11.16.2004

St. Mary's College of Maryland

Over a decade ago I graduated from a small liberal arts college in southern Maryland, St. Mary's College of Maryland. Not a parochial institution, but rather a school named after the county, St. Mary's County, where the school exists.

My college experiences were more than likely not so different from most people's college experiences in those times. It was the mid to late 80's, Micro brews and good tasting beers were not within our vocabulary, no one ever considered going to coffee shops and eating carrot cake, and word of mouth superseded phone contact as we only had a hall phone in the dorms and cell phone did not yet exist. So we wandered around campus a little tired cause caffeine was not part of our daily routine (neither in the morning or in the night,) asking those who we think might know "what is happening tonight?" and then going out and buying as much cheap beer as we could possibly afford (usually National Bohemian ((Natty Boh,)) Milwakee's Best, or Schaffer ((which had a strong lobby, SFS: Students for Schaffer))) We drank. We drank fast. We drank hard. We drank often. Someone usually ended up puking. Most everyone was too hung over to learn. This was a process that was repeated nearly every night of the week, the weekend started on Wednesday and ended on Tuesday. Some nights were more significant that others, but very seldom did we take a night off.

It was odd for me to enter this college world. It was almost a regression from my high school years, where I had pretty much opted out of field parties and keg parties. My time was spent going to clubs to dance and shows to listen to live music. Oh, of course I was not too cool for high school dances, our high school dances were pretty cool (thanks Ed Mullaney!) In any case, upon arrival to college I took a "can't beat 'em...join em" approach to social life. Quickly I grew to love the field parties with their massive bon fires and drunken chaos.

My time in college was not entirely well spent. There are fond memories of windsurfing on the St. Mary's River and playing varsity soccer. There were also many great friendships forged in those years. It was a small school with a tight knit student body, we did not have a Greek System, but as with any place with people there were no shortage of cliches (clicks?) Many of the groups were set up by what dorm a person lived in, then sub divided into what hall they lived in. There were union and intersections of various groups with the sub divisions of what sports a person played and what major people had selected. But, since this college was comprised of roughly 12 hundred people (1,200) there was plenty of room for intermingling and breaking boundaries....

If the was an off campus party very seldom did anyone or any one group feel as if they could not attend. It did not matter if the party was being hosted by the rugby team or an off campus house comprised of members of the ultimate team, but if they hosted parties on the same night....well then there would be some decisions to be made. All in all it was a pretty darn good time. Each year very similar to the next, with a little variety tossed in and some variety taken away. Every year there was a new freshman class, and every year the seniors complained that the college was not as wild or as crazy as it used to be. They may have been right.

It seemed that the St. Mary's faculty wanted to be recognized by Consumer Reports for its high SATs and its liberal arts education, while the older students were still clinging to some ancient rumor that St. Mary's was ranked as one of the top ten party schools in the United States.

Either way, the world changed and St. Mary's changed. I even caught myself saying that the school was not as wild or as crazy as it once was when my graduation approached. If I ever meet an Alumni who graduated more recent then I did, there is a bit of a rift about what school we each attended, mine being a party school....theirs being an academic institution. Each claiming that their experience was superior to the other.

What is my point?

there is no point!

Water Web Cam


one thing I have noticed
everyone has grand recollection of the grand quantities of alcohol consumption while in college
I have witnessed that most of the drinking women at SMC could out drink the drinking men from most other colleges
ah, the women of St. Mary's
oh....that is a story for another day

(St. Mary's was always known as a safe place for a women to send her boyfriend)

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