April Recap

by Jonah

April, 1995

Definitely get into the camping thing. I’m convinced it’s about the most fun a person can have on this earth, with the possible exception of skiing. Then again, I haven’t experienced skydiving, hang-gliding, or, well, other things… Camping strips life down to the necessities. And you’ll be surprised at how few (or from a different perspective, many) things are actually needed.Just remember that it’s okay to get dirty, because you will.

Ah, yes. The campaign. It was fun. With the advent of challengers also throwing their hats into the ring, Cris Hyatt and I went into campaign mode. We made lots of posters and fliers, especially little ones to go on the back of stall doors in the restrooms (Now that we’ve got you sitting down, vote for Cris, Joanna, and Robyn for Junior Class officers!” and “Take the plunge! Vote…” or “Quit stalling, VOTE…”). We constructed a top ten list of reasons to vote for us (Sympathy; They look snazzy in chicken costumes; You’ll be sorry when they win Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes; It’ll make Uncle Newt very happy; They spent all this time coming up with a stupid poster to amuseyou!) and situated it in the most trafficked section of the main hallway. I made up a flier on the computer, and Dad printed out 200 copies for me. As one guy said, “I can’t go ten feet without seeing one or your signs! They’re even in the men’s bathroom!”

That was courtesy of Nathan. Our competitors put up tons of signs as well, however. There were hundreds more signs for junior class elections than for any other race for office.

The half week of voting came, a week later than scheduled, and we were in a joyous mood. We really didn’t care anymore. It had just been fun putting signs up everywhere. The results were to announced at the Spring Banquet the Saturday after elections. Cris was going, but I wasn’t. I’m not really a Spring Banquet kind of person.

One Monday I accosted Cris emerging from her 9 a.m. class. “Well?” I inquired.

“I’ve got some good news and some bad news,” she said. “What?”

“I won!”

“And?”

“And… Robyn won!” That was kind of expected, since Robyn was running unopposed.

“And?”

“And you didn’t win,” she added apologetically. “But Chris Rischer won!” He is probably the best hope UM has had for a executive president that will get things done in a long time. We had been informally campaigning for him as well as for ourselves.

“And he said that there are some other positions that are appointed,” Cris continued. “I’m going to see if they need someone like you to be the commuter representative.”

Ah, well. The problem is that UM is mainly a commuter school (over half of students do not live on campus) and the ones who do never come to any of the school functions. Maybe it’s just Generation X, but we saw our campaign as a way to make a difference in what happens and what gets done. The good part is that Cris wasn’t going to run until I agreed to do it with her. She will be a great junior class president. I really ‘t think of anyone better suited for the job. She knows EVERYONE, and she’s really concerned about the current SGA doing nothing. I’m sure my hard work in the campaign helped get her elected.

It was fun while it lasted. I guess I’ve learned from the experience (don’t run against someone who’s popular), and now I can look forward to free Tuesday nights next semester.

It’s funny. In the past, I’ve wondered about putting campaign signs up. I’ve scoffed at candidates who spend big money saturating the area with signs that tell the average voter no more than the name of the candidate and what he’s running for. I mean, I know who’s running. What I want to know is how candidates stand on the issues. I’ve always thought that candidates must be extremely arrogant to think that voters will cast their ballots according to the greatest number of placards they count on the way to the polls. Yet, there I was, doing exactly the same thing thinking, if only we have enough signs up, maybe people will vote for us. Perhaps it is because no one normally votes in elections at school. I didn’t vote last year, but that was because I didn’t even know when the election was. I take some solace knowing that many of our signs had clever sayings on them.

Cris says, “Rah rah ree! Vote for me!”

Okay, so maybe some of them weren’t so clever.

My grandmother who had a stroke is improving, even though it doesn’t look like it most of the time. She can now walk to the end of the driveway and back (about 600 feet) with her cane. She can also maneuver around the house fairly well and use the bathroom by herself (a big plus). Her right hand continues to be totally useless, and when she’s standing, she has to balance herself with her cane. That means that we have to do pretty much everything for her. She still has a lot of trouble speaking, though she can usually get out what she’s trying to say after a while.

I was walking down the driveway with my grandmother one day. It felt good to be outside, but this duty was taking me away from other things. I didn’t say anything. She started to speak, “Do you resent the intrusion of…” Her voice trailed off. She tried again but was stuck on the next word. She tried inserting “Buster,” “corporation,” and something else that I couldn’t make out, but she was never able to finish the sentence. I’m glad that she didn’t. I know what she was probably going to say, “Do you resent the intrusion of your life by a disabled person like me?” or something to that effect. I didn’t want her to finish the question because I didn’t want to answer it. Yes, I resent her being here. I resent that she had a stroke, that Mom has had to care for her, that it has turned our world on end, that I have to do extra things for her. It’s awful to feel like that, I know. I don’t want to have such an ugly attitude. But it’s a lot harder than I ever thought it would be. I’m afraid I haven’t been very honoring to my grandparent.

Mom has not been fun to be around lately. I don’t know if it’s because of the extra burden of caring for her mother or what. We try to not be around her as much as possible. I’m looking forward to spending the summer in Colorado and getting out of this house of chaos.

School has been going great. I’ve got a 90.08 average in chemistry, just barely an A! Hopefully, I can hang on to that till the end of the semester. I got a 110 on my Russian midterm. I guess she liked the bogus names I made up for the bonus. Sociology makes me mad. My professor sees capitalism as a fungus. That’s why I’m a functionalist. I think everything in society plays a function. That’s opposed to being a conflict theorist (i.e. Marxist), which my teacher seems to be. Argh.

I’ve got my schedule for next semester filled out already. Looks like I’ll be taking History and Politics of Modern Russia (the first half of the course I’m taking now), Comparative Government (taught by the same lady from Russia who teaches the history class), Classical Political Theory (Plato’s Republic, etc…), Ethics, European and Russian Literature (taught by the most excellent professor in the whole world–Dr. Allums), and Intermediate Greek. I am so excited thinking about it all! It’s going to be too much fun, I’m sure. I’ll be taking every political science course available except for 101, which I’ve already had, for my major and Ethics, the only offering of my minor, which is leadership studies. I’ve finished up all my core requirements except foreign language (Greek) and maybe one or two electives, I’m not sure. The literature class is just for fun. Or something.

Well, Stephanie and Nathan (the guy we brought to Colorado with us last summer) are an item now. Nathan virtually lives at our house. That’s kind of good because, even though we annoy the heck out of each other, he and I have become really close friends. Unfortunately, that created some conflict when Stephanie started feeling jealous. It seems to be better now. I guess we’ll work it out. As far as the two of them are concerned, however, they’re getting married as soon as Stephanie graduates from college (she’ll start at the University of Mobile in the fall). We have two horses now, so they like to spend time riding around the countryside. They went fishing in our lake yesterday and caught a huge big mouth bass. All three of us, along with Jenifer Bennett (from Columbus, Cliff and Doraine’s oldest daughter), will drive up to Colorado to help out with Wings Like Eagles at the Bremer’s again. Nathan says it’s going to be interesting being in a car with three other girls for twelve hundred miles.

Jenifer’s older brother Andrew just got a couple of letters saying that he’s been accepted into the physical therapy program at the University of South Alabama here in Mobile and that the Air Force will pay for three years of his education through ROTC. He’s really excited. We’ll be seeing a lot of him around.

I guess that’s about it.

Leave a Reply