Dear Gator First-Years,
My name is Joey Bland, and I spent 48 hours enjoying the likes of University of Florida. In that time I learned a few fun traditions from the school’s history, which are collected in a fun little manual called the F Book. There were both current and obsolete pastimes. A lot of them were charmingly innocentâ€”e.g., always perform your Gator Chomp with your right hand on top. Duh!
But there were a lot of them that were less pleasant, and they were all aimed at you!
I read about the old Rat Caps, required humiliation garb for freshmen to wear all week long. I read about the Pajama Parade, where first-year students were awakened in the wee hours and marched around campus in their embarrassing nightwear. Nightwear? Nightmare!
What if some of those lapsed traditions come back?! Beware.
It used to be that you had to know the names of all the deans in the school. Maybe that was possible in 1915, but how many deans does your gargantuan campus have now? It must be millions. Can you learn all their names? I told you my name at the beginning of this post. Can you remember it? That’s just one name!
It also used to be that you had to speak to any student that spoke to you. Granted, most students these days aren’t talking to anyone. Their heads are permanently cramped over their smartphones and their tablets. But what if those upperclassmen decided to look up and talk to you? Juniors and Seniors aren’t all that bad, I guess, but do you want to be required to talk to a Sophomore? [Shudder.]
As a stunt, I revived the Pajama Parade, and the power that came with drum majoring that event was irresistible. Others may feel the same. So I warn you. Hide as many copies of the F Book as you can.
Don’t say your weren’t warned,