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Traditions

One of the great things about universities is that most are carriers of a long and highly developed set of traditions. Most major universities in America are a century old or older, and this kind of time ferments a set of behaviors that work their way into the collective consciousness of the school and are handed down from one generation of students to the next as expectations that new students and members of the community pick up and generally carry with pride. I think this is one reason that people often maintain a sense of loyalty to their university - the tradition is something that immediately makes you part of something much bigger than yourself and connects you to people all over the world, past and present, who have participated in that same unique set of behaviors. People who care little for their college experience very rarely are connected with something that was built by tradition.

Before I even became a freshman at the University of Oklahoma, I was introduced into the deep world of tradition there through the Camp Crimson summer orientation program. We even practiced holding our fingers straight into the air and belting out in that monastic-sounding chant: "O-K-L-A-H-O-M-AAAYYY..." There are hundreds of little things like this that you pick up over the years. Alabama was rich in tradition, and even the little Christian school in West Texas. "May the Lord Bless You and Keep You," anyone? And I know these places pale in comparison to places like Texas A&M, where I'm sure there is some traditional way to breathe.

So, I'm in my quest of picking up the Kansas State University traditions. Little by little I'm making progress, but I'm sure it will be years before I really have an understanding of most things. For now in my spare time at home I'll throw on Wabash Cannonball and work on my sway:


(I can't find a really good video of this, so if you know of one, let me know)

Update:
I've been impressed with the intense traditionalism at Texas A&M ever since I saw this live years ago:


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Blogger Team Mexico - 3:52 PM

You knew you were going to get a comment from me after putting on my Aggie Band, didn't you? : ) And just so you know, we only have a tradition for breathing when you are doing yells. That's why we put our hands on our knees. It makes you be able to yell louder!! : )    



Blogger Derek - 7:25 PM

The aggies should be good at their half time show. They have been doing the same thing for years and years and years. Seeing it for the first time is cool but after that.....    



Blogger Derek - 7:18 AM

Trust me I never would say that OU has a good half time show. The precision of A&M is cool but why can't they take that precision and change to something different.    



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