When graduation time rolls around I harken back to my glorious collegiate days. Good ole’ ESU. East Stroudsburg University. Of course it was East Stroudsburg State College in those days. Cellphones, internet? Sorry. This would have been right after electricity was invented.
I made my entrance on the campus scene in September of ’74, grew an afro, and before I knew it there I was, graduating college in December of ’79. That’s right, 5½ years. And I would have stayed longer too if I didn’t finally end up with enough credits to graduate. They didn’t call ESSC the “Cheapest Resort in the Poconos” for nothing and why not? The place was great!
There was an all you can eat buffet open from 5:30 in the morning until 7:30 at night! There was a sauna, an indoor running track (I’m told), Nautilus equipment, tennis courts, horseback riding, basketball, Frisbee on the quad, inter-mural football, archery, and so much more…and all of it splashed across a sprawling campus of manicured lawns and stately oaks…or pines…or some kind of trees.
During my five and a half years “at university”, I spent five of them as a member of a fraternity. I served that “fellowship of kindred minds” as social director. My chief responsibility was to be sure to contact Tri-County Beverage with the order every week.
There are so many great things that I remember about fraternity life. The pledging, the parties, and during Hell Week we had one brother, now a high school coach in our area, who would do his part to “diffuse culture and develop character” for the fraternity by consuming only orange juice and peanuts for two days in order to create a specific gastro-intestinal phenomenon that along with a blindfold, a pot, a “sterilized” toilet bowl and a banana, played a large role in the process of passing from neophyte to brotherhood…but that’s a blog for a different day.
At college I hit the ground running, pursuing a degree in Liberal Arts. That and $2.00 will get you a large coffee.
After two years, I declared a real major, education. Area of concentration? Earth and Space Science. But I bailed out of that not long after when they started making me take math. I didn’t see the relevance. All I remembered about Earth and Space Science from 8th grade was clouds and magma. If not for the math classes I surely would have become an Earth and Space Science teacher and would at this moment more than likely be retired. Ahh, the path not taken...
Anyway, back at college…leaving the world of science behind, I gravitated toward communications. There were some radio, TV, and film courses but mostly I had to take English and in the end I graduated though never got my teaching certificate though except for student teaching and about three more credits, I’m technically qualified to teach high school English.
And that’s interesting because all I remember as far as the specifics of English are concerned are the definitions of noun, verb, and adjective and that run-on sentences are bad (though that hasn't stopped me here.)
Yes, graduation time is here. I wonder how many uniquely qualified individuals are out there right now who DID bother to get their teaching certificate because of what they say are the three best things about teaching, June, July, and August.