October 25, 2013
Parade shows spiritHomecoming Weekend 2013 was surrounded by many types of hype, not the least of which was the first-years' itch to take part in our first celebration. For some of us, that celebration kicked off with Saturday's homecoming parade, which flaunted our unique "SU Traditions" all the way down University Avenue.
I marched with the Dance Corps, wearing Sharpie-colored turkey tail-feathers and holding a banner that read "Thanksgiving Dinner." (Ironically, most of us dancers were first-years and had yet to experience the apparent wonder that is the Thanksgiving Dinner - although marching with this section certainly piqued my interest!) And, believe it or not, I learned a lot from being a turkey.
The majority of this learning probably had to do with the weather. That afternoon was cold and rainy. Certainly not parade-friendly. But, no matter the weather, the seniors instructed us, "Smile like you have Vaseline on your teeth."
This seemed like a less-than-easy task to me as I shivered in my orange T-shirt and blinked through the drops that blurred my glasses (and it didn't exactly help to be stuck behind the Christmas float, contrary to calendar order, and forced to listen to "The Night Before Christmas" on repeat in the middle of October).
But I found sight once again of why I was doing this as we moved along University Avenue and then took a right, hailed by students, staff, parents and the surrounding community, for whom this parade is a real highlight. They must have been as miserable as we were in the dank and chill weather, but the pride we took in our school was a source of pride for them, too. And so, while my fingers may have been frozen around the banner, my heart was warmed.
While perhaps our spirit refused to be dampened by the rain, our paper and Sharpie turkey feathers behaved otherwise - before we even started walking. But a little improvising can usually save the day. We eventually decided to turn our tails upside down, since they seemed to be drooping in that direction anyway.
But all the while, we vowed to be "perky turkeys" and play our part with the same enthusiasm and cheer as if the sun had been waxing high. And, judging by the response we got, I think we accomplished our mission.
I look forward to marching in next year's homecoming parade, no matter what Mother Nature throws at us. Because we are Susquehanna students, and we do not let it rain on our parade.
FORUM HEADLINESParade shows spirit Rabbi's Write-Up Writer reflects on the temporary Editor reflects on intersex awareness day