103. ALUMNI INQUIRES TO RENEE, RENEE CHRONICLES: THE COLLEGE YEARS pt. IV & AN AMANDA UPDATE

Hello Dear Readers: As we at TWP finish our shortened 4-day week, we are pleased to report that everything has gone smoothly thus far. Last weekend, all of our college teams won (Georgia, Auburn and Alabama) as expected. For the first time ever, John and I (Renee) took Tyler to a Georgia Bulldog home football game. Its kinda funny to see the look on Tyler’s face when I try to explain that mommy went to school at such a large place like University of Georgia. He still thinks there must be a kindergarten school somewhere on the campus. (HA HA) And to see his eyes get big when I tell him, “Someday, you will go to school here and live on campus!” (Oh…And if anybody is wondering -No, he will NOT be living in a “frat house”. Join…Maybe…Move in…No way!

“Fat, stupid and drunk is no way to go through life…”

ALUMNI INQUIRES TO RENEE

Dear Readers: When writing this blog, the four of us at TWP understood the possibility that someone we knew back in college just might figure out our identities. Well, even with that risk, we still chose to “humanize” ourselves and give GENERAL info about who we really are and what our backgrounds are like. We got a lot of positive feedback on the CHRONICLES and RECOLLECTIONS segments but earlier this year, Michelle and I (Renee) received messages from college friends who actually figured out who we were! The following below is the communications by a sorority sister of mine and should give a different (and funny) perspective on yours truly, the TWP Editor. (Those wannabe detectives will get NO personal details either on me or the Georgia alum…sorry to disappoint!)

Hello TWP/Renee

I am writing to you not as pro or anti whatever it is you are pushing. I think I KNOW WHO YOU ARE! Not to worry “RENEE”, I am NOT out to “out” you because if you are who I think you are: You are one of the nicest and sweetest girls we ever had at xxxx xxx xxxx sorority.

To prove no malice, let me give you my nicky-name which all pledges get after start of pledgeship and we never even told our boyfriends those names.

xxxxxxxxxx

And my initiation # is xxxx

Finally, our salutation:

Yours xx xxxxx,

(Mary) xxxxxxx

(Editor’s Note: For additional privacy, I (Renee} changed the first name and will refer to this alum as “Mary”. Hey, I’m already getting teased by Jenny, Wendy and Michelle about my “nickyname” since it was Wendy that first opened Mary’s email!)

 

Dear (Mary) xxxxxx,

OMG OMG OMG!

I saw you at homecoming the year before last when I helped to launch this blog. When did you find out? What tipped you off? Its o.k. -I KNOW who you are and that is a relief to me!

(Mary), after talking to you (by phone) the other night, I feel a LOT better about opening up to you. You were the “big sister” to one of my pledge classmates who was one of my closest soulmates. In our conversation, we did not agree 100% on what TWP stands for but you did understand where I was coming from on school discipline. Hey, if you could only read the sickening messages we get weekly…

As to my idea, lets do it when you are not as busy on one of those business trips…o.k.? Just write a bit about what you remember about me.

Look forward to hearing back!

Yours xx xxxxx,

(Renee) # xxxx

xxxxx (Renee),

Alright. Here goes. {Renee), you have got to be the most UNLIKELY person I have ever expect to be a school administrator! Elementary teacher…maybe. Assistant principal at a middle school? HELL NO! A paddle-using assistant principal? No one who EVER knew you would have predicted that in a million years! The image I have of you is light years from the image some on the ‘net have of “Renee”.

Back when I knew you at Georgia, you were that rather shy petite red head who was nervous as a cat around large groups. I guess we at Alpha changed that -For the better I hope! But you were not gun shy as a color guard member as I recall. As the shorty, you stood out AND LOVED IT!

One thing I do recall is when you and xxxx(Sharon) decided to use the ladies room just before the half. The band was already on the field lined up and about to start when two color guard members started running onto the field with flags in hand and made it to their spots just as the band started! I think you nearly lost your uniform hat in the process too! ha ha ha.

(Renee), you were so cute in that color guard uniform with your hair braided into two pony tails. For some reason, you got serious later and changed your hair style to a more ordinary shoulder length style. Did (John) steal your heart at that time? I do not remember you as boy crazy then but you certainly did not mind their attention.

Yours xx xxxx,

(Mary) # xxxx

 

{Mary) xxxx,

You have definitely opened a new window into what I was like in those fun, care-free college days. Don’t stop though -I think you have just given the “tip of the iceberg”! Tell me more of what you can remember -you were two years ahead of me- especially the fun stuff we girls did on weekends with and without guys. Just keep the salacious details to a minimum. I think you know what I mean (Giggle).

Yours xx xxxx,

(Renee) #xxxx

 

xxxx(Renee),

Alright (Renee), I’ll indulge you -just remember our deal: Aliases instead of our real names because there is NO “tenure” in the world of business marketing and if my real name got out -My whole career is #@%*#!

How’s this. When our sorority did late Spring weekend car washes, you went the extra mile (and then some). I am referring to your attire. We ALL wore what one would call minimal clothes but you and a few others decided to “work” on your sun tans wearing bikinis while washing cars! But the managers of that shopping center parking lot did not care too much for your ad hoc advertising! I think it was YOU who sweet-talked a manager into not running us off! And I also recall how one sunny afternoon turned cloudy and breezy. Good thing you had a change of clothes with you that day. But our car wash money did go up -For sure!

You certainly had a way with our annual charity fundraiser dance competition. I am referring to that dance routine you and several other sisters “performed” at the house one weekend. Sort of an Arabian Nights meets “Pole Dancing.” Each “team” of various sorority sisters had to do a unique routine and the winning team was the one that collected the most money. With the other sororities competing, it was a crazy night. All the teams did a bit of a “strip tease” routine but you and the three others on our sorority’s team finished the highest in rank (runner-up, I think) that Alpha had done in all the years we had hosted the competition. Those moves you did! I reckon your background in the marching band color guard was good for something! BTW, the “strip” was done to your bikini swimsuit but those guys ALL wanted more! Good thing the frat guys were by invitation only! I will never forget a few of those guys yelling “Take it off…Take it ALL off!” while you had that “innocent look” on your face. It was HILARIOUS! To this day, I don’t know what you said to that guy who yelled “Lap dance!…Lap dance!” but if looks could kill… (Thank goodness, our sorority hired off-duty campus security for that charity fundraiser!)

I think I’ve probably said enough. Bet you never told your folks EVERYTHING about your college years! HA HA HA.

Yours xx xxxx,

(Mary) #xxxx

xxxx(Mary),

I don’t know what to say…I’m blushing and Jenny,  Wendy and Michelle are hysterical! I guess I asked for it. But those “fun days” back in college were just that: Fun. Clean and Innocent  -We all had a blast. I am carefully editing what you have sent and your confidentiality is assured. Hey, I’ll try to make it to homecoming this Fall. Hope to see you there!

Yours xx xxxx,

(Renee) #xxxx

 

RENEE CHRONICLES: THE COLLEGE YEARS pt. IV

Sorority Search

In this episode, I am going to give you, our loyal readers, a close-up bird’s eye view of what happens when a young woman decides to go through what is called “sorority rush”. Rush is the moniker given to the period of recruitment by both fraternities and sororities in which a person visits each house and meets with as many brothers or sisters as possible. The fraternities are male-only and sororities are women-only and the two groups conduct their “rushes” on different weeks. Rush for both is not a one-night greet-and-meet but rather occurs over several days or even two weeks. The reason: There are so many houses to visit. At Georgia, there were around 30+ sororities ranging in size from 30+/- to over 200 sisters. The majority were over 100.

From my own rush experiences as both a prospective member and assistant rush chairwoman, I have a disdain for the “rush” in the entire process. Leading groups of 30 to 40 girls, a Panhellenic Council member escorts a group through each house for about 10 minutes to meet the sisters and lounge/snack around. When the council member rings a little bell, its time to head to the next house. And least anyone misunderstand me, most of the sorority “houses” could be called complexes because some at Georgia are larger than apartment buildings and most have their own dining hall setup. (Most of the sororities have been at Georgia for 70 to 100 years -Think about the $$$ from alumni donations!)

Well, a journey of 1,000 miles starts with a first step. My first step was to step into the office of women’s affairs at the student center. This office oversaw everything on campus involving women students. That office gave me handouts on every sorority at Georgia. They also told me about a sorority expo where each sorority had a info table set up -Which I did attend. They also explained the ins and outs about sorority recruitment.

Sorority Rush Structure

If anyone thinks you just “drop in” at a sorority house and ask to join -FORGETABOUTIT!

A week before, all young ladies must be on an eligible candidate list. This list is checked to see if you are a full-time student, in good standing with the university and, in the case of transfer students, not already an initiate of a national sorority on the previous campus. The latter concerns dualism which all national fraternities and sororities prevent by sharing membership lists. The National Panhellenic Council (sororities) was established nearly 100 years ago to stop dualism. As to the “list”, I signed up at the sorority info/expo -So I was then set…Right?

Not quite.

Unlike the frats which are a bit less structured in their recruiting, the sororities are VERY structured. The first night of sorority rush, all 1500+ candidates met at an auditorium not far from the sorority row area where all the sorority chapter houses are located. Each girl received a number 1 through 30 (I think) and was told to be seated till that number was called. Since I was an early arrival, I waited…and waited…and waited while the auditorium filled up. After about an hour, the various sorority reps started calling out numbers and groups started to leave with a sorority member leading the way. Since my number was 7 -A lucky number?- I didn’t have to wait long. As “7” was called out, at least 40 or so girls including me, began to follow a sorority member out the door to whereabouts unknown.

Rushed Through Rush

At this point, let me confess to you readers: I am NOT  wild about the way sororities do recruitment of new members. IMHO, it is too fast, chaotic and confusing for members and rushees alike. But with the numbers of rushees and over 30 sororities, I do not believe there is a better way. And with the pledgeship programs for new members lasting the entire semester, all new pledges must be voted on and sworn in early in the term.

My rush experience was rushed, to say the least! My “7” group was lined up at each house front door and “rushed” through the house greeting one sister member after another (Never sitting down as I expected) while yakking  about where we were from, our major, interest, etc. (How in the world ANYONE can make a great first impression in 15 seconds as you “rush” from one person to another is beyond me!) The objective was to go through 10 houses each night spending 10 minutes at each house. After 5, I already had a headache coming on and names of persons and sororities started to whirl in my head. When it was time to head to the next house, our designated group leader would ring a little bell and we would all line up and file out the back door as another group got lined up in front.

The 2nd night I was prepared though: I took an extra strength Tylenol BEFORE our “7” group met for round two.

First Week To Second

Think one week was it? Think again.

After the first week, the rushees may pick up to 5 sororities they are most interested in. My selections which I had to turn in to a Panhellenic rep were Alpha, Chi, Rho, Pi and Theta. (I am NOT going to give out the actual names of these sororities -For obvious reasons.)

Alpha: This was Susan’s sorority and she was overjoyed to see me in week #1 as I was her. Still, Susan did not monopolize and encouraged me to keep an open mind as to other sororities. I did but just felt in my heart that this one was it!

Chi: While Alpha was more “jack of all trades”, the Chi were more “jockish” and had a strong athletic reputation. Think tall “amazon” type ladies. They were friendly enough and showed interest in my softball skills.

Rho: This sorority was the exact opposite of the Chis and had a chapter gpa average that was the highest of the Greeks and beat the women’s non-Greek gpa as well. They were certainly studious and had I not met Susan -Who knows?

Pi: This sorority seems to have “tagged” me as a hot prospect. Their house was built to resemble a stately mansion and my impression of this sorority was of a bunch of spoiled little rich girls who had been given everything by their daddies. They were nice enough and verbally invited me back for the 2nd week of rush.

Theta: Like the Pis, this was an “upper-crust” sorority which had little appeal to me except that they DID show some interest in me -Or my softball skills. It turned out that one of their sisters knew of me by way of my playing high school sports. This chapter was interesting but their pledge program seemed borderline hazing as they described it.

Unlike the first week of rush, the second was more relaxed and I was able to get a better feel for what I was looking for in a sorority. This is a two-way decision in which you evaluate the sorority chapter and they evaluate you as to compatibility. As a sister myself, I was never big on superficial characteristics -What I mostly valued was one’s ability to get along with others and a genuine desire to be a part of a larger group. Those were my best traits and is why I chose to join a sorority.

On the final night, I was invited by the Alphas and Rhos for the Formal Night Dinner and Reception. I attended both and kept my options open. But my heart really pulled me to the Alphas. The after-dinner reception is also a more in-detail explanation of what pledgeship is. Forget the stupid movies: The Alpha’s pledge program was heavy on teamwork, learning and group bonding. As to expenses: There are one-time expenses of pledge fee, pledge pin (Worn on every shirt or blouse but not t-shirts), pledge book, initiation fee (Applies only if you successfully complete your pledgeship) and jeweled badge (Received after initiation). But the chapter room and board expenses as a future sister were LESS than my apartment rent and university cafeteria meal plan. Regular dues for sisters was a new expense for me but as an independent, my entertainment expenses would be only a bit less if I had a life at all -Outside of classes and marching band.. So, in a strictly financial sense, my recurring expenses would not be significantly more as a sorority sister than if I remained independent -Unless I stayed in my apartment and watched t.v. all weekend.

As I started to leave the Alpha house, I was told that bid invitations would be sent out the next day -A Saturday. Susan gave me a sly wink as I headed out the door back to my apartment. I felt giddy but also nervous. I hoped to receive a bid but also knew that an unanimous vote by just over 100 sisters was required. It would be a sleepless Friday night.

 

AN AMANDA UPDATE

It never ceases to amaze us how silly some people get about school c.p. I never said that Amanda was at serious risk of imminent paddling. Rather, all I said was that Amanda had NOT been “opted out” by her mom during the registration process.  A lot more would have to happen before that option was even considered.

But if y’all could have only seen the ridiculous messages sent to us. One commentator said, “Hopefully, the U.S. Congress will pass a national c.p. ban before poor little Amanda gets abused by over-zealous paddle-happy educators!” Ill-informed comments like that make me wonder what kind of “happy pills” some people are taking.

CAUTION: Prepare for MAJOR LETDOWN!

This past week, the Amanda “Tardy-problem” was solved -At least I am hopeful. The week started with Amanda “parked” in afterschool detention for 1 hour. Since Amanda’s mom picks her up after school, I was able to conduct a parent-school conference. The meeting, while Amanda sat in detention with 25+ other students in a classroom down the hall from my office, went very well. I am the type that always tries to build positive relations with parents and I suceeded overall. But Amanda’s mom didn’t like the idea of school c.p. I did show her the “Kaye” paddle which we both agreed was scarier looking than its potential “bite”.

Amanda’s mom just prefers to do her “own discipline” which I understood. We went over the registration form which she misread as an “opt in” (The wording is plainly written but…oh well!) At Amanda’s mom’s request, I brought Amanda into the office. Amanda’s mom pointedly said, “Amanda baby, that paddle on the desk will not be used on you because…What I will do, if you do not straighten up, will be worse…You hear me!”

Well, Amanda has been opted out of c.p. but I have a feeling that her tardiness will be solved -Pronto! But to help her, I have paired her with another girl who has the same class schedule and will “coach” Amanda on timeliness. It seems that Amanda’s problem is the fact her former school in Michigan was an “unstructured” type charter school which was set up very differently from most middle schools. Amanda may miss her old friends and school but she seems friendly and outgoing. I’m optimistic that she will adjust and make new friends.

I promise to update readers on Amanda in future posts as to anything new.

 

ATHLETIC ADVENTURES OF MICHELLE,

RENEE CHRONICLES: THE COLLEGE YEARS pt. V

&

TBD

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