You are just a number. I was having a tough time of it in sophmore electrical engineering. The flush out course logic design (designing the gates that flip "1" or flip "0"). I was at my wit's end and I thought, "Hey, I paid my tuition. I want someone to explain to me why they're trying to crush us." So I made an appointment with an associate dean of engineering. I will always appreciate his candor. He basically said:
- Yeah, your sophmore year is a flushout year. You can hide in calculas, english, chemistry and so on your freshman year, but we try to weed you out by the end of your sophmore year
- Because, we don't have enough teachers for the higher level classes. We have to take anyone with a C average OR graduated in the top 50% of their class. We have too many kids here
- Hey, if you can't hack it here, there are other colleges in Texas where you can finish off your degree. We had to accept you, because it is mandated by state law. But state law doesn't say anything about us having to keep you here
For an (failing, sophmore) engineer I could accept and appreciate that candor. I just had to grow a bigger set and get tough. And you know what? I did. But the reason I tell that story is that later in life, I joined a Very Big Computer company, where many people quit a the 5 or 10 year mark because they feel just like a number. Hey man, I can survive as just a number! This June will be my 26th year as "just a number" in the machine.
Okay, back to football. Believe it or not, I lived for 3 years in Jester East. The first year, what I call the terrifying year, we were on the 3rd floor of East. The 3rd-5th floors were unique in that half the floors were for athletes. What was terrifying was having a drunk, chiseled, mean-as-snake starting linebacker going down the hallway banging on your doors telling you to wake up and come out (I think he wanted to whoop someone). And you sit there, your heart beating 100 miles an hour hoping he doesn't get even meaner and try to smash the door down. These were the Fred Aker years where the defense was just freakin incredible with many games ending in the opposing teams with less than 150 yds total offense.
Course, Fred Akers was a prick. But, he was a winning prick, and that's all that matters. I saw several misdeeds that were quietly hushed up. One of best linebackers was driving a Volvo 740 (of all things) and got into a fender bender in the parking lot of Jester. The insurance showed that the registered owner of said Volvo was some state legislator. We're just like everyone else, just smarter about it.
Most of the football players basically ignored us. Friday night, before a home game, was a site to behold. Many players strolled down our hallway with one woman under each arm. I kept thinking, "These dainty sorority girls (white) wouldn't give a second look at these black guys back home. But here, they are studs...and whatever studs want, studs get."
My second thought, "Dudes, save up some energy for the game. We need ya."