Sunday, October 01, 2006

We set up at the Rock & Gem Show on the Old Miss campus yesterday. Our babysitter cancelled at the last minute, which threw everything up in the air. We took the girls along, and I must say they were very well behaved. It still put a spanner in the works.

Note to self: always put out your own press release. Don't rely on the show to do it for you. That's the only way to control the quality.

It's the first time I've been on a college campus that had a football team since "tailgate parties" became big business. How on Earth do the students stand it? There were thousands of strangers everywhere, spending huge sums of money to rent dinky tents, grills, beer kegs, and satelight dishes that littered every inch of grass on the campus and made driving impossible. And this goes on for every home game? Unbelievable. The Administration's response to that lunacy had been to move the game time back to 8:00 to encourage it. I went to the football-free
Mississippi University for Women and later attended the University of Southern Mississippi before tailgate parties were hot. Weekends were down time. They were time to chill out and catch up on your friends, your sleep, and your homework. I couldn't have stood that insanity twice a year, let alone every other weekend. I was shocked at the Ole Miss Administration, as it looked like they were placing money-making opportunities way ahead of the needs of their students.

We were set up at the
Oxford Train Depot. It's a 135 year old brick building with hardwood floors. It's lovely, and the brickwork is in fabulous shape. My husband walked with the girls up to the Ford Center for the Performing Arts. It's a 10 year old building that looks really impressive from a distance. Get up close to it and you'll see that the "brickwork" is actually concrete slabs with caulk holding them together instead of brick and mortar. Find a place where the caulk is peeling off and you'll see cardboard shims under the caulk. One of these buildings will still be here in another 100 years. The other won't.


JC from NC said...

as it looked like they were placing money-making opportunities way ahead of the needs of their students

Well, duh.

OK, that was really rude. I apologize.

But college athletics in general, and football and/or basketball (depending on the region) in particular, are huge revenue streams for colleges. They're treated much more like a business than an extracurricular activity. Their influence -- or more precisely, the influence of the money they bring in -- is so pervasive that it distorts everything else at the school. Frankly, as aware as you are of the shortcomings of the public education system in the US, I'm surprised that this situation surprised you.

And, boy, I wish Blogger had spellcheck. :)

Lioness said...

My college didn't have a big sports department, so I'm probably a bit naive about such things. Although one of these days I'll have to tell the story about the library and the stadium. I'm still too bitter to tell it now.

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