Monday, May 21, 2007

Plebe Year...

I'm killing time because I don't much feel like packing by doing something I've been intending to do for a long time. I figured doing a full four year re-cap would take entirely too long, so I intend on doing four one year re-caps, starting with plebe year. I will share with you all the good, the bad and the ugly--basically, the things I remember most about each year. While I intend to do four, it's all time dependant, so, there's a possibility part one (Plebe year) will be the only part.

Plebe year started with Beast barracks. I had some good kids in my platoon, most notably Duester, Klerekoper, Bidder and Jensen. Koper, unfortunately, left the academy later that year for medical reasons. Beast was relatively uneventful and not all that was more annoying that hard, and I think I wrote some decent letters home. My mom used to send me art-cards of paintings because I told her how bland and grey everything was. I still have one she sent me taped to the inside of my trunk, which I used to keep propped open showing one Georgia O'Keefe painting. It was mostly white with five or six tiny red water-colored flowers.
About five weeks into Beast, I got the letter that my Uncle Z had died in a boating accident (while fishing, his boat went over a falls and capsized and he drowned). That news hit me pretty hard. My Uncle Z was someone I had only met twice but immediately fell in love with. He was from Tennessee and was the first person to let me fish, shoot a gun and throw ninja stars. He came to our house nine or ten years later with my Aunt Janet and I can't think of anyone who was prouder of me for going into the Army. He had been a Marine recruiter and I remember walking in on him and my dad talking about how proud they were of me. What an odd thing to think about now, as they are both gone...
Which brings me to the next thing I remember. School started uneventfully and my father got sicker. I went home for a month and came back knowing he was going to die. When I did come home, he passed away on Plebe Parent Weekend, Oct 11, 2003. Everyone had their parents here and I didn't really participate in much of the festivities. My friend TR invited me out with his family who were amazing. They took me to dinner and didn't mind my being reclusive. His mom, for the next four years, would send me packages every time she sent TR one.
Plebe year wasn't all death and sadness. One of my fondest memories was when the D4 Dukes went into the Dean's office and filled it with newspapers. We filled it so high that the dean, a tall man, was covered past his head in newspaper. We took pictures in his office, feet up on his desk, drinking coffee out of his mugs, and sent them to him. The next morning I awoke to photos of him in my inbox smiling from the piles of paper with the note, "Good job Dukes! Beat the Dean!"
That was the night I met Pat too. Pat has been, and is, one of my best friends. He, Davey and I studied together for our history TEE. We studied for two or three days, sleeping together, eating together and studying together. We filled the walls (painted with high gloss paint and perfect for dry erase markers) with the history of the world and learned it all. I went into the TEE more confident than I have been for any TEE since. Pat was fond of saying that we would get each other through the academy and I was fond of brushing his optimism off. Now, we're actually graduating--and we did it together.
We took a Glee Club trip to California that year for Spring Break. My friend Trever Long stayed with me the whole time. In LA, we actually stayed in San Diego where Tanner took us flying, and then went to Reno. We didn't stay in Reno, we stayed further away in Nickle City, then to Sacramento. Again, Trever and I didn't stay in Sacramento, we stayed three hours away in Lodi California...miserable. After that, however, we were in SF where, instead of staying with my sister who has having some issues at home, we stayed in a hotel and my mom gave us her car. We stocked the liquor cabinet and went out every night. It was a good time and the last time I'd really have the opportunity to hang out with Trevor who would later be kicked out on honor.
Second semester, I lived with James, another of the best friends I'll know. He and I bonded over music as we both like anything that is good, regardless of genre. We would clean our room for one of the multiple SAMI's we had that semester listening to Tupac and Alabama.
There are more things to share, about tests and people and places and things, but what I just wrote about are really the things that stick out in my memory the most. Feel free to share anything I've forgotten or didn't have time to write in the comments if so care.


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