Tag Archives: Oklahoma State University

“Super Cool”: The OSU v A&M Fan Who Got it Right

Last night’s football game between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Texas A & M Aggies was bizarre.  It was mayhem.  The players and the fans alike, on both sides, went through an emotional roller coaster and the ride ended somewhere in the Tricky Hall of Mirrors…people were still reaching out to test reality as they led themselves out of the stadium. Confused, elated, exhausted…or in the Aggies’ case, beaten.  And in the Cowboys’ case – at least this time – celebrating.

As I was riding home last night I started thinking about the superheros who  contributed to the OSU win.  I think the tuba section in the band gets at least one vote; they took the Three Dog Night hit, Never Been to Spain (You know… “I’ve never been to heaven, but I’ve been to Oklahoma; Oh they tell me I was born there…), two extra verses during a national TV timeout and had most everyone in the audience singing along by the time they finished.

The players get three votes.  One lost the rest of the season to a knee injury.  One played on no sleep because his baby girl was in the hospital the night before.  The defense probably gets four votes because they played against 106 snaps…the game was an extra-long grueling mess for those boys.  But this morning, when I think back to what helped me get through the game, five personal votes go to the kid in the orange cape.

I’ve seen him there before.  He’s the kid who sends his eyeglasses into all sorts of contortions by sticking both fingers in his ears when Pistol Pete shoots his shotgun before the game.  Obviously he doesn’t like loud noises.  But last night I think he saved my husband from at least two cases of hyperventilation and possibly one cardiac arrest by just doing what he did all night long.  The kid pretend-flew.  He twirled around and around.  And around some more.  Sometimes he leaned over the handrails and actually watched the game.  And, he ran up and down the stairs so that his cape would go flying behind him like a big orange banner.

The kid was Super Cool.

Nothing phased him.  And he completely distracted the convulsing adult fan base at just the right times.  Last night he was my hero, and this morning I’m giving him my Friday morning post.

Here’s to you, Super Cool.  May the wind beneath your cape take you around your pretend world over and over again.


OSU v Tulsa Football Game Day Slide Show

Photos of OSU fans taken during Oklahoma State University football game day have been compiled into a RDC slide show for your enjoyment.  We even have one shot of a University of Tulsa couple dressed in their game day gear.   We hope to have a University of Oklahoma football game day presentation before the end of the season as well.  This past Saturday was, indeed, a good day in Stillwater.

Our “Relationships” entry will be released around noon today.  Enjoy!


Plenty of Smiles to Go Around In Stillwater, OK

Barely visible through the privacy fence, the football team groups in a huddle for instructions.

by Red Dirt Kelly

As I approached the “No Loitering” a-frame sign I knew the message was a nice way of saying, “Stay out – we’re working.”  My curiosity got the best of me, however, and I walked closer to the corner gate of the practice field.  I could hear the OSU football team yelling drills and the sounds of helmets and pads crashing together as tackles took place over and over. The burning sun overhead made the practice atmosphere feel genuinely intimidating.  A physically fit man with sunglasses and white hair decked out in new orange and black coach clothes looked my way as I got closer.

“Hey – can I take a quick photo of the team practicing?” I smiled.

“It’s closed.  So…no.” He responded.

“How about of you?  You look interesting!” I retorted.

“I can assure you that I am NOT interesting,” he chuckled.  I waved and walked on….straight to the athletic ticket office.  For the first time in about eight years I picked up a packet of student tickets for my husband and I.  We were willing to trade our chair-backed seats in the alumni section for the reduced cost of these babies.  With three of our family members in college, you bet your patooty we were.  Besides, sitting in the student section always helps you remember mankind is a primal being – there is raw energy like no other around those crazy, crazy fans.

OSU student holding his girlfriend's bike while she picks up her football tickets. He was in a good mood too!

I checked the envelope to make sure his “student dependent/spouse” card was in the packet, talked to a few others picking up their tickets and walked back to the car.

On my returning stroll, I noticed that practice was continuing without a guarded gate and a photo would have been easy pickings…but I decided not to push things today.  After all, the atmosphere across campus was just way too happy.  I didn’t need to spoil the mood with being chased off the premises.

The volunteers manning information and water booths for the students were happy.  The students trying to find their way around campus were also happy.  The faculty walking up and down the halls in the College of Human Environmental Sciences were happy.  There were new posters on the walls of student athletes in our college, students who had earned honors or done research…a smile on all their faces.

Volunteer staff manning the information and water booths.  This is one of many stationed across campus.As I walked up the stairs to my office and sat down, I noticed I was in an incredibly good mood.  My season football and basketball tickets were now in my purse, my syllabi were written and I had just seen my first advisee of the semester.

I have a sneaking suspicion I know why professors wait so long to retire…something about the university setting is like a fountain of youth.  A new school year, a new promise of learning, a new hope of beating the living daylights out of our competition in the sports arenas.

It’s going to be a good year.

Physical plant staff driving a Gator across campus, carrying supplies for last minute touch-ups before Monday.

Day 32: “Well Done!” Day vs. “Congratulations!” (aka Oxford v OSU)

I was thinking this morning about translation.  If I have to spend this much energy translating American English to Britain English, what must international students be doing?  I say this because yesterday was the “big day” for many Oxford students; the day of graduation exercises.  For the most part, emotions expressed by the graduates and their families were the same as I witness at OSU every Spring and fall.  The words and the traditions with which they express those emotions, however, are slightly different.

For example, the academic regalia throughout all the colleges here is stepped up considerably.  There are strict regulations about what you wear underneath your gown, as well as what you wear on top of your regular  clothes (which are regulated by the previous regulations, on a regular basis).  This girl has done a nice job at following the required standards – dark skirt, white blouse, and her BA robe trimmed in white rabbit fur.

I won’t make this entire essay a comparative piece, but I will say that the variety of what our students at Oklahoma State University (OSU) wear under their robes covers a broader range of selections.  I know this because our students usually put their robe on right BEFORE graduation, and take it off right AFTER.  I’ve seen graduates traipsing around Oxford in theirs, now, for the last three days.

Family of the graduates in Oxford have to work a bit harder as well.  Because of the limited space for the grand halls used for commencement exercises, they have to order tickets for each person.  Oxford will “do its best to accommodate as many as possible on a first come, first served basis.”

Okay, this IS a comparative piece.  At OSU, our general attitude is, “Bring everyone!  It’s Gallagher-Iba Arena, for Pete’s sake! We hold several ceremonies just so everyone can attend..the more, the merrier!” (Was that too many exclamation points?!)

Many of the ceremonies at Oxford are conducted in Latin.  At OSU, we speak Cowboy.

In Oxford, the graduate celebrations and receptions include a full table of chilled champagne.  OSU is an alcohol-free campus.

And, in Oklahoma we usually greet a graduate with a hearty, “Congratulations!”  Here, the standard greeting is, “Well done!”

At OSU, the atmosphere inside Gallagher-Iba tends to be celebratory, and sometimes quite loud (drums and bagpipes, air horns, large group yells as a family hears their student’s name).  At Oxford, most of the ceremony is really very quiet.  Here is a video of the matriculation (entering the university for the first semester) ceremony.  You can see how quiet the proceedings are.

Matriculation at Oxford – running time, 1 minute, 29 seconds

And here is a 30 second video of part of the Latin graduation ceremony, illustrating the bowing in respect to the faculty tradition…(fondly referenced among the students as the “Sheldonian Wave,” – Sheldonian Hall being the place where the ceremony is held).

The Sheldonian Wave

I don’t have to tell any of my Okie friends how something like the Sheldonian Wave might be viewed by the student body at OSU.  I think you know.

We may simply not have the patience for this kind of pomp and circumstance in the U.S.  Certainly not in Oklahoma.  I recently served as a “name reader” during our commencement ceremony and the key concept was, “Keep them moving along.  Read loudly, articulate each syllable, and as quickly as is comfortable for you.”  One of my friends said in jest after the ceremony that “it’s sort of like listening to six game show hosts read a thousand names, where everybody won.”

The faster paced process in Oklahoma, however, has it’s advantages.  For example, here is an excerpt from Oxford’s policy on sending students their diplomas:

“Your award certificate will be sent to your home address (as recorded on the university’s student information system) within 4 months of the date that the award was conferred (ie the examination committee date).”

And…here is OSU’s:

“Diplomas are available to students approximately 6 weeks after their graduation date.”

Yeah, buddy!  I’ve also learned that students here received their grades for a regular examination approximately six weeks after they take it, due to the exams being sent through three reviewers.  The professors here exasperate over how wonderful it would be to teach in the U.S….for very reasons such as this.

So what is the same?  The sense of family.  The sense of accomplishment.  The look of pride on a parent’s face and the beaming jubilation that a goal was achieved on the part of the student.

Regardless of American English OR British English…or, I would venture to write, any language found, the emotions associated with graduation are by and large exactly the same around the world.

So…if you’ve ever experienced graduation as a student or a family member, and are asked some day if you speak another language, just tell ’em: “Yeah.  I speak Graduation.”  It will be true.

Above, a picture of a proud “mum” walking by her graduate son in case you have any doubt left.  You can’t tell it by looking, but she’s pointing out to the family of another graduate that, “…this was where my son lived for four years.  We’re here to celebrate his graduation!”  By the look on the son’s face, I think he’s just fine with that little bit ‘o mama pride.

I walked by them to my dorm room, ducked under a few cameras taking pictures, looked at the proud mama and whispered, “Well done!”

She beamed.

One more thing…You know OSU wins, right?  If I’m writing, OSU ALWAYS wins.  I wouldn’t trade the OSU Alma Mater, singing “Oklahoma!” and cheering like crazy for our students for anything in the WORLD.  The WHOLE world.