Students are moved in. A week of new classes has nearly passed. Activities, homework and extracurriculars are already beginning to pile up. Tendrils of anxiety threaten to pull the campus into a funk, but a certain Oklahoma Christian University tradition never fails to lighten the mood and kick the year off right—it’s time for First Week Follies.
Edmond’s own combination of “America’s Got Talent” and “Saturday Night Live” has been a campus tradition for 38 years, and it definitely holds a special place in my heart. I can’t help but smile as I recall the past years’ shows: Dr. Baird ranting about a dead parrot, Neil Arter shoveling a dozen Laffy Taffies in his mouth, President deSteiguer’s baby blue jacket—each skit and joke is a positive memory in my mental catalogue.
But not all share my affection for Follies. Many students roll their eyes when I bring it up, thinking it dull or just a waste of time, and I hate to say that the reaction from some professors is similar—an incredulous scoff, as if disliking Follies is a given.
So I’ll attempt to separate myself from nostalgia and explain why I appreciate Follies so much.
We students have countless opportunities to showcase our abilities. Throughout the year there are band and choir concerts, plays and musicals, art exhibits and, of course, the mecca of silliness, Spring Sing. The student body and its achievements are Oklahoma Christian’s focus, so it is only fitting that an entire night is dedicated to celebrating our faculty and staff.
Before a semester full of tests, lectures, clinicals and labs, Follies is the perfect way for staff to let loose and have a good time. This is the night where a typically reserved professor can jump onstage and wow his or her students without any fear of embarrassment.
Ultimately, I love Follies because it demonstrates the true dedication the faculty and staff has for its students. They would do anything to make our day. What other Ph.D.s do you know that would perform “Cocktails For Two” just to make the student body smile? They care for us, as equally evident by helping us with papers and wearing ridiculous wigs onstage.
Yes, I appreciate First Week Follies and I will miss it dearly when I graduate this spring. Please, enjoy it while you can. Honestly, where else can you hear Little Bo Peep told as a Southern Baptist sermon, see Bible professors acting like four-year-old Sunday-schoolers or witness the amazing musical skills of the Church of Christ?