Tag Archives: students

Penn State win overshadowed by senseless destruction

Greetings, readers. I was hooting and hollering at close to midnight this past Saturday evening as the Penn State Nittany Lion football team pulled off its biggest upset since 1964. We beat the Ohio State Buckeyes who were ranked #2. I’m going to describe what happened directly after the game, though I wasn’t a witness to the worst of it.

When the game was over, it didn’t take long for the happy and enthusiastic students to run down into town from the stadium. On my street, there was the usual We Are Penn State chant, lots of whoops, hollers, and other expressions of joy. There was a  police presence downtown ready to go in case something happened, and boy, did it.

Though the folks were peaceful on my street, one block down a bunch of rowdy, probably drunk, students committed many acts of vandalism, including smashing many, if not all, the street lights on the major artery in town. How stupid can they be? Rebecca told me that she saw a comment somewhere on the internet making the point that Penn State had the opportunity with this amazing win to be seen by the rest of the world for something other than the Jerry Sandusky scandal. They threw that chance away by rioting instead.

My solution? No more night games. All that happens is these children are given an opportunity to party and get drunk all day long, then arrive at the game for an 8:00 kickoff. Yes, you heard right, I did say children. Most of these juvenile delinquents are not 21 years of age, and shouldn’t be drinking anyway. That is another topic for another blog post. If I had my way, all the games would begin at noon for three years. Call it a preventive action. If other teams cannot oblige that time, too damn bad, we’ll take a loss. Students have to be held accountable for their actions and if those actions lead to destruction, consequences must be forthcoming. Penn State University and its students must learn that you cannot drink underage and if you do, you cannot riot and/or destroy property.

Will this solution be taken? Of course not. Why? Because it makes too much sense. We have to have our night-time white-out game every year. It brings in the cash, and I will admit it is kind of cool-looking to see everyone in the stadium, less the opposing team’s fans, with their white shirts on. Let’s give it one more year and see what happens. I don’t know who the opponent is for next year’s 8:00 game, but I hope they will not riot if we pull off another upset.

Okay, I’m done venting now. Until tomorrow, go PSU, We Are Penn State, and all that good fun stuff. Take care, and happy reading.

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Please get both hands on the wheel

Greetings, readers. With the Penn State students coming back this week, the downtown traffic has increased. Today as Rebecca, Traci, and I were crossing the street in the cross walk, a car turned left, getting a little too close to Traci for my liking. I glared at the driver and saw that she was on her cell phone, not hands-free, and had only one hand on the steering. Folks, that is illegal.

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard horror stories in the news about car accidents where the driver is on the phone either talking or texting. If you do not have your concentration fully on your driving, pull off the road. It is not very often that I yell at someone in a car but this vehicle did not yield for Traci. The driver’s mind was elsewhere.

Have I talked on a cell phone while driving? I must confess yes, but usually just long enough to say, “I’m driving, I’ll call you back when I pull off the road.” Unless it is an absolute emergency, whatever someone has to tell me can wait until I get to a rest area.

What are some other things I wish drivers wouldn’t do? Well, lets see. I saw a man shaving once while driving. A young woman trying to put on mascara. And the scariest of all, on an interstate no less, a young child steering the car, sitting in daddy’s lap, while daddy controlled the gas and brake. I would have suspended that man’s license indefinitely. But I guess junior just had to drive that day.

Readers, please, if you are a driver, heed the laws of your state. Here in Pennsylvania the law is no talking on a phone at your ear, no texting, but you can talk on a hands free device. It is just too dangerous, and if you injure or kill someone you will have to live with the consequences the rest of your life.

My next blog entry will deal with my wonderful vacation, where almost nothing went wrong. Suffice it to say for now, I had a marvelous time. Details to follow.

Until Friday, take care, many thoughts and prayers to the folks down south and in Louisiana who are dealing with the flooding, and happy reading.

Body language and facial expressions

Greetings, readers. As I was sitting in Panera this morning enjoying my coffee, I had the opportunity to observe several people. Being a writer, I am always naturally curious about folks, and sometimes see them as potential characters for my writing projects. In the span of twenty minutes, I saw a plethora of body languages and facial expressions that told me precisely how these people were feeling.

The first couple was a young woman and either a very close male friend or her boyfriend. She walked up to him with open arms and when they hugged the sweetest smile came over her face. It seemed to me that he was a special person to her and she was overjoyed and content to be in his arms.

Another group of people were not having such a good time. One woman sat with arms folded across her chest, not smiling. I learned in sociology class at Penn State that this is a classic symptom of a person who is not happy and defensive. Although the threesome was not shouting, it did appear to this observer that all three opinions differed. I’ve been there, I’ve done that.

A staff member, who I am good friends with, stopped and talked to Traci and me for a moment. I could tell by the way she looked and acted that she liked her job and thought that she was pretty good at all the different tasks that she is assigned to. One day it might be prep, another day it might be wiping tables in the dining room area. While conversing with her, not only did I get the sense that she is happy with her work, but that she likes her customers and they are important. That is going to keep me coming back to Panera.

I got to observe a young college student working on her computer as she listened to music with earbuds. It is getting close to finals week here at Penn State and everyone is cramming for final exams. This young woman went from working hard to frantically searching her stuff for something she needed. She wasn’t in tears, but she may well have been if she hadn’t found what she was looking for.

Lastly, I have been in line at Panera during the busy times of the day and although the cashiers are taught to always give service with a smile to each customer, they know me and I know them and sometimes they let their guard down a bit. I’ll say, are you having a tough day, and they’re smile and shake their heads yes. I never pry, but I make light conversation, such as, don’t worry, it’ll get better, or something positive like that. Most of them seem to appreciate it, that a customer cared enough to inquire.

As a writer, I’ve observed people for many years and will continue to do so. If you have observed anything worthy of note, please leave a comment, here or on my Facebook page.

Until next week, take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

This Halloween Saturday may get rowdy

Greetings, readers. Although I have grown accustomed to the downtown noise level on a weekend in State College, this upcoming Saturday may be louder than usual. I have resolved to have plenty of things to watch lined up for Saturday evening until the wee hours of Sunday morning. I shall make a list of YouTube movies and shows to watch, or possibly partake of the current World Series. If all else fails, I can play PS3 baseball. Anything to keep me busy until the crowds quiet down. What drives me nuts the most is wanting to sleep but not being able to because of outside noise.

Here is the unique equation that is going to take place. This year Halloween falls on a Saturday – two occasions when students like to party anyway, now joined together. Not only that, but it’s a Big Ten home football game for the Penn State Nittany Lions, as well as the night to turn the clocks back. To me, that equals trouble. I’m expecting to see lots of college kids running around downtown in their homemade costumes, and more than likely slightly drunk. When the clocks go back an hour, does that mean that the bars stay open an extra 60 minutes? Let’s hope not.

A welcome to all the Illinois fans, here for the Saturday afternoon game. Kick-off is at noon, and hopefully things won’t be too rowdy, because with my new schedule in place, being an ultra early bird, I need to be in bed by midnight.

The only thing that would have made this weekend worse would be having the full moon on Saturday. Luckily the full moon was a few days ago. Now don’t get me wrong. I like to enjoy myself and whoop it up now and then, but I wish our student body could put a cap on their enthusiasm around midnight. Once it goes on past 1 or 2AM, it gets a bit old. I’ve tried calling the police, but with most local bars having a 2AM closing time, I was told that the bar patrons have 15 minutes or so time to disperse.

Sunday evening will be quiet and I will once again be able to get back to the sleeping pattern I have come to enjoy; early to bed and early to rise. I do like my long mornings.

To remind you, Rebecca and I will be taking a couple of personal days Friday (tomorrow) and next Wednesday. I’ll do my very best to put a blog entry up before Thursday. If I can link something in my entry, I will. Rebecca showed me how and I need practice. If it doesn’t work, oops, I tried.

Until very soon, take care, have a great few days, a joyous weekend, and happy reading.

We’re wondering what the fascination is about Top ten list of modern convenience

Greetings, readers. Rebecca and I always get a chuckle every time we check our blog stats for each week and see Top ten list of modern conveniences has gotten more views. Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely happy when any of my entries are viewed. But, when I wrote this piece in February of 2013, I must admit I didn’t think it was going to be as popular as it has turned out to be. As of yesterday, it has been viewed 991 times since I posted it. In comparison, a top ten list from the same month, Top ten list of my favorite TV cars, chimed in with a whopping 9 views to date (although that does not count anyone who read it off the home page without clicking on it when it was first posted).

Rebecca has a theory which I agree with. She thinks that a teacher somewhere around the world is using it in class to show students computer skills, explaining to students how to do searches and then open the links. It also might be that teachers in other countries are curious to know and show their students what this blogger from the United States thinks modern conveniences are.

It’s funny, for when I was 13 years old, a record player was a modern convenience. Now it is something called a collectible. Back in my mother’s era, automatic transmission on a car was a convenience or luxury. You see where I am going with this.

What will modern conveniences be 20 years from now? Will we have the Jetsons flying car? Or perhaps Star Trek transporter technology or a holodeck? Who knows? But I am certain that 30 years from now, people will pick up a Blu-ray disc and laugh because it can hold only one movie at a time.

Getting back to my opening paragraph, I’m thrilled that this entry continues to get reads, or at least clicks. If anyone knows why this piece is so popular, or has a theory about it, could you chime in below in the comments section or leave me a note in Facebook?

In closing, it’s a Penn State home football weekend, complete with a night game. I hope all the college students behave themselves, and don’t show up to the stadium too intoxicated. If you are a local reader, please be safe around town this weekend, and to all readers, have a wonderful weekend, take care, and happy reading.

I got my vacation pictures back and the students are back

Greetings, readers. I am back in the flow of working again and it feels good. I spent a wonderfully productive morning typing one of the new camp book stories. Speaking of camp, I got my vacation pictures back the other day and all but one clunker turned out beautifully. I had taken shots not only of the trip to Maine and Bear Spring Camps, but also several pictures when I stopped at Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. I got pictures of the waves, of the sand, a couple of birds, and as far as people, I purposefully did not take any close up shots of strangers. Boy, has Hampton Beach changed since I had last been there. Let’s see, last time I was there was 1975. It obviously is much more built up with shops, eateries and motels. And of course, everything is more expensive, including food and parking. Still, I would not have traded those couple of hours for anything; a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

One of the pictures, most likely the shot of my cabin, will be the cover photo for the upcoming camp book; while other very cute shots, such as the sculptures of a moose and black bears at two rest stops in Maine, will definitely be used inside the book. I  believe they will be just as beautiful in black and white as they are in color. Also in the photo packs were pictures of the grand nieces and nephews, as well as other members of my best friend David Trost’s family. While not all shots turned out great, I will choose some photos to include inside the book. I will also ask Peg, the owner of the camp, if I can include some photos of the camp ground itself. Oh, how I love those one-time throw-away cameras with the high shutter speeds. They allow me, even with my wobbly hand, to take decent pictures.

Part two of this blog entry, deals with the end of summer. Or at least summer as I know it. Yes, the Penn State students are back in town. Gone are the nights that are quiet; back are the nights where whooping and hollering will be heard until the wee hours. I suppose though that after seven hours of classes that the students need to let off some steam. We have a pub right across the street from my apartment building that can get quite crowded on a Friday or Saturday night, especially on a football weekend. But this is a college town and these kids do support the local economy. And I do understand that lots of students the PSU football games, which I also enjoy on TV, unless I’m at Rebecca and Darren’s place playing Dungeons and Dragons.

By the winter time the football season is over and the town calms down a little. However I still enjoy the time from early May until the third week in August. Yes, there are students here taking summer classes, but places like Panera and the Diner don’t ever seem to be as crowded. On football weekends I don’t even try to go to Panera anymore. Lines are out the door. Enough said about that. I am done ranting and raving.

Until next week, have a great weekend. Enjoy the good weather if you’ve got it. Take care and happy reading.

The absurdity of State Patty’s Day

I’ve been living in Central Pennsylvania all my life. As I was growing up, State College was a relatively small college community which seemed to grow every year. As Penn State University offered more and more curricula, an increase of students came to Happy Valley.

Penn State has always been a huge football school, and downtown bar activity on football weekends is loud and boisterous. I’ve been living downtown for six years and have come to appreciate the serenity of where I used to live much more.

State Patty’s Day, as it is known, is a “holiday” tradition begun six years ago. As a writer, I love to observe people. I choose that day to walk downtown to various coffee shops, looking at all the young college students as they bar hop. Bar hopping, as I understand it, is when a group of college kids band together wearing their green State Patty’s Day attire and romp around downtown from bar to bar starting at 9 or 10 in the morning.

Personal point number one: Unless I’m mistaken, the only students of legal drinking age would be seniors, age 21. This makes me question why police in this town are even allowing this holiday to happen. It seems rather obvious that underage drinking is occurring.

Personal point number two: The fact that the bars open in the morning gives the students the rare opportunity to get an early start at inebriation. The only thing I like about that is that by 5:00 in the afternoon everyone is so plastered, they are all either at private parties or at home sleeping it off already. Downtown is usually as quiet as a ghost town.

Will State Patty’s Day ever be banned completely? Personally I doubt it. Unfortunately it is good for the economy. I know that sounds silly to say, but bars and pubs are businesses, too.

Last year I heard that students from other schools came to join in on the annual party day. It seems to get bigger and bigger every year. This frightens me. Last time I checked, going to school meant getting an education, not pickling their livers. I can’t quite recall the source, but I heard six months ago that Penn State University is now one of the top three party schools. I want Penn State to be proud of their academics, not their drinking prowess.

Personal point number three: Steps are being taken this year to curb the event and I applaud it. According to the Centre Daily Times article of February 5th, 2012, which you can read by following the link on the newspaper name  (this link no longer works), there were over 200 arrests of various charges on this day last year alone. I would surmise that the number goes up every year, though I cannot be certain. I applaud the Interfraternity Council, or IFC, for trying to deflect themselves away from the negative attention that this so-called holiday brings.

Whether or not State Patty’s Day will truly every die is debatable. The more students who abstain from the activity and voice their objections against it, the better off State College shall be. As for the bars that participate, what did you do before 2007? State College, Pennsylvania, before State Patty’s Day, was a happy thriving community. We would be able to do just fine without it.

For my next blog post, I shall be writing about the new United State Football league. Yes … it is scheduled to make a comeback. Until then, take care and have a good day.