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January 22, 2006

College Life

It's Sunday and I am going to watch the playoffs games.

So, let's jump in the way back machine and head back to the year 1992.

When: October 1992
Where: Georgia Institute of Technology (aka Georgia Tech, aka North Avenue Trade School)
Dorm: Smith Hall built in 1947

Dorm life. There is nothing else like it in the world. Smith hall had cinder block walls that were painted baby blue. We had communal bathrooms. No big deal, until you wanted to shower. There were six showerheads on one wall and six on the other wall. There were NO shower curtains or dividers of any kind. If you hit the shower at peak time, the spray off the guy's ass behind you would hit you. *shudder* Eh, but you got used to it and it taught you to be secure in your own manhood.

The first year I lived in this dorm we had old metal bunk beds. I had the top bunk as shown below:

Being away from home for the first time brought its own sets of challenges. Healthy eating habits were tossed out the window, as were basic standards of house keeping:

But it was an election year and my roommate and I were both Republicans and we were voting in our first Presidential election. It was an exciting year at Tech, the Vice Presidential debates were held on campus and we just KNEW Bush was going to win. Oh well. Youthful optimism.


I met many great people. Some of whom I stayed in touch with all through the college years and even after. You learn a lot about yourself as well. Tech is a tough school. The goal the first two years is to weed out the weak. They came darn near close to getting me. By the end of the first year my GPA was less than 3. Lots of C's and lots of long nights. Learning how to study and how to do group projects stretched you in good ways. But it was so darn hard. Many, many, many hours were spent hunched over my desk doing mindless tasks. But at least I had a picture of my future bride looking down on me.

My roommate was and is a great guy. But his first quarter at Tech was typical of most Freshman. Somehow I lucked out and had an easier time. But his experience still sticks out in my mind. He had a Calculus professor who obviously was trying to compensate for something. His tests were so hard that it was very common for most of the class to score 30's and 40's out of 100. I came in one day and found my roommate cussing up a storm, throwing things around and generally acting like he had a bad day. Needless to say, I HAD to ask him what the deal was.

WK: So roommate, what gives?

Roommate: Why do you ask?

WK: Well, I couldn't help but notice that you were beating the shit out of our bed with your police nightstick.

RM: Oh, you noticed that did you?

WK: Um...Yeah.....

RM: Well Professor Son of a Bitch handed back our tests...

WK: And?

RM: I made a 5

WK: Like 5 out of 10?

RM: No....like 5 out of 100....

WK: Oh I see. Um....what happened?

RM: I have no idea...here look....

WK: Oh my....

He handed me his test. It was blood red. It was actually hard to see the white for all the red ink. There it was in bright red, a big-circled 5. Scanning down the test I noticed that the professor had written little comments by each of my roommates answers:

No!

Wrong!

Totally Wrong!

Not Even Close. What were you thinking?

That would be when we embarked on another great college tradition...learning how to drink:

Apart from the Jack Daniels....that is a very CHEAP collection of booze. Hey, we were underage college students....we took what we could get.

As that first year went on, things got much easier. We learned how to live on our own, how to study and how to survive. It took both of us 6 years to finish school, but we eventually made it.

There was one last bit from that first year that still makes me smile. We lived on the third floor of the dorm and there was a tree outside our window. This tree had probably a hundred pair of shoes hanging in it. We called it the showtree. On top of shoes there were bike tires, traffic cones, fans, clothes and any number of other things.

As the year progressed it appeared that some of the more enterprising dorm denizens had big plans for the shoetree. It was kind of like that line in Animal House:

I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part.

We awoke one morning to find a life sized nude female mannequin hanging from the tree. Except this mannequin had been....ahem...enhanced a bit. She/he had a very large phallus attached in the appropriate place. Thankfully, no picture exists.

But.....

The absolute best came at the end of Winter Quarter. It was early one Saturday morning and my roommate and I were walking to the dining hall when we passed the shoetree. Hanging from the tree about ten feet up in the air was a Kawasaki Ninja Motorcycle. Someone had managed to hoist this thing into the tree and left it suspended from chains. I do not know why I did not take any pictures, but alas, I didn't. (Yes, I know that is a picture of a newer bike, but it looked just like it)

We all got moved out of the dorm in Spring Quarter so they could begin renovations to Smith in anticipation of the Olympics. When we moved back in Fall 1993, we were sad to see that the shoetree was no more. They had cut it down to make room for a building modification. But I will always remember the fun things hanging from the tree.

I hope you enjoyed this little romp through the past. Good times. Good times.

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posted by WunderKraut at 04:14 PM

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