Sunday, September 9, 2012

Once an Aggie, Always an Aggie

Old Main, where I worked all the way through college, and took classes  which changed my life. I still feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when I look up at the "A" on Old Main, especially when it is lighted at night.
I have often reflected on people and places who have touched my life for good.  One of those places was Utah State University.  I often wonder what my life would have been like had the years I spent at USU never happened. My life's experiences would have certainly been much different.  Well do I remember that first year at USU.  After leaving little Fielding High School in Paris, Idaho I was in awe of the big college in Logan.  I remember walking into the main campus library and just standing there wondering what to do.  There were so many more books than I had ever seen before.  I was intimidated to a degree with the thoughts of even checking a book out.  That feeling was soon overcome, however and I dove into my studies with all the determination of an eager young freshman set on learning all that I could and making the best of my college experience.  That first year I roomed with my cousin, Kay Hymas, also from Bear Lake.  We lived in a little apartment on Second East which meant a good long walk up to the campus every morning, come rain or come shine.  Actually it wasn't the rain of the shine that bothered me most, but the cold of winter.  I had a part time job on the campus working as a custodian in Old Main.  That's what paid the rent and bought the groceries.  There was little money left over for anything else.  As students, we had passes to all the athletic events on campus.  That was pretty much our social life, but we loved it and never missed a game.  I was fortunate to attend USU during years when they had some very good teams and some excellent athletes.  It was fun to get caught up  in the excitement of game day and I can truly say the Aggie Spirit caught hold of me.  I made some good friends with fellow students and professors at USU and feel like the quality of education I received was very good, at least I got out of it what I was willing to put into it and eventually graduated with a teaching degree certified in German, History, and U.S. Government.  This led me to my first teaching job at Twin Falls High School in Idaho and a career in teaching which spread over forty years.
I could go on and on about the experiences of those college years. but suffice it to say I learned a lot, prepared for a rewarding career and I became an Aggie.  Since the day I left USU I have always checked the papers to see how the Aggies were doing.  Occasionally, we even made it to a basketball of football game and inside I was always rooting for may favorite team, the Aggies.  I know, this wasn't the biggest time college sports on the planet, but it meant a lot to me and still does.
On Friday night Jared, who is also a true Aggie, had some tickets to the Utah-USU football game at Romney Stadium.  We took Justin and Chalisa's boys, Ethan and Hayden, and went to the game.  USU has been in a rebuilding mode in their football program for the past few years.  While Utah has risen to national prominence, the Aggies had lost the last twelve games in a row.  The Utes were now members of the powerful PAC12 conference along with many national power athletic teams like USC, Oregon, UCLA, Washington, etc.  I think many didn't give the Aggies much of a chance in this game. Surprise, surprise,  The Aggies jumped out to an early lead and never trailed in the game.  It was, however, tied at the end of regulation and the Aggies were able to pull out a 27-20 win in overtime.
The fans went wild and rushed the field.  It reminded me of the good old days at USU.
Utah State University has played a big role on others in our family as well.  I need to thank Ellis for setting the precedent and going to college.  His example inspired me and later Reed and Mark also ended up with degrees from Utah State.  In my own family we have four children who also earned degrees at USU.  Alison and Justin are still working on their degrees, after a little delay, but will soon finish up with degrees from USU. Stephen started at USU, but ended up getting his degree in business administration from Stevens-Henegar College. We have all pretty much had to work our way through college.  It wasn't easy, but it was doable for the dedicated and we all proved to be up to the task.  In addition we have five daughters-in-law and a son-in-law with degrees from USU.  Our eldest granddaughter, Kinsey, is now a student at USU.  If fact she is staying in the very same dorm her mom stayed in  when she was in school here in Logan at USU.  The university continues to affect our lives through the people we know, our own education and the effect the university has on the community.  We are fortunate to be Aggies.

Ethan and Hayden at the USU Aggie Game 
The Game --- USU 27-Utah 20
Mayhem on the Field as the Aggies Win

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