just wait, it's coming! dddragon presents: Is Anything Truly Random?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Penn State

(My comment to Doug's Sacrament definition got me off on this subject today ... )

Musselman Fact`ory 1907 When we moved to Pennsylvania from Los Angeles in 1972, it was a culture shock for me. I was an eighth grader. We had moved from a place that had everything to a place that rolled up the sidewalks at 5:00 pm and everything was closed on Sundays.

Too boot, we first lived in Biglerville (just north of Gettysburg) where the reason for being there was Apples. In fact, Biglerville High School teams are the Canners. That's how my dad's parents met each other - his mom's summer job was peeling apples. (The C.H. Musselman company is now owned by Knouse Foods.)

ANYWAYS, we moved to the "big city" of Harrisburg a few months later. Ha. Los Angeles' population is approaching 7 million, Harrisburg's is approaching 50,000. And we had lived in diverse neighborhoods and gone to diverse schools. The school district we moved into was 100% white. It's 95.4% white now.

So, I learn to get along in this area, find friends who think like me (Star Trek, Dr. Who, etc.). Fast forward a few years and it's time to apply to colleges. I apply to a few state colleges. My parents urge me to apply to the Pennsylvania State University. Hoss might include it as a Cow College; it was one of President Lincoln's Land Grant schools.

I had never heard of Penn State before, but I sent in the application. Acceptance letters came from the other colleges. My parents urge me to wait to pick one until we heard from all the schools.

Then one day I came home to find a hand-made poster on the door - CONGRATULATIONS!! You've Been Accepted to Penn State!!
The original Old Main and Hay Fields

Well, that's great, I thought, but why did this school get a poster and the others didn't? Hmmm.

So off to Penn State I went. People at home asked how I could go to such a big university after graduating from such a small high school - heck, PSU is many times bigger than our town! (At the Main Campus - University Park - there are now over 40,000 students. Our town's population is about 7600.) The size never bothered me.

Well, it didn't take long for me to start to Bleed Blue & White. And I'm not alone. The Penn State Alumni Association has more registered alum than any other college or univerisity in the USA. There are Alumni Chapters in every state and in many countries around the world.

I got a summer job just because I was a recent grad from PSU. When I was out in Los Angeles going to CalArts, I went to USC to see a gymnastics meet - the little ol' parking lot attendant let me park for free because I was wearing Penn State clothing. Our alumni magazine had a story of a Penn Stater meeting another Penn Stater on the Great Wall of China. How did they recognize each other? Each was wearing something with Penn State on it!

We can be a crazy bunch, but that's okay.


At 9:53 AM, Blogger Tan Lucy Pez said...

Folks may be confused by your statement that we moved to Harrisburg. We moved close to Harrisburg, but across the wide divide of the river.

It's not easy to get into the Main Campus at Penn State as a freshman. It's a first rate school. That was the reason for the poster.

At 10:06 AM, Blogger AP3 said...

Interesting... I didn't know it played out like that! I thought you had discovered PSU yourself!

At 10:16 AM, Blogger dddragon said...

mom, you're right. I wasn't clear (typing too fast, I guess) Harrisburg schools are predominately black. The Susquehanna River has long been the racial divide - not quite as bad as it used to be, but still there.

At 11:01 AM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Now then, you bring up a most interesting topic:

Are you: "Keep Joe Papa"?

Or are you: "Joe Papa Must Go"?

At 11:06 AM, Blogger Doug said...

That's an interesting story. I never went to a school with much athletics. My lifetime Alma Mater is Deep Springs college with fewer students in all than a division I football team. There is a species in Deep Springs Valley (pop. 45)that only lives there, so even though we didn't have a team of any variety, we did have a mascot. Go Deep Springs Inyo Brown Toads! Fight! Fight! Fight!

The odds of meeting a Deep Springer anywhere are pretty short (less than 1000 alumni since the school's 1917 founding) but we have an informal hospitality policy so if you do see two, one's usually sleeping on the other's couch.

At 11:34 AM, Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

I graduated from Florida International University, right here is Miami Floriduh.

There is an alumni association, and I think I am somehow part of it - they keep sending me email about stuff. But I have never attended any sort of alumni function.

At 12:56 PM, Blogger dddragon said...

I'm for keeping JoePa, Hoss. He's even older than you are!!

At 4:18 PM, Blogger actonbell said...

That ol' agricultural school sure grew.
Interesting pictures!

At 4:58 PM, Blogger mw said...

It is so coincidentalto read your post today. I was asking my husband last night if he noticed that within meeting someone for the first time, you know whether or not they went to Penn State. I don't know how, by they manage to work it into every single conversation. This could be because we, too live in PA - or is it a universal truth? Best Ice Cream, though!

At 5:07 PM, Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

ALong with all the millions here in Los ANgeles, come massive, horrible traffic jams! I wish I were in Harrisberg!

Have a good day.

At 11:49 PM, Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

I enjoyed getting to know more about you.

At 11:54 PM, Blogger still life said...

I had no choices about college, I knew I was going to Indiana University from the day I could read and write. It was my dad's alma mater and if I was to have my tuition paid, then it would be mine as well.
My dad used to wear this little red and white golf hat everywhere. Had his IU sticker on his window shield and never missed a tailgating party during football season.
The only way I could retaliate was by dating a Sigma fraternity member which was a big no-no in the house of my Kappa fraternity father. *sigh*

At 5:58 AM, Blogger GodlessMom said...

Isn't it funny how school loyalty never really goes away? Strange form of human tribalistic behavior I guess. My U can beat up your U!

At 10:15 AM, Blogger Sar said...

Nice insightful post, Dddragon.

All I know is I need to get me some Penn State garb so I start can getting some of that special treatment! :)

At 2:36 PM, Blogger Fred said...

I went to the State University of New York at Oswegeo. We were the "Great Lakers." How's that for a dull name?

We've got an active alumni association, but I've never attended any of their events. I do give money, so I guess I'm doing something. Which is better than nothing.


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