Wednesday, February 02, 2005

For the Uninitiated

Confession: I read T-shirts.

I can't help it, really. I read anything that's within eyesight. Bumper Stickers, Billboards, Road Signs, For-Sale Signs, Gas Prices, and the like. Gas Prices are the worst, because then I have a uncontrollable to quote the price and make a comment, like anybody cared "Look over there, it's $1.85. Not bad!" The point is, if it's there, I read it.

T-Shirts, in my opinion, are entirely unavoidable because you know, they are RIGHT THERE. T-shirts found on college campuses are particularly interesting, because they give some insight into the personality of the wearer. At the college where I teach they run the gambit of political (all flavors), humorous, concert promotions, hometown specialties, and the likes. And because this is a small religious-based private college, I see a fair number of Jesus shirts as well.

Yesterday's Jesus T-shirt: A picture of da Vinci's Last Supper with the caption: First Boy Band underneath.

Yesterday a student came in -- very stylish -- wearing a black t-shirt that had obviously had an extended appointment with a bedazzler. I looked at the shirt and said, "I'm reading your shirt: A-Squiggle-Triangle." She smiled at me and explained she had just pledged and this was her new house.

You may have noticed that I have not written, nor will I write exactly what A-Squiggle-Triangle is. I did that on purpose, because now, less than 24 hours later, I DON'T REMEMBER. If I were to guess and write something that ended up being wrong, there is NO GREATER ANGER than a TunaNews reader and Alum of A-Squiggle-Triangle that feels I have impugned their house and their sisters and their lives and their secret handshake forever for not remembering OR WORSE, writing the wrong thing. Therefore, A-Squiggle-Triangle it shall remain.

Anyway -- so my student excitedly tells me about the A-Squiggle-Triangles and how she accepted a bid and blahblahlots of pledges and blahblahso so busy and blahblahsuper nice girls and blahblahblah. And I smile and nod, and offer vague pleasantries, because I HAVE NO CLUE.

You'd think after eleven years of teaching, I would know all about this Greek Stuff (of which, if you cannot tell, I have never been a member), but I don't. Oh sure, I've had things explained to me, but only things that I am allowed to hear without having to be killed afterwards. And hear about them I do. I hear about call outs and run outs and smokers and pledges and big sisters and little sisters and big brothers and little brothers and houses and pan-Hellenic councils and no-talks and legacy members and keys and pins and ...

The best I can do is listen patiently, smile politely and pretend I understand. I'm good at that part. Please note, however, that I might pay more attention if each discussion was accompanied by plates of spinach pie, feta cheese and roasted lamb (hold the olives). I'm all about THAT part of the Greek system. But if I can't remember what A-Squiggle-Triangle is, understand that it's nothing personal. I can't remember what Circle-X-Upsidedown L is either.


Gary said...

Theta Chi Gamma, maybe? I don't know. The only reason I know these letters is because of the symbols we used in Math/Statistics.

I never did understand the point of these fraternities/sororities - we really don't have them much to speak up here in CanuckyLand. Is it to promote a sense of belonging and conforming to a group? Who needs that???

Sarah said...

Better Greeks and geeks than Bones.

Mensch71 said...

Alpha Squiggle Triangle? Probably Alpha Xi Delta @ TunaU. In any case, as a lifer sorority girl (and the daughter, grandaughter, cousin and niece of several), I'm pretty sure the *giggle* *blabber* *giggle* is more about being 19 and away from home than being Greek.

Jay Ann Cox, PhD said...

Green T, look for the "Silence = Death" shirts, and the like. They are out there. Those are the girls to talk to. They might giggle about cute guyz but they also can articulate some semblance of an independent thought. Lucky that you don't teach English (do you?) because then you could read all the great five-paragraph, persuasive research papers on "Why A-Squiggle-Triangle is THE BEST sorority, and stuff."

nlk said...

What's your fave t-shirt saying, Tuna? That you've seen or own?

Mine? "This is what a feminist looks like."

Oh, yeah, I own it!