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Blogging about gardening in zone 4, marriage, our golden retriever and life in general.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Two Steps Forward... and One Step Back

It was an interesting weekend around these parts. Good in a lot of ways, and disappointing in a lot of ways.

Since this blog is a sort of open diary, I’m going to write about issues that some people might prefer I keep to myself. Writing is becoming cathartic for me, and the words I’m going to put down here today are of tough to elucidate, but necessary. So feel free to skip this one if necessary. Like I said, there are high points and low points.

Saturday morning I attended initiation of 16 new members into the MSU chapter of AOII. I initiated nearly eight years ago as a freshman in college, and the MSU chapter means so much to me; maybe more in the last two years than the first six.

I’m so proud of the current members. Participation in sororities has been declining in Montana, despite a strong national trend elsewhere. We always struggled to keep numbers decent during my time as a collegiate, and it often felt like a giant uphill battle. Of the twelve girls I pledged with, only seven remained as seniors; although we picked up some awesome new people along the way to fill our class back out to twelve. At points in the last eight years, they’ve had initiations of only six people.

So an initiate class of 16 is a big, big deal for them/ us. More than anything, it was gratifying to stand in a room and count the number of active members- nearly 46 people!!! That’s close to campus total, and they’ll keep recruiting in the spring. I’m proud, and appreciative of the girls' hard work.

The entire AOII chapter, spring 2004.

The chapter at MSU, has kept me tenuously tied to MSU these last two and a half years. They’ve allowed me to stay involved with a college-affiliated organization, and give back in a (hopefully) meaningful way, despite the deep anger I feel towards the administration at MSU. I want to make it clear, my, and my family, still love the people of MSU. The alumni and the staff are all wonderful people who want nothing best for the university and its associated clubs and organizations. Being at the AOII house around women whom I look up to despite the fact that they’re younger than me reminds me of how important it is to keep the organization going.

But I shouldn’t say much more about the administration since there’s a lawsuit going on.

You get my point; AOII is a big deal for me. And getting to look around that room Saturday morning and see it thriving, well, it really made me a better person on Saturday. And I needed all of the positive vibes I could get when I walked out of the chapter house with to go to the MSU vs. Sacramento State football game.

I loved going to games at MSU while dad was there. I knew most of the players, their parents, the staff and many of the fans. As a college student myself, it was a great atmosphere; raucous tailgating, exciting games and down to the wire conference championships.

Gretchen, cousins Blake and Zack, and I. Fall 2004?

Tailgating with the AOII's, 'Cat-Griz 2003.

Post 'Cat-Griz win picture, 2003.

Tailgates, 'Cat-Griz 2005.

Post 'Cat-Griz win picture, 2005.

I have to admit, I expected some deflation of the party atmosphere with a new coach and changes to the tailgating policy which basically eliminated student tailgating. But what I saw on Saturday was… wow, it felt like a funeral in there. One entire section of stands wasn’t shoveled out after Thursday’s snowstorm, so no one sat in it. An entire section. What. The. Fuck.

Kickoff, 2009.

People will say “oh, well it’s hunting season” or “oh, well, it snowed and the weather was going to be shitty” or “it’s not a very important game” or “it’s the game before ‘Cat-Griz”. People. Those are lame excuses. This is a team that’s won seven games, and could still win an eighth in the regular season. That’s better than dad’s teams ever did. I’m pretty certain the stands were full for the playoff game against Furhman in November of 2006 when it was five degrees out. And that the games against EWU the weekend before ‘Cat-Griz were ALWAYS full when dad was there.

AOII's at the game... sometime in the fall of 2004. It's a non- 'Cat-Griz game and it looks pretty packed...

Of all of the emotions I expected to have after the game, I didn’t expect to feel the extreme sense of sadness as I left the stadium. After they WON the game!!! I felt sad after they won the damn game!!!! Sad that it’d gotten so boring! So staid and square! And sad that it took dad so long to build a program that people were interested in, and it only took three years to totally erode that. Man- what a god damn shame.

Goalposts going down, 2005.

Man, what fun that was.

That said, I did experience a flare of outright anger. Like capital A, bolded, underlined anger. One of the guys who got dad fired was there on the sidelines, with the visiting team. Again What. The. Fuck. What gall. What outright absolute goading. He’s lucky I played golf and can’t throw worth a damn. I had an ice-packed snowball with his name on it. (but I’m not bitter)

That particular person raised an interesting set of emotions in me. He gave me some of the best advice I ever received; to never, ever, settle for less than everything I want. And I sat there stunned, watching him, in a swirl in emotion. I wanted to ask him why. Why do what you did to yourself, your family, and my family? We took you in. We made you our own. Your advice rings through to me still, but it’s so tainted by your actions that I can’t take the very good guidance you offered.

And why, six years later, have you never made an effort to apologize?

Walking out of the stadium DJ asked me how I thought it went. I told him I was disappointed and upset, but for different reasons than I expected. I want the games to be fun. I want them to have good attendance and to attract new fans. And that’s progress for me. Two years ago I would have told you I wanted them to never sell out a game again.

But seeing that particular person… man, it was a blow to my fragile return to Bobcat fandom.

I guess that’s life though, two steps forward, one step back.

We have ‘Cat-Griz tickets for next weekend. :::gulp:::

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