We all remember.
We remember because of the hippocampus, an organ the size and shape of a fat man’s pinky, lodged deep in the human brain. This rounded, pudgy mechanism stores the sensory data we experience in life — sights, sounds, smells, tastes — and compresses it into a format compatible for long-term memory.
It’s because of the hippocampus that we can still remember — and tell — stories. Stories of the day we fell off our first bike, or the smell of grandma’s cookies, or just how awkward that first kiss was.
Here are some of those stories — from students, for students.
Welcome to the first installment of Days I Remember, where this week’s theme is “memories that make you laugh.” Twice a month, the Tribune will collect stories told by students based on a theme and publish the audio in an online podcast, the first of which can be accessed via the link above. Stay tuned.
“We’re losing the hockey game!”
Joe Carey, senior, College of Communication
Not too many people can pinpoint the exact moment they become a weirdo, but I think I’ve got it down pat.
There was a time when I was younger that I went through this period of living through my nightmares. I guess the closest it can be described as is as a Vietnam flashback. The first time it happened I was 12 years old, and I woke up in kind of a calm panic. I didn’t remember what my dream was — I wasn’t thinking — but the next thing I knew I was standing in the doorway of my parents’ bedroom watching them sleep.
I don’t know why I was doing this. I wasn’t thinking at the time.
But I was definitely awake. After a few minutes my mom wakes up and looks over at the doorway, sees me watching, staring at ‘em.
She doesn’t even say anything to me — she just goes, “Mike, Mike wake up – it’s Joe – Mike, Mike, wake up!”
So my dad wakes up, kind of startled, and he says, “Heyyyy, buddy. What’s goin’ on?”
And I said, “We’re losing the hockey game 99-nothin’.”
I wasn’t thinking this — it just came out of my mouth.
He goes, “What?”
“We’re losing the hockey game 99-nothin’!”
Now keep in mind this was three in the morning and my parents had just woken up to see me watching over them so they ask me again, “Joe, what are you talking about?” And I scream, “We’re losing the hockey game 99-nothing!” Over and over again. I’m sobbing; I’m crying.
They take me to the kitchen table trying to get out of me what is happening. Am I dreaming? Am I awake? But all they can get out of me is that there’s a hockey game and my team is losing 99-nothing.
It’s rather a blowout.
So finally after screaming in my dad’s face, he goes, “Well you better pull the goalie, boss, cause that’s the only way your team’s gonna get back into it.”
Though Joe admits he often mutters in his sleep — “Yeah, I’m sure. I definitely sleep-talk incoherently.” — he assured the Tribune he has not had a single sleepwalking episode since he arrived at Marquette. Regardless, his three older brothers never let him live this particular memory down.
“The night Sal’s came to us.”
Elyise Brigman, senior, College of Communication
The first week of school, second semester senior year, was more stressful than I had imagined.
(My roommates) have to put up and live with my gluten allergy, which has really come in the way of a lot of our daily routines. I try and be real disciplined, but when I’m in a stressful week, like that first week of senior year, I don’t really follow my gluten allergy.
Basically, I had been eating gluten all day. Exclusively cookies and cinnamon bread, some monkey-bread rolls.
So it was, what, Tuesday afternoon or something? And, naturally, I was in the depths of despair after my first day of five classes back-to-back. (And for me, that’s a lot to do in a day.) I came home by 7 o’clock that night, basically starving, with the worst gluten migraine I had ever had. (A gluten headache is something that sometimes gluten-intolerant people get. They’re very real, and very debilitating. —Elyise Brigman.)
I walk in the door and immediately start to cook dinner. Trying to cure my gluten headache, I found gluten-free Bisquik mix. Ben, a neighbor, came over and helped cook dinner, because he said he would try the gluten-free Bisquik mix as well.
So we decided on waffles because (my roommate) had left the waffle maker out. But after we made these waffles — and they smelled fabulous; we put fresh butter and syrup and everything on them — we tried one bite before making the rest of the batter just to see if we should continue on with what we had started. I actually hated them.
I had some of my roommates try it, and everyone else seemed to love the gluten-free waffle mix except for Ben and I, who were the ones trying to make ourselves dinner.
I came into (my roommate’s room) so upset — so mad about my gluten-free waffles.
So I said, “These waffles suck. Let’s get Sal’s!” I believe those were the words I said.
So then we got Sal’s. We had to do two slices (of pizza) minimum, so naturally we got four.
And my gluten migraine was worse.
Since then, I have been gluten free. Except for the breaded chicken at lunch today.
Elyise reported to the Tribune that she thinks she has been managing her gluten headaches quite nicely since this particular episode, though she is eager to see how the third week of school turns out for her.
Cassidy Wilson, sophomore, College of Education
This is my first year being a site coordinator for (the service organization) Midnight Run. One of my fellow coordinators had approached me and asked if I would speak at Orientation. I thought, “Sure, I’ll do it.” It’d be a great way to jump right in. I approached a friend, talking to her about my nerves and how I wasn’t sure what to speak about and if she had any ideas.
She assured me, “You’re just speaking to your small group. Everything you say is on a sheet of paper. It’s fine.”
So I thought four. (I’d be speaking to) Four people.
We had the meeting before orientation, and we were handed the slip of everything that would be in our itinerary. And lo and behold my name is in bold, right next to the first time slot. I realized at that moment that I was actually speaking to the full group.
The room kept filling up and filling up and filling up, and I was still thinking about which story to tell.
I had some humorous stories I could share, and it was then that I decided to tell a story about urine therapy.
Two hundred people are in this room. My audience grew from the anticipated four to 200 people. These are all Midnight Run volunteers in the ballrooms, up in the AMU. Virtually all strangers — I had just met the coordinating team earlier that week.
I was nervous, thinking everything through. The time comes for me to go up and start speaking.
I start my speech.
I told them I had volunteered at St. James the semester before. St. James is a church right east of Straz Tower. St. James puts breakfast together every morning for the homeless. We probably get 300 people through, at least. You recognize a lot of the faces and build relationships off that.
One of the relationships I encountered was this man who was a regular guest. He hadn’t really ever spoken to me before.
It being 7:30 in the morning, nobody wants to put makeup on. And I’ve been cursed with a terrible complexion most of the time. (I can thank my Dad for my acne.) Everyone could see my zits and my acne and everything.
Well, this gentleman, he approached me, and he said he noticed I had pretty bad acne.
Right away I reverted back to tenth-grade Cassidy who’s super self-conscious and thinks that everyone notices everything wrong with her. I was laughing it off, even though he had gotten out of his seat and pointed out to me that he was noticing my less-than-optimal complexion.
I kind of smiled and said, “Oh yeah, I know. It’s pretty bad.”
I continued down the aisle, giving milk and coffee out to people. He kept following, continuing, telling me he had a good remedy for me. It was embarrassing, and I was trying to be polite at the same time. He ended up telling me that I should try urine therapy.
That is, urine on wherever you have the inflammation or acne.
So, my face.
He said he knew it sounded gross, but that he had really bad acne when he was a kid and wanted to help me as well. Which, in the long run, is a really sweet thing to do.
So I was telling my audience this story, standing in front of 200 people.
I wrap it up by telling them that in Midnight Run you’re going to learn a lot. You’re going to learn to understand people, their situations, and, in my case, you’re going to get some urine therapy advice.
I ended by saying, “I’m not gonna say anything else, but … look at this complexion!”
I suggested to 200 people that I peed on my face.
Cassidy assured the Tribune that she did not actually apply urine to her skin, but that her complexion has, ironically enough, improved since she received the generous suggestion from the gentleman at St. James.