Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Thoughts of a Penn State Student...

Sometimes when I read the news, I often wonder about the people directly involved, the thoughts of those who are connected, in any way, to the story, because, more often than not, the story is told from those who are merely hearing it second-hand or are asked to give their opinion on the matter, as if one person's opinion is the solid, factual truth. Tisk, tisk ESPN, shame on you.

Let's be serious, I don't really read the news that often, as it bores me almost as much as it saddens me. The times I do take the time to read and/or watch, however, my mind goes to those who are involved, and I sometimes wish they would speak out in place of those who are being paid to do so.

I'm here to do just that today, and you are free to ignore this post as it is not superficial, has nothing to do with a beautiful sanctuary, and is serious in nature. I mean, serious starts with an "S" which is the letter that dictates the title of this blog, but I digress......

I am, forever and a day, dedicated to my university. If you are new (or not), I graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in Secondary Education. "Wait, SS, you're, like, smart and teacherly?" Who would have thought!

If you have listened or read the news lately, you know my school has been under serious fire lately, we've been brewing in a steaming pot of turmoil and scandal......and for good reason. While I will not discuss the matters on my blog and while I will not go into details, you are welcome to google my school and the searches will--no doubt--lead you to news article after news article that has been haunting my school as of late.

I know many of you who read my blog do not call PSU your college home, but I do. Yes, do & not did. While I have graduated, I will forever be a Penn State student, something only a Penn State student can understand. We are family, past and present, and any one person can understand that a family is not chosen or hand-picked but rather formed through the years into one, solid unit. All families have hard times, some more than others, and we all have that awkward aunt who smells funny or the cousin who is convinced she's a vampire after one too many read-throughs of Twilight, but family is just that.....family.

I am sick and saddened and destroyed emotionally by the news, yes, but I am still not hurting as much as the victims and their families. However, if nothing rings more true, it is the fact that my university as a whole should not and cannot be discredited by the actions of a twisted and sadistic man and his hellish helpers. My school is not "wallowing in our filth forever" nor are we "forever ruined as a university for our actions." I'm sorry, "our" actions? As far as I am aware, I did nothing and knew nothing in this situation. I went to a school for a solid education, made friends, created a family, and enjoyed myself and my time at a school who has nearly been unscathed by the media for years....no, for generations. How dare you take that from me, from all of us who worked so hard to grow into good, upstanding citizens who could represent our school proudly. How dare you tell me I am wallowing in filth when I have nothing but a clean record, a pure heart, and a the strongest of pride for my university. Do not take down my university, my home when you know the actions only came from a troubling and disgusting man.

For those of you who know Joe Pa, you know him from the what the sports networks show you. We at PSU know him differently. We know he is the man who paid for our school to build a fantastic library on top of donating thousands of dollars more into our academic buildings to make our campus--our home--the best it can be. We know him as the man who lived just down the street from our university in a house as modest as himself. He is not "driven by power," not "bathing in the light of his fame." He is 61 years of dedication, passion, and love for the school I also love. He is not who they say he is....he is the father of this family, and every father makes mistakes, but this man did not react to his fortune or fame, he did not save a man just to save his football legacy. He did what he thought he had to do, and even if that is not enough, you cannot say that you have always done everything to the utmost....we are not perfect, we never claimed to be, despite what the media says about our school. We have pride but we are not conceited, we have strength but we are not too confident. We are not asking you to feel sorry for us, but rather, place your focus where it needs to be. This is not about football, this was never about football, and while I am upset that this man could not see through to his last game, I understand what had to be done. We are allowed to be upset by this, but by no means does that give anyone the right to judge us for our thoughts and emotions. For the record, as an aside, I am glad that our president was fired. His too-soon comment was without the appropriate, prior thought; it was severely careless, as he should not have spoken a word of his opinion when the issue was still so new, the wound was just inflicted, and he threw in salt. I never knew enough about this man to hate him, but I knew that he was just as careless with money, throwing dollar signs just about anywhere he walked, and now our university is paying dearly for it.....thank you for my enormous amount of loans, dear president. I am not sorry you were taken down in the scandal.

Do I think the man behind this scandal deserves life in prison? I think he deserves death for what he has done to the victims that have come out and for those of them waiting in the wings for justice and rightful punishment to fall on him. Do I think the men who lied in front of a court and in front of a judge deserve time in prison? Surely karma will do them in, and yes, they should be behind bars. Do I think the situation would have been different had the victims been young girls? Undoubtedly so, something that I have thought about many times. Do I think the situation would have been different had our university not had Joe Pa? Again, an easy answer, seeing as how the media has been waiting with bated breath for years to take him down with a story that would rock our university to its core. Would I have rioted in the streets had I still been a student there? Obviously, but more so "watching" rather than "rioting" which, I believe, is what 90% of those "rioters" were doing. The remaining 8% were there to create chaos and havoc and the other 2% probably just wanted to be on TV....hey, like I said, we are only human.

Despite the media claims, regardless of the man behind these acts, and ignoring those who are just spewing out hate and judgement for attention, I am here to say we are still strong, still true, still PSU, and while this story will not last forever, my pride in my university will.
"May no act of ours bring shame, to one heart that loves thy name, may our lives but swell thy fame, dear old State, dear old State."


  1. I couldn't have said it better myself. I will forever bleed blue and white with you!

  2. Couldn't agree more. You can't hold an entire University accountable for the actions of one sick man.

  3. With you all the way, SS. the fact that this is turning out to be about football is really upsetting -- we should be focusing on the victims and their cases, not the location in which it took place.

  4. I am so glad you talked about this. When I was watching the news discussing this event, I did think if you and how this might effect you and all the students. I am sorry you and the alumni have to hear such terrible things about your school. The only people that should have to deal with this are those involved. I hate how so many jump to the idea of guilty by association. I know PSU is an outstanding school, and I hope everyone else will remember that as well and not punish the many, but only those who truly deserve it.
    Beautiful writing, once again SS.


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