Friday, March 15, 2019

Men of the Skull Chapter 46: Typical Day Spring Semester 1987

Not every day ay PSU was a party- no far from it.  Those who didn't learn to balance fun with work usually flunked out after first semester.

What made the experience of college was the day to day routine: classes, homework, sports/activities/clubs, and the people you cared about.

Many things have changed at PSU since i graduated, but that hasn't.

This was my typical day then.  It probably wasn't so different from other college alumni.


Chapter 46: Typical Day Spring Semester 1987

Wednesday, February 4, 1987 Flier says he briefed North on arms drop

            Weather in State College is predictable.  Rain, rain, rain.  There were two seasons- the rainy season, and the season in which no one was around (summer).  This held true especially during the winter.  White gray, brown, white.  Sky, everything else, snow.  The world was a dull slushy icy cold mess.  And we all went to class.  Uphill.  Both ways (really!)  Tons of books!  Oh sorry.  Got carried away.  In any case, the all consuming grayness made a sunny day almost a cause for celebration.  It was always bitter cold.  Go figure- we were in the mountains.
            Of course the worst part was that all the girls were wrapped up in so many layers that they looked like Randy from “A Christmas Story”- amorphous blobs of cold resistant textiles.  No shape, no curves, no nothing!
            So it was in this cold grey world that all of us went to class, worked, studied, fucked, drank, whatever.  Night fell so quickly, and often it was so cold no one wanted to go out.  Problem- we’re in the middle of nowhere.  If you’re under 21, which I was then, and broke, what is there to do?  Well, go to sporting events.  There was wrestling, basketball, volleyball, and they were all free.  Maybe that’s one of the reasons Penn Staters are such fanatics- we were all attending all of the events!

Collegian, Feb 4, 1987
            Of course some nights there were parties during the week, but I had to balance all that out as I didn’t want a repeat of the last semester’s grades.  Add to that, I now had Virginia, so I no longer had to worry about going out to meet people.  (Yeah, like I bothered anyway since meeting Judy!)
            Anyway a typical day went like this:  I woke up, went to classes straight until 2.  I had a couple of hours for lunch, which I ate at the house.  Sometimes, I’d see Virginia, sometimes not.  Then I would go to my afternoon classes.  This semester was different, in that Tuesday I had off, while Thursday I had student teaching all day.  So on Thursday, I’d wake up incredibly early, get dressed and walk all the way across campus to Chambers building for my ride to my class.  I’d get back around five-ish, have dinner at the house, homework and nap until party time. 

Am I the only one who misses this place?
            Tuesdays I had off, so I’d sleep in, recover from my hangover and do homework, usually at the library.
            Many afternoons, I’d have the apartment to myself.  I’d put on one of Bob Dylan’s “Biograph” tapes and just relax. 
“My weariness amazes me, I'm branded on my feet,
I have no one to meet
And the ancient empty street's too dead for dreaming.”
            Sometimes Virginia would show up and listen with me, lying on the couch together.  She called them “Dylan chills.”  I learned a lot about a lot, if that makes sense, trying to interpret what the man was saying.
“I seen a lot of women
But she never escaped my mind, and I just grew
Tangled up in blue.”

            Life at the house was the same.  I’d walk the halls, smell the pot, and hear the Grateful Dead.  I ate lunch and dinner there, and sometimes people talked to me, other times they didn’t.  But as time passed, more did.


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