Today was a long day. Sandwiched inbetween our normal visit schedule to admissions and the summer orientation schedule, today was a Sneak Preview event for engineers and design arts students. It was also the hottest day so far this year. These two factors combined made every little bit of the day last longer than it was ever intended to, and produced one too many groucy parents for my taste. They complained about everything… tour wasn’t long enough, tour was too long, not enough water, too much water with other things excluded, not enough information about academics, not enough information about student life…. and these contrasting viewpoints were just from the handful of evaluations i snatched a glance at. I suppose the moral is that you can’t please all of the people all of the time, especially when the mercury gets past the 9-0 mark.
However, my day was even longer than all that would imply for a very special reason: i somehow elected myself to be our Dragon mascot. Now, this wasn’t just something i came up with willy-nilly… the perspective engineers were building catapults, and they wanted something for them to be able to aim their velcro-covered whiffle balls at. So, first my job was getting the suit and finding a volunteer, but it soon became finding a volunteer to replace me in the schedule of events so that i could wear the suite.
Have you ever been a mascot? The feet are giant-sized novelty-slippers that are too big to fit onto stairs. The body is saggy and feels a lot like being wrapped up in terrycloth only, when wrapped in terrycloth, how often do you have a tail that’s over a yard long? But, the most important consideration in how awkward a mascot suit is to maneuver in is the head. Since our mascot is a cartoony dragon, i get topeer out of the maw of the mighty beast… and the maw continues for nearly a foot beyond my eyes before it ends. My eyes and ears and spiny-things extend far enough above the top of my head that i cannot touch my hands together over top of it.
Add all of this together to get me, as the dragon, standing in the middle of the grand court of our Main Building schmoozing with our guests and then having them fire small projectiles at my head. In the process i got to pose with our elusive President Papadakis, pick my dragon-teeth with pieces of catapult Connex, and be pummeled again and again in the crotch by low flying whiffle balls. However, as much as i might complain, please note that 50% + 1 of our attendees dropped off applications, which is better than average for an event so early in the application process for rising Seniors. So, if you’ll excuse me, i’m off to take a well-deserved nap before beginning tonight’s recording. Afterall, i went to bed rather late last night…