Saturday, May 10, 2008
Rahma Likes His Freedom
Get a haircut, dude!
I've mentioned before that I attended K-State for a couple semesters. Yes, that is me. Yep, I was what I looked like. Aggieville played a big part of my scheduling. Classes? Not so much. The eyes might have been a bit glassy at the time.
I lived in Van Zile Hall. Back then, it was a coed dorm. It has since been totally remodeled and is a women's dormitory nowadays, but back when dirt was new, it was a pretty bohemian place to stay. We had our own food service during the week, and had to eat at one of the huge dorm complexes on weekends. It was an experience, fer sure.
Every year at Halloween, Van Zile put on a Spookhouse staffed by the residents for fundraising. Two of us put on a tableau with a mad doctor torturing a patient, namely me. One of my legs was hidden, dropped on the side of the table I was lying on, and a huge bone was in it's place, so it looked like it was my leg. My torturing doctor was dressed in a white lab coat and had one of the old style reflectors strapped to his head. He had a fake syringe that looked like it would draw blood, and he also had a fake knife that he "used" on me, simultaneously squirting red dye colored water from a squeeze bulb hidden in his hand. Of course, he laughed maniacally during the performance. My part consisted of screaming, moaning and writhing in "pain." We scared the dog crap out of plenty of people - heh. We even had our picture published in the campus newspaper, and we were considered the star attraction.
My picture was also in the paper one other time. We used our funds to resurface our pool table, and I happened to be shooting a game when the photographer came by for the "story." I also had the habit of skipping classes until test time, then showing up for said test. A day or so after the picture was published, I showed up at my Mechanics of Materials class taught by one Professor C.R. Knostman. Class had just started, and he spotted me.
Class, we have a celebrity in our midst today. Mr. Borland has taken time from his busy pool playing schedule to grace us with his presence today. Please welcome him and commend him for his effort.
So much for celebrity status. If I could have shrunk into the desk, I can absolutely guarantee it would have happened. I deserved it, of course. He really was a good teacher with a very dry sense of humor. He certainly deserved a better effort from me.
Another tradition that I'm sure is dead was the "john sheet." We'd get a big chunk of butcher paper from food service and hang it in a bathroom. A subject was chosen and written as a header. It didn't matter if it was a women's or men's bathroom - we all snuck in to write on the latest. A free for all discussion that usually sidetracked into other areas and sometimes degenerated into name calling was recorded. It was a precursor to today's online forums. I've got one stashed away somewhere - if I ever find it, I'll have to take a high resolution picture and post it. I don't recall if any of the discussions fell under Godwin's Law, but they dern sure came close.
Some of us would go work out from time to time. I lifted weights and rode the LifeCycles. They were a new kind of exercise equipment - most of us had never even heard of one before. We became acquainted with some of the "regulars." One of the fixtures was a huge black (African American? I don't even know what is right so black it is) guy who always wore sweats. He was probably six six or so, ripped and a shaved head. Remember this was in the days when long hair was king. Witness the picture above. He also always had a good lookin' white chick to help him with whatever he apparently needed. We'd see him on campus going to class wearing sweats. Every day. So, one of my buds asked him why he wore sweats all the time.
Rahma Likes His Freedom was his answer. Needless to say, this became our catchphrase. Even today, if you were to run into a Van Zilian, twenty odd years later, and utter that - you'd get a reaction.
I got an education, even if it didn't culminate with a diploma.