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Doctor recommended for optimal cerebral hygiene 

It's just a state of mind

Friday, August 06, 2004


When the rain comes
They run and hide their heads.
They might as well be dead,
When the rain comes, When the rain comes.
When the sun shines
They slip into the shade,
And sip their lemonade,
When the sun shines, when the sun shines.
Rain, I don't mind,
Shine, the weather's fine.
I can show you
That when it starts to rain,
Everything's the same,
I can show you, I can show you.
Rain, I don't mind,
Shine, the weather's fine.
Can you hear me?
That when it rains and shines,
It's just a state of mind,
Can you hear me? Can you hear me?

- Lennon/McCartney (Oh, let's cut the crap! It's a Lennon song!)

It's that time of year again - Summerstart, Western Washington University's orientation program for incoming fresh(wo)men. Let me tell you something, these kids are...well...kids. Yikes! Most of them were born when I was a sophomore at Rutgers. It doesn't make me feel old so much as it makes me cringe to think about my early years in college, how I almost failed out, how lost and clueless I was.

A walk across campus is rather amusing. There are all these triads walking around, parents and their kids, they all look different in terms of their physical appearance, but behaviorally they are identical. Name tags prominently displayed, Mom and Dad anxiously study the bundle of printed materials they are awkwardly shuffling through as they walk, the hands not carrying the paperwork are pointing to and fro, and all the while they lecture their kid, who looks about as excited to be here as they would be visiting the dentist, about what they should major in.

Yet, what really entertains me more than anything is the rain. I can practically plan my summer around the dependable information that it will rain the week of Summerstart.

While most of Western's students come from the west side of the Cascade Mountains, where a lot of rain is a given (Heck, we have temperate rain forests here for crying out loud!), an increasing number of students are coming from dryer climes. We know, too, that one of the only lingering doubts these kids have in terms of their choice to attend Western is whether or not they will be able to deal with all the rain we get. So, these incoming freshmen come to town for orientation, and as if it were part of their itinerary planned by the orientation staff, along with learning what classes are available and how to register, they get a real introduction to the regional rain conditions they can expect to experience throughout the academic year, despite the fact that for weeks prior and weeks to follow we have day after day of typical summer in Bellingham sunshine.

All I can offer to them as solace is: It's just a state of mind.