Below the belt
About 10 years ago, while I was still in elementary school, my parents and I took the long trip from the Mississippi River Delta to Razorback country.
Along the way, my dad taught me how to Call the Hogs, told me all about being a Razorback and most importantly explained the intricacies of the game of basketball – which at that time was king of The Hill.
He filled the ride with stories from his life as a Greek, a college student and a Hog. I listened, sort of, but didn’t fully grasp what he meant. I rubbed his name on Senior Walk, posed for a picture in front of Old Main and played under the beautiful trees of Old Main lawn, which at the time captured every color of the rainbow.
There I was, immersed in University of Arkansas culture, and yet I was still blind to its impact, too young and inexperienced to understand.
Fast forward to 2004. I have grown taller, at least a bit. I have grown wider, perhaps too much. I have grown wiser, quite a bit I hope. And yet, today as I look back on the years behind and forward to the years ahead, I am speechless, caught at a crossroads and bereft of anything meaningful to say.
However, as tradition mandates, I must. But first, some thank yous.
To the Arkansas Alumni Association, thank you for offering me the opportunity to come to this fine institution. Without your support, both emotionally and monetarily, I could not have made it.
To my fraternity brothers, thanks for all the great memories. Derby Days, Ski Lodge, Mardi Gras, Formal, Destination Unknown. Year after year, I have been able to experience more than I will ever be able to remember. Good luck, guys.
To the Greek community, thanks for continuing to stand by one of the great traditions on this campus. Although UA Greeks are in the midst of significant change, I have no doubt that nothing but the best can come from it.
To Chancellor John A. White, Provost Bob Smith, Vice Chancellor David Gearhart and the rest of the UA administration, thank you for your commitment to the students. A word of warning, however: Don’t allow your ambition to do what you think is right cloud your ability to hear what students truly want.
To Cheri Freeland and Steve Wilkes, thank you for your constant support. During the past nine months, we have grown from office buddies into true friends. Take care of Chris and the rest of the Trav team. I know you will.
To The Traveler ad staff, thanks for putting up with my lame attempts at humor and my terrible sense of tune. The bridge between the writers and the breadwinners has been built; now all we have to do is continue walking across it. Maybe someday we can finally get an ad manifest that includes every ad without any changes.
To Dr. Watkins, Professor Purvis, Professor Shurlds and the rest of the Lemke crew, thanks for taking me in as your adopted student. I have no idea what my life would be like right now had I not wandered into Kimpel Hall and stepped into the windowless confines of this newsroom. Although I might not be a journalist by trade, I will no doubt continue to be one in my heart.
Thank you, especially, Professor Jordan. Your guidance and experience is unmatched on this campus or any other. There are few people who can speak intelligently about Amen Corner and Blackstreet in the same conversation. You are a master of your profession, a great professor and a good friend.
The Arkansas Traveler has improved so much through the years thanks to your guidance. No Diggity. No doubt.
To Carrie, Emily, Yerbs, Lori B., Amanda, Emily H. and the rest of our crew who is moving on, thank you for striving always to publish your best and settling for nothing less.
To Rainer “El Gato” Sabin, thanks for always being so positive and never griping about anything, ever. You really should start looking for more things to complain about. I wish you the best and thank you for being the only Yankees fan who sees George Steinbrenner for who he truly is – Satan.
To Chris, Tink, Rachel, Yvette, Nick, Eich, Reed, and the rest of those staying behind to carry the Traveler flag for one more year, thanks for your dedication. We have something good going; let’s keep it rolling toward the top.
And finally to Ben, thanks for leading the way to Domination Station. We put together a pretty decent paper this year, and having a strong leader was a big part of that. And yet, above it all you are still a Chauncey.
And so, in the waning days of my career as a UA student, I look back with no regrets, having fully realized what it means to be a Hog.
I am at once happy and sad.
However, like all seniors, I take comfort in knowing that when I do return, my friends will be waiting for me, etched in the sidewalk, their voices whispering in the leaves rustling by Old Main.
Allen Moseley has worked at The Traveler for two and a half years. He served as assistant sports editor as a sophomore and a junior. He was managing editor this year. He will graduate in May with a degree in biology. This was his last column.