This was quite the weekend. Lunch with friends on Saturday, a trip back to the OBU that evening, and then meeting some new friends that seemed like old ones on Sunday. I went into this week with a whole new appreciation for my silly little Baptist alma mater.
I had approached my trip back to Shawnee with some apprehension. I hadn't been back for a play in...8 years? It was As You Like It. I was disappointed then with the quality of the show and after hearing from so many people how the university had changed, "gotten creepy" in the words of my favorite former professor. I went because Kara asked and because I wanted to see Bill all grown up. In the end, the play (although only a season extra) was creepy. It was quite creepy. But I got to speak with a former professor after and came to some nice conclusions...
- Although Laura Byland does not get as excited to see me as she does the other theatre majors of my era (maybe because she predicted I would be a Republican by now and is still mistaken), I think she respects where I am in life. I did get her to admit "Yeah, you're in the field" and she even asked me to come and speak to some of her Intro classes. I have chosen the topic "Why a Theatre degree is good for you even if you never do theatre again". I will post my outline here when I have more details.
- I hold a degree from OBU that no longer exists. This December, they will graduate their last Speech/Drama Ed major. It seems the University gives even less support to this major than when I was in school and so it dried up and died. The Theatre faculty is glad to see it go...*sigh*.
- OBU brings you about three degrees from anyone who ever went there ever. New/old friends the McCartys verified Sunday night. They graduated a full six years after me and yet we had all kinds of mutual friends and friends once removed. It explains my propensity to walk up to random folk in malls and say "OBU...right?". It also brings you one degree from all the other Bison with so many shared rich academic experiences. If you didn't go to OBU, you can compare it to the feeling grown Okies get when they explain to folks from the outside how you used to dress like a pioneer for land rush day and stake out your lunch spot on the playground. It's happy happy nostalgia.
Please know that I have not gone completely Baptist-batty. I won't answer the phone for this January's phone-a-thon and I refuse to order one of these, but I do remember what I loved about college. It makes me want to listen to all male choirs and handbell music. I wish I felt this warm and fuzzy while I was still paying on my degree.
Hey, let's do get those shirts printed up! Let's revel in that thing that OBU gave us
Oklahoma Baptist University...Cranking Out Cynics Since 1910