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Adams: University of Georgia education began at football games

Posted: September 13, 2017 - 1:40am

Some folks say that not much learning happens at a party school like the University of Georgia. But I don't care. I'm proud as peaches of my diploma.

I'm a third-generation alumna. My father, perennially interested in educating his children in the finest school in the land, began brainwashing me early in life.

In fact, every fall, since before I can remember, he made a great parental sacrifice and took me to Saturday School in Athens.

Under the tutelage of Professor Dad and colleagues, I earned enough college credit, by age 10, to receive double degrees in the fields of football and tailgating.

I learned how to bet the point spread at a table in a Winnebago parked just outside of Memorial Hall. Several careful, bourbon-breath instructors gleefully scraped up my meager weekly allowance saying, "Great to see you kid. Make sure your daddy brings you back next week" (Risk Management 252).

I learned to properly mix a bourbon and coke (Chemistry 123), so that I could get my money back (Finance 191).

They taught me how to spell G-E-O-R-G-I-A and D-A-W-G (English 101).

I honed the skillful use of binoculars to examine the football players, the band, the cheerleaders and the pores on the head of the bald guy who sat in front of us in the stadium (Anatomy 316).

I participated in excavating sticky red-and-white cups abandoned on bleachers by temporary civilizations (Anthropology 203).

I learned to sing, "Glory, glory to ol' Georgia," in tune, and that the classic, "Dixieland," had numbered days (Music Appreciation 105).

Through hours of study, I mastered the Athenian lingo, and perfected fluency in exchanging greetings like, "Go, you silver britches," "Ain't it great to be a Georgia Bulldawg," and "GOOO DOGS, SICK ‘EM, WOOF, WOOF, WOOF." Some other assortments of words, which I will leave to your imagination, also met my ears for the first time (Foreign Language 119 & 120).

I learned that the height of style included red-and-black plaid pants, boxers with emblems of the arches printed on them, ties with itty bitty UGA patterns, and hats, purses, shoes and jewelry in the red-and-black color spectrum (Fashion Design 450).

I learned not to flinch when, after hours of silent meditation, my father of few words suddenly yelled, over my unsuspecting head, at an unsuspecting passer-by, "How ‘bout them Dawgs!" (Communication 201)

I learned to hate anything orange (Art 359).

My instructors taught me nothing good ever came out of Auburn (Geography 115), and that tigers from around the SEC were mere kittens in the jaws of a dawg (Zoology 490).

I learned to listen for other NCAA scores, announced over the stadium loudspeakers, and calculate Georgia's ranking in the college polls (Statistics 316).

I ate fried chicken while listening to Loran Smith on the pre-game show. And I savored the cold remnants juxtaposed against Larry Munson's hot talk on the post-game radio broadcast. Simply put, that was the best dining hall experience in all my college days.

My father's lessons initiated me into the Bulldog Nation and more than adequately prepared me for higher learning in the oldest and most esteemed land-grant university in the nation. He convinced me that anyone who volunteered to go to school anywhere other than Sanford Stadium would receive a less than adequate education.

So, imagine what my wardrobe looked like the first day of my freshman year and my sober surprise when I discovered that everyday in Athens wasn't Saturday.

But, oh, what a glorious world it would be if it was.

(Lucy Adams is the author of If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny and other books. She lives in Thomson, Ga. Email Lucy atlucyadams.writer@gmail.com)

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