Friday, November 21, 2008

A&M Campus Visit

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I took our son, Jamie, to visit the A&M campus at College Station. It's about a two hour drive from our house.

Upon arrival, I felt excited and nostalgic for my college days back at SUNY at Geneseo. We were signed up for an application workshop, so we followed our map to the designated building and settled into our seats in one of the lecture halls.

"Howdy!" a member of the faculty announced from the stage.

"Howdy," the group replied.

"Aww, you can do better than that! HOWDY!!"

Greg, Jamie and I hunkered down in our seats while the rest of the folks in attendance (most of whom were wearing the school colors) yelled back, "HOWDY!"

That is the official A&M greeting, we were told. If that makes you feel a little nauseous, it's just the tip of the A&M iceberg that we collided with during our visit.

The workshop was very informative and Jamie asked a few well thought-out questions. We left feeling satisfied that we understood the application process. There was a walking tour scheduled in about 30 minutes, so we set out to find it.

Our visit coincided with a football game, so as we walked we saw people setting up for tailgate parties and mingling about, laughing with friends. School colors were in abundance:

We hooked up with our tour guide and the other forty or so people who would be walking with us:


The crowd quieted as our leader took her place in front of us.

"HOWDY!!" she boomed. Jamie rolled his eyes.

We were given a brief history of the early years at A&M and then suddenly she whooped or growled or some such thing. She explained that this was the Wildcat yell. You can see how well that went over:

And then our tour began. As we walked, she explained the stories behind the monuments and statues we passed. Aggies have an endless supply of traditions...

Oops, sorry! We were interrupted by some members of the Corp giving us the traditional *sigh* A&M greeting. Those people in our group sporting the colors gave a hearty "Howdy!" right back.
Our tour ended in front of the huge football stadium that sits right in the middle of campus.

I had to stand on Greg's shoulders to get this shot (har har!):

We happened to arrive as the football players were getting off the bus to enter the locker room. All the players were dressed in matching suits.

A fairly large crowd was already beginning to gather on campus even though the game was still about 2 1/2 hours away from starting.

My feeling of excitement and nostalgia by now had given way to annoyance. I was sick of maroon and I was afraid Jamie might punch someone in the nose if he heard another "Howdy!" We decided we had seen enough.

The truth is that Jamie still wants to apply to A&M and we want him to. It's a good school and we realize we just overdosed on school spirit. But I'm tellin' ya, if he's accepted, it's going to be a loooong four years.


Lubiana said...



caryl said...

Grrrr!!! :)

havingfun said...

I really don't know what to say.
My older brother went there to Vet school.
My younger brother went there - Petroleum Engineering.
A nephew just graduated from there - Mechanical Engineering.
A niece - biology something or other. She did not get into their Vet school even though her dad is one and she eats breathes and sleeps animals. But she had a couple of C's. And dropped a couple of classes instead of making C's.
The Aggie traditions are intense.
But you can go there and not be swept along. My nephew was not that "into it".

What other schools is Jamie considering?

caryl said...

havingfun, yeah, I know some people who went there who didn't get so deeply involved in the whole Aggie thing. In fact, 2 of them also went to the vet school. Small world!

Jamie is checking out Southwestern University this weekend.

lois meyer said...

I think Jamie can negotiate through and around all that Aggie "stuff." Are those also the guys who do "Hook 'em horns!" and give a hand salute with the thumb and index finger extended like horns? Glad he is aiming high with his college choices - he deserves it with all the work and honors he earned in high school.

His application essays are fabulous.

Good luck, Jamie (and Mom, Dad and Jake)!


Julie said...

I remember when we lived in Houston we used to pass cars on the interstate with Texas A & M bumper stickers and my dad would honk at them and my brother and I would wave the "Hook 'em horns" sign (i.e., UTexas, for those uncultured non-Texans out there) and we'd laugh and laugh at the Aggies. Now I know why.


It's funny to compare that to the college visits I'm used to now. At Emory they're very very serious, of course, and at Agnes Scott they're super friendly, but relatively 'collegiate'. But of course, neither one has a football team.

havingfun said...

Caryl - Does Jamie know about the University of Texas vs A&M game on TV Thanksgiving night at 7PM? A good display of school spirit.

(We'll be there - but wearing burnt orange.)

caryl said...

One of our best friends is a burnt orange girl, too. We had Thanksgiving dinner with her 2 years ago and though the food was great, the atmosphere was tense because UT lost! haha! Jamie also applied to UT, btw.

havingfun said...

This is good news !!
Has Jamie visited UT ?
Visit them all.
He will feel right at home - somewhere.

btw - BOTH bands kicked butt Thursday night !