Monday, May 22, 2006


Alumni Weekend Annotations

Some observations from Alumni Weekend '06

* One class raised $13,000 at dinner for the Annual Fund. They must have had some great wine.

* Those who did not attend the All-Alumni Dance on Saturday missed the dance clinic put on by the University Relations staff and student workers. I think it can be best summed up by the following: toward the end of the night, when everything was winding down, the only person on the dance floor was Annual Fund Intern and Alpha Sigma Phi President Matt Garvey '07. I mentioned that he was on the floor alone and that it was time to go.

He stopped, looked at me earnestly and said "I'm not stopping until the music stops." Then he started dancing again.

By himself.

* It didn't rain at all over the weekend. Typically, every Ohio Wesleyan event is a like a Charlie Brown baseball game (you know, where all you can see is lines because it is raining so hard). It was awesome.

* The classes of '46, '51, and '56 look great. Seriously; to the tune that they are better looking than me.

* Basketball coach Mike DeWitt '87 has a killer set for his version of the University Update for reunion dinners. Following his appearance at the Class of '61, Mike will be playing the Funny Bone in Columbus, and then heading out into the Midwest for recruiting/comedy tour.

* I think I developed a nervous twitch from the massive amount of coffee I drank this weekend.

Man vs. Nature (or the Definition of Bravery)
In last week's blog, I casually mentioned that I once killed a bat with a boat oar. While I would usually save this tale for around a campfire, I doubt that I will ever be around a campfire with all of you, True Believers. Thus, here is the story of Jason and Ryan vs. The Bat:

One night, after I had just lain down for a night of serene slumber, I saw a dark shadow flash across my ceiling. I thought it was a figment of my imagination until I saw it again. Thinking it was moth, I turned the light beside my bed on. The dark flash turned out to be a bat; 6-inches of fear. When it saw the light, it swooped down at me. Like a man, I yelled (probably closer to "screamed" or "shrieked") and threw the covers over my head.*

One of my roommates, Ryan, came to the door and asked what was going on. I told him there was a bat and for him to open the door. He refused and just stood there. He kept saying "I can see it," as there was a window above my door. My room had a staircase up to another level of the house, and The Bat (after what seemed like an eternity) flew up into the next level.

I sprang into action. I had my sleeping bag under my bed; I grabbed it, and then nailed it to my ceiling and the stairwell in order to create a force field of fabric between myself and the embodiment of evil. Thinking I had won, I went back to bed. The Bat scoffed at me, found an opening, flew back into my room, flipped me off, and then flew back upstairs.

I knew it was either The Bat or me. I recruited Ryan, arming ourselves for battle. He grabbed a golf club (a 3 wood, I believe) and I procured a boat oar (I am still not sure where that came from). We were on a mission- a mission of death. We knew what we had to do. Failure was not an option. I ripped down the sleeping bag and we ran upstairs, screaming. I flipped on the light, The Bat swooped at us, and we ran back downstairs.

Once we collected ourselves, we ran back upstairs, not yelling quite as loud. As it turns out, bats have keen sense of sight (or sonar) and are impossible to hit with either a golf club or a boat oar. We went around in circles, swinging at The Bat, breaking lights and hitting the wall. Finally, The Bat swooped at me- I stared into its beady, blood-lusting eyes. I swung the boat oar with all of my might. I missed The Bat completely and fell onto my back, my feet up in the air. At the same time, Ryan swung the golf club. There was a loud crack.

He also missed the bat, but he did connect with my foot. He dropped the golf club and ran to the stairs, peeking up over the top. I was a crumpled heap on the floor.

"Thompson, get out of there!" he yelled.

"I think you broke my f*&#$@*% foot," I yelled back as The Bat circled me, waiting for me to die. "Go! Don't worry about me!"

"I can't leave a fallen brother," he said. Just then, I noticed that the bat had landed on the wall. I saw my opportunity. I grabbed the oar, pulled myself up, and lunged at The Bat, screaming and stabbing the air. I caught the bat's neck; the primal struggle was mighty. Finally, I knew it was over. I pulled the oar away, and the bat fell onto the floor.

We put The Bat into a trash can. As I hobbled outside, I looked down at my enemy with a feeling of fear and admiration. "You fought well and hard, friend," I said. "I shall tell tales of your great bravery. Peace to you in the next world." Then I threw him into the dumpster and ran/limped quickly away, in case it wasn't dead.

* upon seeing The Bat, I realized that I am lucky I live in this period of time. I probably wouldn't have lasted 15 minutes in pioneer times, or even the 1950s. Or even now in a place like northern Canada or Pittsburgh (the hooligans).

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