preach.” My buddy Tristan Pruner, a straight man draped in a Gay Flag standing on the wall and extolling the crowd to have faith in the queen and her holy son Elton John and other straight-faced nonsense. And Justin Jeffner, The Jedi Master in a hooded cape, who was letting us know to avoid the Dark Side to let The Force be your One True guiding light.

Noticeable was the respect shown by the seemingly rowdy crowd to the older people that stopped by to observe, such as Dr. Joseph Magee and me. (Sorry Dr. Magee, I wasn’t meaning to advance you up to my age group with that remark.) There was a sad part to these events, at least for me. There is a question I ask wherever I go on campus. “Do you ever read our school newspaper, ‘The Houstonian?” I did not get a single positive response during the preachings. When I showed off my copy of the January 29 edition with the pictures of the preachers, I was asked where to get one and pointed to the double doors at the top of the nearby steps.

Newspapers are something about which I have some knowledge, and this is a fine paper for a college and you are not proud of it because it is grossly under promoted.

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