Today I got the news. I'm a National Champion. While the process to select the winner may be subjective, and the prize intangible, I am a student at the #1 party school in America, Ohio University. That last sentence can elicit several responses, ranging from condemnation to exuberance. Those that condemn the award, claim it tarnishes the university's "image", attracts the "wrong" crowd. Those that cherish the title, went out to celebrate and will spend the whole year bragging to their peers.
Personally, I love OU because it brings the best out in it's students (in the same way America brings out the best in its citizens, FREEDOM). Going away to college is not living in the real world. You make friendships, learn life lessons, and get an education, not possible any other way . OU is the college experience of college experiences because it's a small town, isolated from any real city; most students live there full-time. You don't often see high school kids and townies on campus, or the heavy alum influence you would see at after a sporting event at a Big Six school. It's just us 18-22 year olds (give or take), hanging out for four years (give or take) on one of the most beautiful campuses in the country.
As you would expect, an administrator followed up the news with an email to the student body.
He alleges that it takes away from what Ohio University accomplishes as a whole, which is providing the intellectual fuel for its successful alums.
I contest that the only thing Ohio University has ever done for its students is allow them to be themselves. That is a precious gift that is really tough to duplicate. Yes, the education is top notch, and yes, the freedom leads some to spiral out of control. But attending the number one party school is the Entrepreneurial Garden of Eden. All that life really is, is entrepreneurship. Yeah you'll have bosses, and bills, and "decisions-decisions", but if you at any point don't think you're in control of your own life, it's because you've forgotten that every choice has a consequence (man up).
We've been a party school for over 40 years, but since I've been enrolled I've seen two separate $100 million donations, a $40 million donation, and a Nobel Prize Winner. Either they're putting something in the water or party schools aren't the bad guys after all.
For those hungry for a progress update, I shacked up at the Riverside Motel in Riggins, Idaho. It was a motel night because the Tribe were on ESPN. I'm two for two on this trip when I watched the Indians play on National TV. (You better believe I'll jump if given another chance. Cleveland needs Ws.)
Idaho has such a unique terrain. I guess there was some volcanic activity out here millions of years ago. It has created an interesting landscape, different rocks, trees, shrubbery, than I'm used to.
If you're ever looking for great week of nature: Take a car through the National Parks in Utah, take a river tour in Idaho, go fly fishing in Montana, hike in Yellowstone, camp in the Grand Tetons, and do some cycling in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. There's some great country to be seen between the Pacific and Mississippi.
Tomorrow I've set a goal to make it to Cambridge, ID. That will allow me to slingshot into Oregon on Wednesday. I don't want to jinx anything but, there's an ocean on the other side of Oregon.
P.S. The great Randy Moss retired today. I paid homage by watching 'One Clap' on YouTube. "Straight Cash Homie"