Friday, November 11, 2011

We Are... Now and Forever...

I've been struggling trying to decide whether or not to write this post. 

I feel like now, almost 1 week after the grand jury released its report I am ready to express my feelings.  It has been a wild ride of emotions the past 6 days.  First and foremost my heart is broken.  It is broken for the victims and their families.  It is broken for the current Penn State students and football players.  It is broken for the town of State College.  And you may not agree with this, but it is broken for Joe and Sue Paterno.

I'm not going to state my feelings on whether or not Joe Paterno should have been fired because I don't believe there is a right answer and admittedly my answer is most likely biased.  I do believe the University let him down in the way the news was delivered to him.  Shame on you Penn State Board of Trustees.  Next year when I receive my email asking to vote for the Board of Trustee members I will not delete it.  Shame on me for not paying attention before.  

I am incredibly upset by the way my connection with Penn State somehow opened me up personally to others' comments and questions.  Since the news was still so fresh I responded in the worst way, by getting upset and defensive.  I didn't have time to interpret my feelings.  I'm still trying. 

What I can tell you is what Penn State means to me. 

Blue and white is in my family's blood and it was never a question where I wanted to go to college.  I credit the independent and successful person I am today to Penn State and specifically the College of Communications.  Penn State gave me lifelong memories,  friends, mentors, skills, humility, independence, education, opportunity, experience, life lessons... I could go on and on.  The person I am today would not be the person you see (or read) before you had I not gone to Penn State.  This is the Penn State that I will remember and cherish.

We Penn Staters share a unique bond that outsiders cannot understand (even someone as close to me as my husband doesn't quite get it).  When an alum comes across a fellow Penn State alum you have an instant connection.  You can speak to them with ease because they get it.  The love we have for Penn State is a feeling you can only try to explain to outsiders.  That is what makes this week so tough.  

Outsiders reporting on our Penn State.  Outsiders not understanding why we, the Penn State family, are feeling this crazy wave of emotions instead of just being mad.  

We are mad.  

But we are more than that.  If it were just about being mad I would take that emotion any day because that one I know and can identify.  What I'm feeling currently is not that clean cut.

Below are links to 3 great articles that were passed along to me during the week.  The writers do a great job of explaining that which I cannot.  

I feel like this post is crazy around and doesn't make much sense.  Sort of like this whole situation seems to me.  Apparently I was much better at expressing my feelings verbally yesterday when I finally opened up to my father (also a Penn Stater).  After spewing what I thought were incoherent ramblings of a crazy woman he told me, "I am so proud and impressed at how eloquently you just expressed your feelings."  

My response, "It is all thanks to my Penn State education."

Spring 2002

For the glory,

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