Thursday, February 02, 2006

The College Experience

A friend of mine likes to rationalize the fact that he didn't go to college. In a recent conversation, he said that college is entirely overrated as being an educational experience, because someone that works 40 hours a week certainly works much harder than someone with a 15 credit course load. I can't disagree with that - on the craziest of weeks, I can't remember doing more than 15-20 hours of schoolwork. So, if you look at it from that perspective, jumping straight into the work force certainly requires more work (at least in hours). However, there must be something else that one gets out of the college experience which makes it a far superior choice than to jump into the work world? It seems to me that the experiences one has in college, and the life lessons one learns there are worth just as much, if not more than the education itself. If I paid $75,000 for the experiences and the friends I made in my time at UMD, then it was worth while. Just happens to be that I also got a degree...Anyway, I will go through some of my favorite college experiences and give details (funny how most of these experiences were alcohol induced).

DISCLAIMER: While I am not ashamed of what I have done in the past, as I would like to think I learn from my experiences, these stories do not necessarily represent the person that I am today.

In no particular order:

  • My first keg party - I mean, what else do we go to college for? While there was drinking in high school, usually involved 5 dollar vodka or cheap beer. Most of us had grown a taste for beer by the time we reached college. So, to see a container holding close to 150 of these drinks, which we had come to know and love, was an awesome sight. The hoards of people around the keg at any given time, and the 10 minute wait to get foamy beer, was not so awesome though. It was at this point in the party you would have to become buddy buddy with the guy holding the hose to the tap so that he would hook you up first. Usually I'd scream out "Hey buddy! We sat near each other in history!". I would then hope that he was too loaded to realize that he never actually took history or that I never took a history course. Or if that didn't work, just send a female friend in for you, they always seemed to get first.
  • My first MD vs. Duke game - When you sign on to be a student at MD, you officially sign up to hate Duke. This is not something that changes with time. I hate Duke. Alot. So, the hype to my first MD Duke game was tough to live up to. Most people had to wait in line for tickets to the game; luckily (just joking) I had a heart procedure done around that time and was in the hospital. Because of my ailment, it was not tough to convince someone that they should take my ID and get me a ticket too. Suckers. Interestingly enough, this memory does not involve alcohol. As a die-hard MD fan, I like to watch every game. I don't know if any of you have ever been intoxicated, but it is tough to focus on a sporting event in this state. I actually prefer to watch MD games alone, because the distraction of other people throws me off (which means don't call me tonight between 7pm-9pm, as MD is playing UNC at home). Anyway, the game was rediculous. Clearly the best part of this game, and the best sporting moment of my life was watching that F'er Jason Williams look back to his coach for a play and watching Steve Blake scoring a rediculous layup with the first half expiring. The atmosphere at Cole was better than it will ever be at Comcast; oh yeah, and we rioted after the game (see later note).
  • "Rioting" - I put this in quotation marks because, even though we refer to it as rioting, it really isn't. The term is what makes it sound cool, and more importantly, newsworthy to the media. Basically what happens if people go down to the main road in College Park, Route 1, stand there and cheer. Usually, on frat row, some frat boys would start a bonfire consisting of whatever they could get their hands on. That is the extent of what the students would do. However, the scummy locals (PG County) would come and inevitably start all the real trouble. They would break into stores, steal things, break things, etc. The main reason people view MD fans as crazy due to our rioting was simply because the locals (and not the students) would cause heavy financial damage to the city. But, as a general rule, the students were peaceful. But, the police were not. They would approach these "riots" as if we were a bunch of terrorist Iraqis in Baghdad. Dressed in full riot gear, on horseback, tear gas and pepper spray in hand, they left no stone unturned. They would use all of these to disperse the crowd, which usually led to chants of "F the police" and causing the student body to hate the police force at MD. My senior year, after beating Duke, we won, and of course, we "rioted". This time, I didn't fare so well. I always tried to stay on the outskirts of these riots, as to be as far away from the police presence as possible. This was the case during the senior year riot; I was on the side minding my own business. I'm not sure why the police thought I was a threat (I was REALLY just standing there), but an S-head F'er police man got me right in the eyes with pepper spray. I don't know if you have ever been pepper sprayed in the eye (as I am assuming that you've never tried to rape a girl or been to a UMD riot), but it SUCKS. I can handle alot. Honestly, the tear gas stuff they would use, that stuff was overrated. Sure, it dispersed the crowd and made us cough, but all you had to do was put your mouth under your shirt and you were fine. But pepper spray sucks. Currently, my eyes are watering thinking about the pain. It is impossible to open your eyes, because every time you do it feels like someone is stabbing your eyes with knives. Your only pain-free hope, then, is to keep your eyes closed - only problem with that is that you can't see. Luckily I had a friend with me that led me back to my apartment and got me in a shower, but after about 45 minutes of washing my eyes out in the shower, it finally stopped. Then, after about 48 hours of my face burning, the ordeal was over. Whatever you do, don't get pepper sprayed - it's a real buzz kill

Yep, this is what I paid $75,000 for...

Topics to be covered in Part II of College Experiences: Being held up at gunpoint, my 21st B-day.


Blogger Jewboy said...

Now I see what I missed out on by not going to college. We Georgia Tech fans don't seem to hate Duke as much as Terps backers, although we are ACC rivals as well. Oh, well. I reserve my sports hate for the Yankees, but Duke is certainly worthy of your contempt.

8:57 AM, February 02, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about the broken pool table? That was pretty formative, no?

3:37 PM, February 02, 2006

Blogger AlanLaz said...

Ahh yes...the pool table wil be discussed in part II.

4:19 PM, February 02, 2006

Blogger Jack Davidov said...

I went to night school, so I missed out on all the good wholesome fun of college life. I'm not sure if this would convince any of the hanhala of the Philly yeshiva to let bachurim attend college. I don't mean to sound critical, I just question whether or not this would serve as ammunition for a yeshivish ideologue...

10:10 PM, February 02, 2006


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