Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy St. Patricks/GB Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I am sure a lot of you are celebrating today with copious amounts of drinking. I am not sure yet how I will be celebrating but, I did make Irish Soda bread! That is at least one small way I will proudly recall my Irish heritage.

Which, is funny anyway. In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is pretty tame. Here in America, the Irish immigrants and the “everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s day” mantra has made the whole endeavor a crazy drink a thon.

Speaking of, please allow me to introduce to those of you who do not know of this concept of drinking and green the holiday known as Green Beer day

My Alma Martyr is Miami University, a place of serious collegiate celebration. Picture every cliché you can imagine for a college and my old school probably fits the bill. This is the Miami University in Ohio, by the way, not the one in Florida. If you are interested, you can buy t-shirts from Miami’s bookstore that say “We were a University before Florida was a state!”

Which is true. Doesn’t make it cool, but it is true. Miami University is actually in OxfordOH too so, you could say “I studied in Oxford!” or “I went to Miami University!” and let people think you are cool and either went to school in Florida or England but… either way, it’s just Ohio.

A lot of nothing around Ohio, too. It’s essentially a small college town in the middle of corn fields in the middle of Ohio. Don’t try and book your trip there all at once, guys. They have limited hotels and spaces, and the entire town is really just one long street outside of the campus called High Street that looks kind of like this:

So, it’s your typical college town. Bars, takeout, and coffee shops. Oh, and a bookstore for good measure. In case this isn’t clear from my tone thus far, I actually really loved my school. Not at first when I had some homesickness as a freshman and hadn’t found my footing but, by the end of my time there, I was devastated to have to become a grown up. I am happy now with where I’ve landed, but every so once in a while, I miss the crazy lifestyle that was my undergrad experience.

And in terms of crazy undergrad experiences, Green Beer Day is first on the list. Green Beer Day, also known as GBD, is a day devoted to the drinking of Green Alcohol. I only celebrated it as a Senior (when I was both 21 and NOT studying abroad, which hadn’t been the case for my Freshman-Junior years at Miami), but even with just one Green Beer Day under my belt, I can pretty easily summarize the experience for you all. Once upon a time, Miami University had an outrageous St. Patrick’s Day celebration every year that caused the university to get upset every year about the turmoil the students caused. Thinking they would avoid the whole mess, the college administration moved Miami’s spring break over St. Patrick’s Day in order to prevent any celebrations from happening. Without missing a beat, the students dubbed the Thursday before spring break Green Beer Day. It became its own Oxford holiday and has been celebrated annually ever since. Obviously, beer is the favored drink. However, it’s an all encompassing, “pick your green poison”, kind of day. The day pretty much goes as follows:

1. Wake up at 5 AM, the bars open at 6AM, and the 16,000 other students on campus are going to be waking up and getting in line soon too.

2. You should already wearing your GBD t-shirt as PJ’s so as to make getting dressed at 5AM as easy as putting on jeans and tacky green jewelry. Speaking of which, you should have ordered that t-shirt months ahead of time, looking through all the designs by different students and groups carefully to find the GBD tee that most spoke to your personality. 

3. Stumble out of your apartment with your roommates. Wait in line in the freezing cold before the sun is up wondering if this is worth it. When you finally get inside (which takes about 15 mins if you are a girl, 45 mins to an hour if you are a guy), celebrate! This involves loud music, green lazers, and leprechaun liquor…

4. When slightly buzzed, you have a few options. You can continue in celebratory fashion (which means you can skip down to step 7), or you can do what my roommates and some of the other kids at Oxford who actually cared about their education did. This is when you stumble out of the bar and back into the sunlight at 9AM and go and get breakfast and drink lots of water. 

5. After breakfast, you go home and clean up for class. While getting ready, do not cut off the bar wrist band you got this morning. Instead, you should carefully tuck your wrist band into your jacket so your teachers won’t see but also so you can get into the bar later without having to wait in line. Don’t make a rookie mistake like green teeth either, that will ruin this entire effort of trying to appear 100% responsible when you’re really only 80% there.

6. From 10:30 until 4PM, you will be going to class and getting extra credit for      being such a good student. Try not to sway in your chair from exhaustion/any lingering alcohol affects that the pancakes didn’t absorb. Also, try not to snap at your teachers who made attendance mandatory just to be meanie jerk faces. You may even have to take a midterm. For these teachers, try not to sulk. You showed up, you have to listen to their lecture about making good decisions without telling them that you are college students and have your whole life to act your ages and now is the time in your life to think green food dye warrants a holiday. 
Any resemblance here to Professor Fisher from Miami’s English Department is entirely coincidental and not at all a reference of any kind to imply he was a stick in the mud on GBD when this author still went to his class and tried to learn about fiction and he ranted for 70 mins.
7. It’s now 4PM and, either from a full day of skipping class and drinking or because you spent your morning drinking and then had a full day of classes, you are now exhausted. Take an epic nap from now until 8PM. That’ll fix you right up!

8. It’s 8PM! Wake up and get some food in your body! Once that pesky chore is      done, clean up again and go back up town with your roommates to celebrate further. You will now be overjoyed that you kept your wrist band when you see the crazy lines forming all over High Street. 

9. After a green night in which you danced to a lot of Ke$ha, drank a lot of unnaturally green things, played fun games like “I spy the undercover cop”, and took a lot of amazing/embarrassing pictures, at 2AM when the bars close, it’s time to go home and know you celebrated GBD like a  Redhawk champion. 

For all of you still lucky enough to be Miami students, I hope you are having a great Spring Break right now and that your GBD last week was awesome. When you graduate, GBD is just a random Thursday in March where you say “ha, remember when…?” a lot. To all you fellow grown ups/non Redhawks out there, today is St. Patrick’s Day! You can probably find something green to go drink if you really feel the need to do so but, keep in mind, a lot of things that you did in college should really STAY in college. I was never very good at being a rebellious college kid though, always went to class and the like. However! Go have fun or at least wear green and wish someone a Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Long live Ireland and alcohol ;)

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