The weekend after our final anatomy exam was a bit surreal. For starters I had only gotten 2 hours of sleep the night before the exam. This doesn’t affect me too much initially, but by the following evening I start feeling a bit displaced. I don’t get tired exactly, I just feel like I should be sleeping. But instead of sleeping I was at the Post Gross Toast. This is the party where we celebrate not failing for the first 3 months of med school. It’s also where a large portion of the class gets quite drunk. The drinking effect was further compounded by the fact that the next day was the Michigan game and evidently the only way to experience the best football game in the nation is to be extremely hammered. Not only drunk at the game but drunk for the 24 hours proceeding the game, as well as some time afterward. Whereas alcohol is frequently consumed at med school events (the irony isn’t lost on us), it was consumed more this night.
Drunk-watching (a subset of people-watching) is an enjoyable activity. It’s not my favorite thing to do, but it’s certainly the best thing to do if you’re at a bar for a couple hours. I said the weekend was surreal and for me dealing with drunks is somewhat surreal. You know that their actions and conversations aren’t normal, and yet they’re happening right there in front of you. You’re never sure what they’re going to remember or if they’re being uninhibited or acting contrary to their actual feelings. You pretty much have to discount anything that you experience that night as being outside your normal reality. Even weirder is to imagine myself in their situation. What kind of drunk would I be? The world shall never know.
The next day was the Michigan game, perhaps the most important day of the year in Ohio. I’m only partially joking. The fact that we were playing Michigan, and that we were ranked 1st and 2nd in the nation was all-consuming upon the minds of nearly everyone in the state. Normally I don’t deign to grace football-related activities with my presence, but this particular day I deigned. I had nothing to study, everyone else was doing it and the event might never happen again. We started by going tailgating around 10. It was unwise to try to drive in Columbus on this day of days, so we walked to the medical school parking lot. Here a group of med students had gathered to celebrate our impending victory. There was a surprisingly large amount of free food considering the poor nature of the students involved, and even more free alcohol. We enjoyed some bratwurst and fried cheese, which is quite likely the least healthy meal of all time. We played some corn-hole and Bryce and I also played a game of beer pong (don’t worry, we had designated drinkers.) After a couple hours of hanging out in a parking lot we called it quits and headed over to the stadium. As did a half million other people.
The stadium fits 106,000 people, who all hang out around the stadium before the game. In addition another 400,000 come to see the spectacle that is game day. There were booths and tents everywhere, even a number set up in the middle of the road. Luckily the roads are all blocked off the night before. The sea of red was really quite impressive. More impressive were the people with football fields shaved in their hair, homemade OSU sweaters and creative anti-Michigan wear. The “Ann Arbor is a whore” shirts were amusing at first, but ultimately lack originality. I decided that if I get bored next year I’ll make a shirt that says “Ann Arbor accepts financial reimbursement for sexual services.”
We saw the sights around the stadium, then snuck into the skull session. I’m really not familiar with this tradition, but basically it was a pep rally that the OSU band (“The Best Band in the Land”) puts on immediately before the game. They did seem pretty good but I have no way of knowing if their boasting is justified. Eventually Bryce went into the stadium (he was the lone member of The Five to have a ticket) and the rest of us walked back to my place to watch the game on our big screen. We did win and maintain our 1st place ranking going into the bowl game season. I suppose it’s nice being the best, but I really found the situations surrounding the game more interesting than the game itself.
PS. Our basketball team is now also #1. I’m obviously good luck for this school.