Being at Auburn University has taught me something very crucial. It immersed me, completely in a school, in a CULTURE where everyone around you had PRIDE.
I felt it. It was visceral and tangible. I loved it so much. I cried so hard because I loved it so much and I wanted it so badly for my school. I think UH is a diamond in the rough, that deserves SO much more than it has. It's a wonderful, superb school and I will defend it til the end of time, but the perception of others does not match what I believe and feel.
I thought about Case Keenum. My heart smiles when I think about how he stayed at UH for his 5th year, to bring a gift to the University of Houston: THE GIFT OF PRIDE. He brought it for the first two games of the season in which we did stellar, and with his injury, it breaks my heart because he really could have single-handedly turned around our school pride. I believe in our football team and his leadership that much. I must say, I do think it's unfair for that pressure to have been put upon him. Although I don't know him well, by observation I feel he has handled every situation surrounding his football career with humility and poise. I envisioned him being the fountainhead of UH, the true underdog, finally getting its glory in the college football rankings, where others would start to learn of the greatness of UH.
There were certain rituals that I thought were beautiful at Auburn. For a second, I could really see myself there, and getting caught in the moment. Of course, I would NEVER trade the experiences I've had at UH for an Auburn education. Never. Never. But I see Aubie, the tiger, waving the Auburn flag, and everyone in the stands standing up cheering. More than 80,000 in the stands, and this in my friend's opinion, was not a crowded day. My jaw dropped. I watched as their war eagle glided all around the stadium and made its way back to the center. This was a game ritual, that made me tear up, as I heard everyone yells fading out to a drone. It was so majestic and well-put together. I loved the work of this invisible hand.
EVERYONE knew the football cheers. There was a man with a microphone leading the cheers before the game started, to amp everyone up, and with all my being, I cried at the synergy and love I felt in that stadium. A love for something communal. A love for Auburn, where it started for them all. And I thought to myself, I want this for my school, SO bad. So I would see the Auburn team, on their HD jumbotron, coming out and they even had their own epic clip show with the Inception theme song. I couldn't stand it. I continued bawling.
Auburn won 52 - 3 against University of Lousiana - Monroe. I think to myself, imagine being somewhere where we were all connected by pride to something bigger. Our school. How I would love to have that. I accept and love my school for what it is, in the way I love Texas and America and my Vietnamese ethnicity, but I hope the best for my school as well. :) I appreciate this weekend for opening my eyes to what PRIDE really looks like, and how my school will look like.