Thursday, August 8, 2013

Bright College Days-Part 3

In my last post, I wrote about the place where I spent most of my time on campus, the Off-Campus Commuter Center.  I had previously Google-searched for pictures of the interior, from when it was still located in Moseley Hall, but I couldn't find squat.  (The Center moved from that location in the early 2000s.)  But I did find some exterior shots; unfortunately, I forgot to merge them into the post.  I’ll make up for that today.
Our entrance was that lower door to the left of the stairs.
I remember I had this one 2-hour class on the 2nd floor of Moseley Hall.  About halfway through, the prof would give us a 10-minute break, and I’d head down to the Commuter Center.  I don’t think I ever made it back up for the last half of the class.  I have no idea how I passed his class.

Other memories of the Commuter Center:
  • The big picture window in the front of the main room, clearly labeled, “The Accu-Weather Window.” 
  • Caption Contests!  Whenever a funny picture would run in the school newspaper, especially if the subject was someone from student government with whom we’d quarreled, we’d initiate a caption contest.   Imagine a hundred of the same picture taped up on a wall, with captions of wildly ranging taste and propriety.  It was especially funny when the subject would catch wind of what we’d done, and come down for a look.  Suffice to say, some took it better than others. 
  • Getting Food Machined!  Three vending machines stood side by side in a small corridor just off the main room.  On special occasions like birthdays, or if someone was being especially sassy to the upperclassmen, a group would surround the target, hoist him or her up on their shoulders, and toss him on top of the food machines.  I think they got me once, on my birthday, but I managed to avoid it for the most part.  Sometimes quite a chase would ensue, over and under tables and all around the main room.  But no one ever completely escaped their fate.  The Food Machiners always had the advantage of numbers. 
I found the idea so amusing; I made my first 8mm short film about a food machining.  I still have the reel… someday I've got to get put on a DVD.

  • Writing for the COCO newspaper, the BG Wheels.  It was kind of the same as working on my high school paper, only we produced an actual newspaper.  
  • Panel of Experts.  Whatever problem you had, there was someone in the Commuter Center who could help you.  Whether it was math, writing, computer programming or where to get the best pizza, or just navigate the campus bureaucracy, someone had already solved the problem and could help you with yours. 
  • Pizzzzzaaa!   This is where I first discovered Myles Pizza.  (You know, that place I go every time I return to Ohio, and treat my friends to a shitload of pizza, and then take the rest home?)  Sitting in the Commuter Center was where I first experienced the joy of pizza delivery.  Lord knows how many classes I cut because of these words: “Hey bluz, do you wanna go in on a pizza with me?”  I could never say no.
    What would you rather do, sit in Broadcast History class, or eat this?
  • I loved knowing that when I was on the radio, they always tuned in my show on the PA system.  For better or worse, anyway.  The downside was that when I screwed up (and my first year, I screwed up a LOT), everyone heard it. 
  • COCO/World Student Union parties. Well, one in particular, when our organization and the World Student Union co-hosted a party in the Commuter Center.  I remember this one because while we supplied the facility, decorations and refreshments, the WSU brought in the DJ, who would only play foreign songs requested by his clients.  
I threw a royal fit and after rousing all the rabble, ended up leaving with a bunch of my colleagues, turning all the lights on as we left.  (You know, terrorism started in earnest shortly after that.  Still… not my fault.)

  • Discovering Monty Python.  I heard a couple of friends talking nonsense about a penguin on the television set, in high-pitched English accents.  Sensing my confusion, they were amazed to learn I hadn't heard of Monty Python.  One of them brought in a couple of albums for me to borrow and the second I heard The Argument Clinic, I was hooked for life. 
  • Graffiti.  The graffiti in the men’s room was legendary.  It grew so pervasive that one year, the facilities coordinator painted the wall with blackboard-style paint, and left sticks of chalk.  (It wasn't nearly as much fun after that, though.) 
  • Lolling in the courtyard.  One of the best things about BGSU was that it had a great deal of open green space, including a large common area in front of Moseley Hall.  It was great in the spring, when the weather turned nice, to go sprawl out on the grass and catch up on assigned reading, (at least until someone pulled me into a Frisbee game 10 minutes later).  I embraced the accomplishment of both tanning and schoolwork at the same time.  Obviously I was an early adopter of multi-tasking.
Prime summertime sprawling area.
  • The annual visit from the traveling preachers.  One spring during my freshman year, I was out reading on the common, as mentioned above, when suddenly this old guy (probably 45-50, which is younger than me right now, so let me pause to kick my own ass for being a wiseguy), literally jumped up on a tree stump and began hectoring the passing students with both insults and Bible verses. 
I joined the crowd gathering around to see what was going on and it was kind of disturbing.  The preacher was basically calling most everyone sinners.  Any girl that wasn't covered from chin to toe was a whore, and every guy was a whoremonger, and we were all fornicators.  Some students yelled back or tried to argue with him, but he wasn't there to listen, he was there to yell his biblical interpretations at us.  It was strictly a one-way street.

Coming from a traditional Catholic background, I was kind of unnerved by this kind of Old Tyme Religion.  A bit later, I went back to the Commuter Center to ask what was up with this guy.  When I mentioned there was a preacher out there, all of the “Old Warhorses” got up en masse to go watch the show.

I learned that this was an annual rite of spring.  These preachers had a circuit of campuses they hit every year.  The guy I saw was Brother Max.  There was also Sister Cindy and their leader, Brother Jed.

Once I got used to the deal, it became much more entertaining.  It always upset the freshmen though.  Like me, most weren't used to having their moral upbringing called into question in the public square, just by standing there.

The best time was when the campus chaplain, Bible in hand, had a verse for verse throw-down with Jed, basically proving that you can make the Bible support or contest most anything you want.

  • BMK off-campus parties!  OK, that’s going to have to be a post all by itself.


  1. I worked at the campus bookstore. Almost all of us were locals, and it sounds much like the commuter center at BGSU. Sadly, we only had Rocky's Pizza upstairs, which was nowhere near as good as Myles. Damn you and that photo. May need to take a hiatus from my low-carb routine and head over there this weekend...

    1. It's probably good that I live so far away, or else I'd be down there every week. And weigh 300 pounds.

      I used to love going in the campus bookstore, in its cool round building... At least until I discovered the used books at SBX.

  2. Let's hear from The GODFATHER one more time.

    1. If you need a quick fix on The famous "Godfather" of WBGU, feel free to revisit my old post, Radio Daze, which features his last moments on the air.