Betcha Didn't Know: The OBU Edition

My college alma mater turns 124 years young today.  And in its honor, my fellow blogging Ouachitonians and I are dedicating our posts to its birthday celebration.  Like the icing on a collegiate cake. 

I think everyone wants to say that their college home was/is like family.  That their college experience was something spectacular.  That it was the birthplace of lifelong relationships and friendships.  And I'm sure that that is true to some degree.  But I'm pretty sure that nothing compares to the Ouachita experience.  And I'm pretty sure all my fellow Tigers would agree with me.  Because we know that we have something that the rest of you don't.  And for today....and maybe a little longer!...we're going to allow all of you to be envious of our story. 


*  That Ouachita is not pronounced Ouch-uh-taw.  Nor is it pronounced Oooo-uh-chee-tuh.  Nor Watch-i-taw.  Nor O-aw-chi-taw.  It's Wash-i-taw.  Say it with me....WASH.I.TAW.  And we Wash-i-ton-ians take it very seriously.  And have been known to hold linguistics lessons wherever we deem appropriate or necessary.

*  That I can still remember the smell of 3rd Floor McClellan.  The education floor was my home for 3 years, and I would be able to recognize that distinct mix of floor cleaner, hot laminator, and crayons anywhere.anytime.anyhow. 

*  That I studied for many a test on a "bridge." 

*  That after pulling an all-nighter on the bridge before a final one December, I went back to my room to quickly change clothes before my 8:00 test.  That I must have laid down for just a second to "gather my thoughts."  That the next thing I know, my phone was ringing, and it was my professor calling to wake me up and tell me that I was 45 minutes late for his final and that I needed to get across campus pronto.  That only at Ouachita would a professor care enough to do that.

*  That my hallmates and I "borrowed" a neighborhood dog from its front yard just to see if we could sneak it past Mom Taylor in Flippen Perrin.  We succeeded.  And I don't think that dog will ever be the same.

*  That I never pledged a Social Club, but felt as though I was honorary member of every club on campus.  I definitely did enough pledge duties for my friends to have deserved a spot.

*  That I've never written so many Top Ten Lists in my life....thanks to aforementioned pledge duties.

*  That my favorite professor of all time was Dr. Lavell Cole.  That man could make American History come alive by just letting his voice meet its pages.  I still remember the way he would walk into the room, prop himself on the edge of his desk, and just start talking.  Never a note, book, or visual aide in tow.  He is definitely missed.

*  That I took Art in Humanities in May Term.  And that that was the stupidest decision of my college career.  Because it is near impossible to memorize 67 million artists and paintings in two weeks.  *shudder*

*  That I changed my major at least a dozen times.  But still managed to graduate in 4 years.  Don't ask me how I swung that small feat of That.Never.Happens.

*  That I ate waffles for almost every meal.  Because no matter how legendary, Walt's was gross.

*  That I can still hear Minnie saying, "Hey, honey!" to every student that walked through the lines of the cafeteria.

*  That I still have a problem walking on the grass on OBU's campus, because Dr. Ben Elrod's "Save-the-Grass" speeches are forever ingrained in my brain.

*  That it stunk the year that my Chapel seat was on the very.front.row. of Jones.  Because it is hard to skip Chapel when you are on the very.front.row.

*  That is was awesome when my Chapel seat was on the very.last.row. of Jones.  Because it is easy to skip Chapel when you are on the very.last.row.

*  That those last two statements make it sound like I liked to skip Chapel.  It wasn't that....it was just that I liked to sleep.  A lot.

*  That I almost failed Racquetball.  Because I liked to sleep.  A lot.  And it was a VERY long way to walk to the gym.

*  That I left my mark on OBU's campus courtesy of the Gum Tree.  Nasty or not...it was necessary.

*  That I know all the words to "O-U-A-C-H-I-T-A," and sing it to myself everytime I drive past the campus.  (Which is a lot...since I...uh...live here.)

*  That I will never forget the preciousness of my time at OBU.  Like most events in life, it was definitely taken for granted at the time.  But, as I reflect back, I certainly know that I was part of something special.  Something huge.  A piece of community and fellowship that stretches far beyond the borders of a ravine and a river.  I'm part of a family that gets to call itself OBU Alumni...a brotherhood of sorts.  Like we need our own secret handshake or something.  Because when you find another OBU-er, it's like you just...know.

So, Happy Birthday, Ouachita!
You are loved.
And remembered well.

Go Tigers.

If you are interested in reading the other OBU stories go here.  And if have your own OBU story, join us and link up!


Carpool Queen said...

Lavell Cole.

I have no words for the lasting impact that man had on my life, and I loved him fiercely. Still do.

And I lived in the basement of McClellan for three years and spent many a night there with Whimzie typing up term papers that were due at dawn.

Good times.

Marc and Charity said...

Love it! I think I must have been retarded or something b/c Dr. Cole's class was the one I had the most trouble with. The laminator and cleaner made me laugh, I remember that smell!!!

Kendra said...

Mr. Cole (no PhD, but a better teacher than any doctor of history could ever be!) is a treasure that will never be replaced there. Glad you enjoyed your OBU experience. I enjoyed my college days, too, but glad my husband no longer works for them. Are you sure we weren't there at the same time???

Anonymous said...

That's exactly how I remember him starting every class! He was indeed a treasure and I still miss him...and OBU. Sigh. All this remembering has made me quite wistful today!

lisa@littlesliceoflife said...

Sigh. I wish we'd been there at the same time. We'd have made some memories for sure! But mostly I wish it because that means I would be 7 years younger.

Jeff said...

Loved this post! Great writing, and I'd forgotten Minnie. I asked her to marry me one fine fall day, and she turned me down.

Jeff, class of 1990

Becky said...

Lavell Cole...my favorite teacher ever!! Loved that man. I was friends with & graduated w/his daughter....by that time we were non-traditional students!

Remember meeting you in summer term Spanish. Only thing I know is numbers 1-10!

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

Walts--legendary and gross.

And somehow I never had a class with Lavell Cole. My loss for sure.

New Every Morning said...

I can only imagine the impact you and your adorable (Ca-razy) personality had on that campus. Fun times. :)

He & Me + 3 said...

What a fun post. I hardly ever slept when I was in college...I commuted and worked two jobs while taking a full load. Not the most fun.