This might seem like a very strange post to have on a social work blog, but it is the Season of giving, so I thought I would deliver a small, belated gift and write about some of my favorite things that I associate with the GCSW and UH in general.
At the top of my list is, of course, the Chick-Fil-A in the satellite eating area that lies adjacent to the social work building. I don’t know if I wrote the name of my favorite fast food chicken establishment correctly, but it is so delicious, does it really matter? I would compose an ode to the scrumptious nuggets one can purchase there – which taste wonderful whether or not one chooses to immerse each separate morsel in a dipping sauce (I often neglect to do this as I am somewhat of a fried chicken purist) – but I am, after all, becoming a social worker, not a poet. The best things always leave one wanting just a little bit more. There have been many days where I eagerly arrive at the satellite, thinking I am about to gorge on some fried deliciousness only to find that they are closed! And not just on Sundays – although I do respect the principle of that. No, no my future social workers. The hours of the Chick-Fil-A are inscrutable. The Chinese place will be open, the Taco Bell will be open, and the Starbuck’s will most assuredly be open, but the Chick is closed! It is an absolutely desolate feeling. The only thing that might rival that is when you arrive and it is open, but you notice that the line is four times as long as any other in the eating area – apparently, I am not the only chicken aficionado on campus.
I would hate to give the impression that my stomach rules me – although it does – so I will also tell you about my favorite cognitive exercise at UH….finding a parking spot! I am convinced that the parking lot planners were actually hired by the Graduate College of Sociology to create elaborate mazes to observe people in B.F. Skinner-esque behavioral experiments. Until you come here, it is hard to understand what I mean. My undergraduate education was at a tiny university, and I didn’t have a car anyway so the whole frustration of this would have been somewhat lost on me. I am of the opinion that the university probably sells at least 25% more parking permits than there are spots. Given the commuting nature of the school and the fact that classes are scheduled from 9am to 6pm every day, there are many times where this is not an issue. However, if you try to find a spot within several miles of class from 9:30-1:30pm, good luck! Some enterprising art students erected shark headed pagodas in the parking with bloody teeth one day. I often troll around the lot and will even offer to give a complete stranger a ride to their car in exchange for their spot! Hitchhikers!! You will find people unobtrusively parked in illegal spots everywhere or merely lurking about ready to pounce on an open space. I often park so far out that the parking lot isn’t even paved! It’s like coming to the edge of the universe…all you see is blank space once you get there.
And, on that happy note, I hope everyone had a wonderful winter break!
By: Matthew Estes