The Great Adventure Begins!

January18/ 2000

… As most of you knew, last week was “Kid To Kollege” week… All went incredibly well (we will summarize).  It was a new experience for Team Swagger so lots of observations on the process including who the “New BMOCs” are on college campuses.  BobLee also discovered an awesome reality about “Big Time College Sports” that all of you probably already knew … Duh! (well, maybe not ALL of you).

Maybe every college in America does an incredible job in managing freshmen arrival and orientation.  Our personal experience is one … The University of Missouri @ Columbia … they do an awesome job!

I graduated from an outstanding university, so did Mizzus Swagger.  So will our daughter.

 “Mizzou” is a liberal arts/land grant institution with 28,000+ students, a Med School, Law School, Vet School, and all the assorted Arts&Sciences plus Engineering.  It is actually a combination of UNC and NCSU in that respect (Frat Boys AND Farm Boys together … YIKES!) and one of only six public universities with Law, Medicine, and Vet Schools on one campus.  It is the only “major college” in Missouri and two hours equidistant from the metro areas of St Louis and Kansas City.

Their Journalism School that attracted Kid Swagger has been ranked in the top 3 nationally for many decades.  It was the FIRST Journalism School in the country.

25% of the students are in their Greek system.  Every state and 100 countries are included in their student population.  The University makes a big deal out of debunking any “myth” that it is, or ever has been, rated “a top party school” by Playboy or similar publications … or that being so rated is ever its intent.  As a public state university it is not hardly a Bob Jones Univ or Liberty, but simply a school focused on developing young people to go forth and succeed in life.  Maybe ALL schools play down their “party school” image … all I know is Mizzou sure does.

Mizzou’s primary mission is to provide the highest possible quality of education to THE RESIDENTS OF MISSOURI.  In the three days I was hanging around the campus, I saw no bloviating faculty loons screaming “We are The Harvard of The Midwest …”.  Maybe they are there and I just didn’t see/hear them.  I also got the impression that, while there may well be a nest of faculty squirrels lurking in the shadows, said “squirrels” do not hold the institution and its administration hostage.  A state-supported institution that actually endeavors to represent it’s constituents!  Needless to say, I kinda like that fact a whole bunch. …..

Kid’s arrival, move-in, and assimilation was damn near FLAWLESS!  We unloaded the assorted storage tubs and more high-tech gizmos than Neil and Buzz took to the moon for their “one small step”.  You pull up to the curb beside the dorm … unload in a pile on the curb … leave a designated “stuff watcher” while Dad parks the car.  Kid was stationed in “the room” to begin the perquisite “jibber jabber” routine with her floormates as they arrived.  About 6-8 trips up the two flights of stairs and physical “move-in” was a done deal.

Unpacking and assembling the assorted accoutrements was Stage Two.  Kid’s roomie (from a Chicago suburb) and her folks soon arrived and they passed all the “seem normal enough” inspections.  Hopefully so did “we” (at least some of us!).  Mizzus tends to “show really well”.  I tend to cower in the shadows and wipe my runny nose on my shirt sleeve.

The girls across the hall are from Kansas City and Chicago, next door is from Idaho.  Of the 40+ girls on her floor, less than 10 are “from Missouri”.  Mizzou rooms freshmen in FIGs … Freshmen Interest Groups … so its 40+ future info-babes, publishers, editors, columnists, etc.  As stated above, Mizzou’s J-School enjoys an international reputation.  Dad’s one fear of Kid having to integrate a gaggle of girls “all from St Louis” was summarily dismissed.  Give Kid Swagger a reasonably level playing field and she’ll kick butt in no time.  She’s kicking.

Note the above mention of “high tech accoutrements”.  The BMOCs on campus in 2006 are NOT the jock-lifeguard silver-tongued frat boys of past decades … not hardly.  The Era of The Techno-Geek has arrived.  If one has a room full of computers, TVs, TIVOs, Ipods, cell phones, coffeemakers w/ timers, alarm clocks w/ snooze controls, et al … one needs a Geek not a “pretty boy” flashing daddy’s credit card and certainly not a student-athlete who can’t spell TV if you spot him the “T”.  We found such a talented fellow and had Kid’s room on-line and all six timers flashing the correct time.

A highly caffeinated RA stopped by with enough perkiness to light up all of Missouri and half of neighboring Iowa.   Katy The RA, noting Kid’s North Carolina heritage mentioned that the RA on the first floor was “from Chapel Hill”.  Ya better sit down for what happened next cause it’s a “NO WAY” … yes “WAY”.

Leaving Kid and Mizzus to put down “shelf paper” (??), yours truly decided to drop in on “the RA from Chapel Hill”.  He was out RAing so I left a note to come “meet the girl from Raleigh in 204”.

He dropped by while Mizzus and I were out … and met Kid.  The subject of “what does your dad do?” came up and Kid gave her usual answer “he has some silly website and gives goofy speeches to people …”  She happened to have her laptop on and, for reasons still unclear, clicked on SSays.  “The RA from Chapel Hill” freaked out!  “Your dad is BobLee Swagger! … Oh my Gawd … He’s awesome!”.  Take me now Lord cause it can’t possibly get any better than that one magical moment in time.

Turns out this very intelligent boy came to Mizzou for their outstanding J-School and “to broaden my horizons by getting away from home”.  He loves going to school at Mizzou but confesses to missing Tar Heel Basketball.  I met him later and we discussed Ol’ Roy (not real popular around Mizzou!) and I reminded him about “the stress of Great Expectations”.  We figure he came to Missouri in a trade for Tyler (from Poplar Bluff MO).  Yes, he knew BLS coined the term “the Hansbrough Hottie” for Tyler’s new step-mom.  

Mizzou has an unbelievable Student Recreation/Fitness Center right next to Kid’s dorm.  The sobriquet “world class” is greatly over-used but applies to this incredible facility.

Kid started classes today (Monday) and pretty much loves everything about her new world.  Her roomie has some homesickness anxiety but Kid is doing all the right stuff to get herself assimilated.  We did indeed …

… Give Her Wings!


   Missouri, of course, is a member of The Big 12 and is pretty much mired in its middle (sound familiar?).  Despite several decades of mediocrity, Mizzou draws an average of 59,000+ to Memorial Stadium (capacity – 68,000) which is described as (Taa Daa!) “one of college football’s most picturesque football settings”.  Like UNC, Mizzou offers over 20 intercollegiate sports programs.

I haven’t forced myself to check Mizzou’s fan message boards but whatchawanna bet they have a nitwit faction that complains that “the media hates us” … “the media is in love with KU” … “we are ‘the sleeping giant’ of college football” … “our AD is an idiot” (he fired Quinn so he can’t be too bad!) … “our fat cats aren’t ‘real fans’” … “we (the ‘real fans’!) DESERVE a Top Ten program because …” … “our rivals all cheat” … blah, blah, blah.

Leaving Kid to her new world, Mizzus and I visited with friends in Columbia.  “J-school Jim” has had Mizzou FB season tickets since pre-Roger Wherli days (mid 60s) and admits he “wishes” they were more successful but “winning and losing” has little effect on how much he truly enjoys Football Saturdays and tailgating with longtime friends.   And you wonder why this guy is a BobLee Buddy?  NOTE:  Jim does not quite share my deification of Ol’ Roy.  It seems Ol’ Roy said, and did, a few unseemly things (to Jim’s perspective!) while he was wandering in the wilderness of Lawrence for 16 years.

The folks that run Mizzou seems to realize that “a BCS Football program” is not on their short list of “really important reasons that we exist as an institution”.   It’s down in the “Nice to have but not a Have To have”.  WOW … sports in perspective AND no bloviating crap about “Harvard of The (pick a region)” … just provide a top quality learning environment for its students.  The students come first … before idiot fans and bloviating faculty.  WHAT A CONCEPT!  Sounds just like what Erskine has in mind for North Carolina.

Pride in school and community is noble and “a good thing”.  Boastfulness from a position of worldly ignorance only reflects unfavorably on the arrogant boaster.

Yes, Mizzus and moi made it back home safely.  Annabelle The Cat is confused as to where her little girl is but seems to be adjusting.  Having received so much advice from many of you on our new “empty-nest” situation, we took your suggestion.   We tossed the suitcases on the floor and had wild jungle sex on the dining room table.  That got us thru the first 7-8 hours.  The next day was spent reinstalling the dining room chandelier.  I could have sworn that sucker was bolted into an I-beam in the attic but apparently not.  



 While Neil and Buzz took their “small steps for man”, 

Who circled high overhead?


 BLS sez toe rings do NOT make “fat wimmen” less so. 


   Cordell Walker’s pal “Trivette” was a Dallas Cowboy running back prior to becoming a Texas Ranger.

   Do I really have to do a John Mark Karr and Mikey and Ho #2 joke?  Can’t you all just make up your own? You know me well enuff to know how I would do it …

   When’s the last time we read a newspaper front page without a new “sexual predator” story?  I suppose those sickos are caused by global warming too.

   I have absolutely no intention of seeing “Snakes On A Plane” … none, zero, no way.

   Want to e-mail BobLee?

[email protected]

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