Fall has arrived here in Athens, Georgia, with the start of the Fall Semester at the University. The city of Athens beats with the pulse of the University of Georgia, not with the calendar. There’s a sense of anticipation when the students return, traffic snarls are common, businesses pick up. Don’t even think of finding a parking spot. And, of course, football games are right around the corner! Yes, Fall is here.
That was also true of my home town, Kingsville, Texas, when I was growing up. It wasn't the weather, it was Fall Semester at little Texas A&I. The boys lined up downtown at the Rialto Theater, removed their trousers, and marched back to campus – a shirt-tail parade we all turned out to watch. Freshmen were subjected to other forms of hazing – little caps to wear, insults from sophisticated Seniors.
Small colleges had their characters, didn’t they? We had Professor Davis who taught psychology and started his first class meeting by hopping up on his desk and crowing.
History professor “Neighbor” Smith who told us about trench warfare in France. “I fixed my bayonet. The Bosch came at me and I went at him. And the only training I could remember was how to get the bayonet OUT of him.”
Chemistry professor Nierman, huge, slow and demanding. He plodded into the classroom in a building named for him. We called him “Bear Tracks.”
Those nameless TA’s who taught us algebra. Or tried to.
“Let X equal an unknown number.” And the little co-ed called “Honey” exclaimed, “But why?” I doubt she ever got an answer.
I’m sure it’s different now. I was a chalk-and-blackboard prof. Are there still blackboards? Today, every student has an encyclopedia right there in that ever-present cell phone. How have lecture halls changed? Not sure I want to know.
Is there a Pokémon in every corner?
August 22, 2016.
“Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.” – Robert Frost.