May 18, 2010

final review

disclaimer: i am and always will be a razorback. they are my one true football love.

last weekend i joined my family in College Station, TX for my cousins final, Final Review. this was his senior year at Texas A&M, making it his last year to be a member of the Corps of Cadets. if you have never seen the cadets march, or even seen the Aggie band perform, you are truly missing out.

Texas A&M is known for their traditions, and the Corps is considered the Keepers of the Spirit. Spirit meaning traditions. I am truly proud of my cousin for committing himself the last 4 years to this organization. One tradition they have is Final Review. In my best explanation, it is where the Corps marches their final time for the year. This is actually something they do before every football game. they gather in "the quad" (dorms) where friends and family can mill around and talk to everyone. then a LOUD cannon goes off, and that signals the cadets to get in formation. then the ceremonies begin.

lets start from the beginning... me and my mom in one car. my dad and step mom in another. we head out of dallas at 7am. 3 hours and one coffee spill later we're in rainy college station. we meet up with my aunt and uncle at their hotel. we sit and chat about life, recent happenings, floods...ya know? then we head over to meet my cousin at the Corps Museum. he gives us the grand tour then we head over to the book store. it was rainy and humid, and that equals a bad hair day for allison. so in total support of my cousin, i buy a A&M hat to wear. walking back to the car we ran into the famed mascot of the Fightin' Texas Aggies, Reveille. cutest little collie you've ever seen. she goes to class everyday with one of the cadets! how fun is that?

we headed to a place called J.Cody's for lunch. good BBQ people. highly recommend. Jordan (the cuz) showed us around campus, and where he was going to be living next semester. then we dropped him off so he could get ready for the big event. after a huge parking fiasco, we finally made it to see him. i felt like i was in a movie. its hard to explain the magnitude of what goes on on this campus day in and day out. young men in uniforms, with sabers, flags, and regalia. its so surreal. doesn't my cousin look so handsome? he is the commander for his unit, so he gets to carry around a sword! its a huge honor.

these are little our of order. this is actually after the 1st march at the senior reception. man, i love those boots. i really want some. the seniors are the only ones who get to wear the boots. they order then their 1st day as a cadet, and get them when they're seniors. its a major commitment.

again, out of order. before lunch we went to see the Bonfire memorial. A&M had a tradition that they burned a huge bonfire before the texas vs. texas a&m game every year. in 1999 the bonfire collapsed during the building of it, and killed 12 people. they built this memorial in their honor. it is a moving place. another thing everyone needs to see.

the seniors of my cousins unit.

we staked out our spot by the arches to watch the ceremonies begin. after the canon went off, everyone forms together, and then all of a sudden you faintly hear the sound of drums. the Aggie band starts playing the fight song, and they get louder and louder as they approach you. it gave me chills.

here comes the cuz! he's the one on the left.

they march from the quad to the stadium. the whole time the band plays to keep them in unison.

tried to capture the entire corps. there are tons of them.

after the first march, all of the cadets, with exception of the seniors, go and change into their new ranking uniform. this is where the freshman become juniors, sophomores to juniors, juniors to seniors... you get the point. then it starts all over again. the seniors get to line the field for one more yell practice, and cheer on the cadets at they march back in as their new classification. this is the first time the juniors get to wear their boots. how exciting! so the ceremony gets repeated. then its all over. it really was amazing.
after that we went and had dinner with everyone and started our trek back home. we left really late, so we didn't get back until 2am! i was struggling to keep my eyes open on the drive back home. it was a long day, but totally worth it. i hate that i only got to see it one time!
we're so proud of you Jordan, and we're so excited to see what "power school" has in store for you!

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