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Tid Bits of Me and ’93. (and ’97 too)

I got to thinking today, I know… amazing in itself, that I haven’t posted on here in a while. I was looking around for some potential resources for my C++ project and ended up reading this article:

http://www.kansan.com/news/2007/feb/01/good_afternoon_mrs_e/

Oddly enough the one thing that stood out in this entire article for me, other than that it was really interesting in general, was a date, 1997. Why the hell would a date stick out like that to me? Well… for starters, it’s the year I graduated High School and also the year that I started classes at The University of Kansas. The year I met my first girlfriend. The year that started a 4 article spread in the Kansas City Star featuring my girlfriend and her roommate which eventually turned into featuring her and myself due to a myriad of circumstances. The year of South Park and PORN! Wednesday nights were definitely a riot of laughter. The year that I met Simon Carrington, Kelli, Xavier, Tony Bernal, Terry, Angela (both of them), The mirad of Mikes. The visits at Mrs. E’s and the anatomical ice cream events and the group conversations that lead to a memorable comment of “That has to be the sickest thing I’ve ever heard, you should be more considerate of those around you.” The year I found Java Break and that we ate at crazy places like Jesters on Mass St. downtown. The year that I started my professional IT career. All this of course got me thinking about the section of the article on Budig Hall/Hoch Auditorium and made me realize that my Chemistry class that fall was one of the very first classes in Budig.

That in turn got me thinking about 1993. Why on earth is 1993 significant, you ask? Well, as it turns out 1993 was the summer that I went to The University of Kansas sponsored Midwestern Music camp playing Trumpet. I auditioned and was slotted for first chair in the Blue Band (2nd level technically, just below symphonic). It was also my first introduction to choral music which I resisted with the utmost compassion. Much to my appreciation, I failed that resistance and was forced to participate in choir, I loved it. This was also the first time I met a girl that was interested in me. I didn’t know how to deal with that but decided that it was unwise to attempt a long distance relationship in any case. We remained pen-pals for a long time and have typically been comforters to one another when life has been rough. This was also the year that I was introduced to Astronomy by StarLab at my High School and also the first time I laid eyes on KU’s Tombaugh Observatory (from a distance since it was on top of Lindley Hall and not open when I tried to go). But I could clearly see the domes for the 27″ reflector and the 6″ refractor. Both of these telescopes I would have the pleasure and opportunity of using when I began attending KU. This was the year that I fell in love with Lawrence and The University of Kansas campus, its atmosphere and to this day, the comforting at home feeling that I get whenever I’m on its grounds. This year was the year that I decided to pursue Astronomy professionally. Being marginally color-blind my previous aspiration of being a pilot was definitely out the window. This was also the year that I decided without hesitation that if they would have me, KU would be my school come hell or high water. I entertained the idea of UW Madison and Mankato in Minnesota but truly they were far second and thirds. This was also the year that KU completed construction of The Lied Center. KU’s fine arts performance center, quite the work of art. We were the very first group to perform in the Lied Center. Little did I really consider that some 4 years later I would be on stage, in a tuxedo with music in hand performing once again as a part of KU’s University Singers under the direction of Terri Teal and Simon Carrington as Director of Choral Activities at KU.

It’s amazing what a simple article on KU history can pull out of the back of ones mind sometimes. I’m proud to be a Jayhawk and hope that my continuing education at this time, a full 12 years past when I first began and 16 past when I first set foot on campus, will continue to be filled with events of such excellent and positive life altering experiences. The fact that I have directly witnessed or somehow been involved in two historical events on campus of a somewhat significant magnitude also makes me proud. I’m sure there’s plenty of other awesome Universities out there but when it comes down to it. I can’t think of anywhere I would attend school and experience life in general than right here, in Lawrence, at The University of Kansas. Rock Chalk, Jayhawk, Go KU!

Torry Crass

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