Annals of College: Dreamland

September 17, 2010 at 6:34 AM | Posted in Annals of College, Growing up | 5 Comments
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Chaminade's impressive front


Even though I went to one of those kick-ass sort of all-boys Catholic High schools, Chaminade in Mineola, NY, I was in a fog as a senior. As bad as I was though, the school graduated lame-brains like Bill O’Reilly (of the O’Reilly Factor)  just the year before me, so I couldn’t have been at the bottom. I had finally found out how to get decent grades (get interested in the subjects and do the work instead of thinking about doing the work) and then it was over. Being in dreamland could be the only reason I chose St. Bonaventure in Olean, NY, which is just below Buffalo. The geographically inclined will nod and murmur, “say no more.”   

My grades were not good enough to get into the more premier Catholic Universities like Georgetown, Holy Cross, Notre Dame and Boston College where most of my classmates  went. Our guidance counselors pushed us to go to Catholic Colleges exclusively and there was no talk of state schools which in New York are great (in Academics if not sports.)   

I am not one to blame others for my own screw-ups; I enjoy the limelight of mischance. Did I really expect a guidance counselor to tell me that the ratio of boys to girls was 7 – 1? Yes, 7 boys to 1 girl — and this after 4 years of an all-boy high school ( and no “sister schools” across the street!)   

Did I expect the guidance counselor to explain in plain terms what mandatory ROTC  meant? Did I expect him to spoon feed me the reality of having to hold and take apart a gun (which I could never quite do) or to occasionally wear a uniform? Did this man know that I did not have a martial bone in my body?   

But all that can be forgiven but could I not have been warned that they showed Cleveland Browns football  games on Sunday and not my beloved, albeit haunted, Giants? How could a wet behind the sexual ears 18-year-old know that Ohio games would take precedence in New York?   

I learned sad lessons in those early collegial days but, as Catfish Hunter was known to say, the sun don’t shine on the same dogs ass everyday — but  it does shine every now and then.  


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  1. Oddly enough, this post helped me understand my teenage sons a bit better. Thanks.

  2. Being the staunch Republican that I am I can’t resist pointing out that the lame-brain Bill O’Reilly went to Harvard. Of course I’m not impressed by that fact.
    I very much enjoy your blog Tom. You should have taken up serious writing long ago.

    • Senator, thanks for writing. I was hoping to get some response from my comment. O’Reilly got his undergraduate degree fro Marist College in NY, a college very similar to that of St. Bonaventure — not Harvard. His 3rd degree did come from Harvard.

      Anyway, my problem with O’R is his sanctimoniousness. He was sued for sexual harrassment and settled out of court — and yet like so many “preachers” love to preach morality. The support for Sarah Palin is beyond anything I can imagine: her whole family is for sale. She couldn’t even last 1 term as Governor of a tiny, govt funded state and people, like O’R consider her worthy to run again.

      I think that I am conservative!

      Keep writing!

      • This one will really get to you Tom. Whenever I hear O’Rielly talk it reminds me of you. Not what he says but his expressions and how he talks. I guess that’s not too surprising since you went to the same high school.

        How did you like my Spartans on Saturday night? I was so upset with the coaching and their determination to run it up the middle without success I went to bed with about ten minutes left in the game. My heart was beating so fast I thought I might have a heart attack. I can’t ever remember being that excited about closing a big deal. Isn’t that remarkable?
        I was happy to see they won the next morning and thanks to DVR I was able to watch the rest of the game with ease knowing how it ended.

      • Not only did we go to the same high school but we lived in towns next to each other: he in Levittown and I in Hicksville which were at the lower ecomonic stratum of the kids who went there. Middle class where many of the others were rich. After all, it did cost $300. a year to go there!

        We did not know each other in High School.

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