Cali Pitchel McCullough is a Ph.D student in American history at Arizona State University. For earlier posts in this series click here. –JF
As a high school student I spent many Saturday afternoons strolling the sidewalks along Mill Avenue. I participated in several Tempe downtown block parties, and I hiked the Hayden Buttes overlooking the ASU campus many times. Now that I’m home after a seven-year stint in Pennsylvania, I’ve spent less free time on campus than I had as a teenager. In what little spare time I can muster these days I try to catch up with childhood friends and spend time with my little brother. Lately I have been readying our recently purchased condo for our December 1 move-in date. Each week I opt out of the HGSA happy hour and instead participate in our weekly family dinner (Barros Pizza, hot wings, and homemade salad). I declined an invitation to an 80s-themed bender a few weeks into the semester (truthfully, I had nothing to wear).
Last night I dragged Quinn to my first official HGSA event—the Halloween party. In a last minute decision to dress up, we drove to Target for fuzzy slippers, pajama pants, and the crafts necessary to make antennas. In light of the recent bedbug epidemic, we decided to go dressed as those pesky insects. Although few recognized our clever costumes, they were enough to get us in the door. We mingled with a few public history students before anyone I recognized showed up. Eventually the academic-track PhD students started to arrive: a roller derby chick, several Mad Men, Veruca Salt, a few Clockwork Orange droogs, and a Clint Eastwoodesque character of sorts. Everyone looked great, and I had so much fun socializing with my classmates outside of the classroom.
Before long Quinn’s antennas started to bother him, i.e., he was loosing steam. I knew he could only tolerate so much group activity, so we made an early escape from the party. I might have a hard time trying to convince Quinn to attend another Halloween party, but I now feel a stronger commitment to spend more time with my cohort. I won’t be so quick to pass on an opportunity to get out with the other students. I will spend the next four years with these people, and it’s important that I know more than their theoretical persuasions. After such a positive experience at the party, I feel inspired to host my own soirée. Perhaps I’ll throw a holiday party—costumes optional, of course.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.