Graduation Day

Lorin Cranford April 1964

"Ah! Finally I will graduate!" As this thought entered my mind, a deep sense of satisfaction settled over me. It has taken much hard work, but it has been worth every minute. At last, I was finishing my college work, and preparing for the next phase of my life's span.

These past four years having passed so fast, it seems only yesterday that my parents and I the long drive deep into East Texas for me to be gin my college career. Those first few days were very difficult. Being on my own, I had no one to turn to. But as time passed, decisions became easier to make. Life took on a new dimension. An entirely new world emerged. It had its ups and downs.

The word hardest to learn was self-discipline. Working and going to college required a rigorous schedule, leaving little free time. There was always studying that had to be done. Yet, sometimes interruptions broke in.

Once, as I was studying in my room, someone lightly tapped on my door as if he were trying hard not to be heard. When I opened the door, Stanley rushed in the room, quickly closing the door behind him.

"You've got to hide me! I'm in trouble! If those guys ever catch me, they will. murder me!

"Slow down, fellow. What is the matter?"

"Sit down, so I can tell you. It started about an hour ago. A bunch of the fellows were in the TV room, and had the window up. Joe and I decided to cool them off. So, we got an old washtub and filled it about half full of water. Carefully, sneaking up to the side of the dorm, we let them have it through the window. Everyone in the room was soaked. Now they are after us, and we have got to hid out until they cool off some."

Those next few days were spent in nervous anxiety. If they found Stanley in my room, not only would he get a working over, but there was no telling what would happen to my room. Luckily, nothing happened and in about a week Stanley was able to return to his room.

This was only one incident of many. Something was always happening. During the spring semester, the junior and senior high-school girls were having a slumber-party. About a hundred of them decided to make a raid on the boys' dorm. Having advance notice of their plans, we prepared to give them a warm welcome. The dorm counselors had gone to a meeting, so we had complete rule over the dorm. We filled every trash can we could find with water. After baiting about thirty of then into the lobby, we let loose a barrage of water. Someone, having hooked up a hose outside, soaked them as they withdrew. For about an hour, the girls made passes at the dorm with water balloons, and we fired back. But when the counselors came back this ended the escapade.

As I think back now, these times have significant meaning. They were the delightful interludes between long hours of hard work. But, now they are only memories that must fade into the background. Yet, they stand reaching out as if to hold back graduation day a little longer.

"You crazy guy!" I thought, "for four years you have longed for this day, and now you dread its arrival."

Copyright Lorin Cranford

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