The school song for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has the following lyrics:
“There is no place like Nebraska,
Dear old Nebraska U,
Where the girls are the fairest,
The boys are the squarest,
Of any old school that I knew!
There is no place like Nebraska,
Where they’re all true blue,
We’ll all stick together
In all kinds of weather
For dear old Nebraska U!”
After last weekend, it made me realize how the “all kinds of weather” line is super salient to me. Not just for Dear Old Nebraska U, but also for my friends and causes that I care about. I can offer several examples from recent years that show my loyalty to people, teams, and causes are rarely sidetracked by the weather. These are in approximate chronological order.
1) Visit to Twin Cities, last weekend.
I was invited to a party hosted by several of the friends that I met in the Twin Cities last year (and the same party that led to the Drive of “Shame” too!). I had fun at that party, as well as two other parties earlier in the year thrown on by the same group. Therefore, I wanted to go to have some fun. Because my brother Levi now lives in the Twin Cities, there was the additional motivation for me to get up there to see him, and be a guest in his apartment.
The downside that I ran into, however, was the weather. What would ordinarily be a 5.5-6 hour drive (including stops) devolved into an 8-hour frightfest. The weather and traffic weren’t too bad between Kenosha and Madison, but after taking a restroom recess at DeForest, the traffic slowed to a halt due to something up ahead. Once I got past it, I was able to drive “normally” up until near Wisconsin Dells, where the snow began to cover the left lane and force most people into the right lane, driving tenuously.
My average speed dropped to 50 mph, and it was sometimes hard to see with wisps of snow blowing from semi-trucks. A few times I also nearly slipped, but thankfully stayed on the road the whole time.
The following morning, I also got to services safely, and though not many people were there, it was great to see the stalwarts that I enjoyed seeing each time I attended Beth Jacob. The cause of services was one reason that I wanted to go, but perhaps the ulterior motive was the people therein. Or is that not even an ulterior motive?
Nevertheless, the desire to see old friends was stronger than the fear of a winter storm.
2) Housewarming party for a colleague (August 29, 2014).
I rode my bike from Evanston to Fort Sheridan, which I had done many times before. I was going to a housewarming party for one of my former grad-school colleagues (and now a current colleague too!). Despite being in a protective brace and there being the threat of rain, I soldiered on by riding my bike.
Well, the rain came… big time. I got DRENCHED in Kenilworth and ducked into the Metra station until the rain abated.
The good news is that it didn’t rain afterward, so I managed to mostly dry off by the time that I finished my ride. The brace also didn’t hurt.
However, on the way back, I saw lightning on the horizon, and so I decided to bail out on the Metra. So that’s a 75% victory instead of a full victory against the weather.
3) Birthday party for a friend (January 25, 2014)
In January of 2014, one of my friends from GRASP had invited me to their birthday party. It was a FRIGID evening, and my best method of transportation was a bike ride (which was about 5-ish miles away from my apartment). Quite antithetical to the “social deficits of Asperger’s syndrome,” my fierce loyalty to friends (is that also a characteristic of Asperger’s syndrome?) pushed me through the frigid temperatures, and even past a little bit of snow and slush.
I had a great time at this party, enjoying food from Pita Inn, chatting with other GRASP members, the friend, and their friends as well. I haven’t seen many of my GRASP friends recently, but would love to go back to another event when the timing is doable for me. And I’ll make sure that I can at some point!
4) Various bad-weather sporting events between 2003 and present.
Through the various social groups that I have been in, such as Northwestern Hillel, GRASP, and fandom of my schools’ sports, I have met a lot of great people. However, the weather at some of the sporting events I have attended was not good. I stuck it out at outdoor sporting events that had bad weather (e.g. Northwestern lacrosse in subfreezing temperatures, sheets of rain at Northwestern field hockey or soccer, major rain delays at Nebraska baseball, etc.). I never left a game early due to the impending result—the only reason I left events early was due to hazardous weather (i.e. lightning) or schedule conflict (most frequently Phi Sigma Pi vs. Wednesday-night basketball games).
So maybe I’m loyal to a fault with my friends and entities that I support. It must be appreciated by them, however, and I’ll continue to show that loyalty!
Dina visit: 05 days
J-Term: 13 days
Israel: 164 days