Sunday, November 21, 2004

Twice overwhelmed at Starbucks
Okay, I admit that I really don't know what to do when I go into Starbucks. I lived in Italy and became accustomed to the standard coffee drinks. However, here in the States, the basic Italian coffee genius has morphed into something altogether different and typically American (read: out of proportion). It is not good enough to have the standard coffee drinks, but one must also have flavored syrups; ENORMOUS, personal irrigation system-sized cups (with annoying lids that ruin the experience of the frothed milk), and drink ideas that mimic the taste of seasonal favorites (pumpkin, gingerbread, and eggnog, all done like a latte)! I am simply overwhelmed when I go into Starbucks, such that I don't know what to say. Fr. Tharp likes to go and so we can often be found in a Starbucks in Oklahoma City. Last Friday we went to one and I just abstained from ordering coffee -- I didn't have the energy to devote to deciphering the drink menu, which is something like a modern day Da Vinci Code.

But I was overwhelmed doubly that particular day. As Fr. Tharp and I sat there (he: enjoying his coffee; I: enjoying people watching) we both took notice of one particular man as he entered the coffee matrix. Fr. Tharp and I looked at one another and simultaneously mouthed the words: "I know him." It was an amazing and overwhelming blast from the past! There before us was a man we both knew from our early college days at the University of Oklahoma (OU). It was a guy named Marshall. Fr. Tharp (who was at OU for two years) got to know him through a philosophy class and through the residence hall. Fr. Tharp was involved in the residence hall council and disciplinary board and Marshall was a residence director. I got to know Marshall during my one year at OU because of the residence hall and then as fellow Housing Representatives on the University of Oklahoma Student Congress. We were both freshmen Congressmen at the same time. As newcomers to that illustrious body, we would also sit near one another during Congress meetings -- I suppose it was the old "safety in numbers" routine. There was much to adapt to on Congress, not the least of which was Robert's Rules of Order -- the precise parliamentary procedure that guided every action of the Congress. I recall the many times in those early days being confused by the procedures and having to raise my hand with a "point of order" -- when needing an explanation of what we were doing and how to properly accomplish interjecting my own debate or amendments to pending legislation.

Marshall and I last saw each other at the end of freshman year. During that summer I decided to transfer to seminary and so I mailed a letter of resignation to the Congress and didn't return to the campus. After speaking with Marshall for several minutes, we parted company again. As Fr. Tharp and I drove away, I just kept repeating: "I can't believe it. Marshall. Wow!"

Motion to adjourn this post.
Any objections? None.
The motion passes. Post adjourned.

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