Tag Archives: Sam Houston State University

A Different President’s Day

The view as we were driving on Hwy. 45

The view as we were driving north on Hwy. 45

Yesterday the Mister, our younger son, and I drove to Huntsville. Our destination was Sam Houston State University, where the kid plans to attend college. The goal was to check with an advisor about classes he’ll take in the fall and for the Mister to see the campus for the first time.

Nearing the end of our 90-minute drive there is something you just can’t miss along the side of the road: A ginormous statue of Sam Houston hisself. Called a “Tribute to Courage” and sculpted by David Adickes, it’s a whopping 67-feet tall, which doesn’t even include the 10-foot-tall base!

Yep, everything really is bigger in Texas . . . including our statues!

Can he dunk?

Can he dunk?

How appropriate that we passed by good, old cement Sam on our way to his namesake college. After all, yesterday was President’s Day . . . and sudden Sam was the first and third presidents of this great state of Texas!

Football Fun

My younger son launches a throw.

The kid launches the football.

There are few things in life that my younger son likes better than football . . . well, except sitting and watching it on TV. When a game is on, he’ll be running around the family room, football in hand (he got a new one from the Mister for Christmas), quarterbacking his imaginary team.

It always makes me smile . . . except when he won’t pass me the ball (put me in, coach!).

Ricky about to make the catch.

Ricky about to make the catch.

One of the kid’s favorite activities is to play football with his pals. Usually he meets a group of fellow high school seniors on the Club field near our house. However, a few weeks ago, he and his buddy Ricky decided to throw the faux pigskin around in our cul-de-sac as they waited for their friend Jared to come over and play a videogame.

What goes up, must come down!

What goes up, must come down!

I really enjoyed watching them burn off some energy. Plus they didn’t mind showing off for my Nikon dSLR (always a plus!).

Ricky finds his inner lefty.

Ricky finds his inner lefty.

Despite being a lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan, Ricky is one of my favorites among my younger son’s friends. He’s well-spoken and polite and is never afraid to speak his mind . . . especially when it comes to trashing (good-naturedly, of course) my beloved Cubbies. I forgive him his trespasses.

Jared finally arrives!

Jared finally arrives!

Our association with Jared goes back about five years to the kid’s Little League baseball days. Little did we know way back then that the two would become such good pals in high school. Hopefully, Jared will join my son at Sam Houston State this fall.

Jared hauls in a pass from my son.

Jared hauls in a pass from my son.

Speaking of which, I know that every time I snap pics of the kid and his friends that before long they’ll be off to college. Many, many miles away from my Nikon dSLR and my oft-full tear ducts.

The kid actually hung on to the ball!

The kid actually hung on to the ball!

Which makes me appreciate all the more these little athletic sessions in front of our house among the parked cars. I’m sure I’ll miss them almost as much as I’ll miss my beloved baby boy.

Cue the Tears

My unexcited son manages a thumbs up as he holds his acceptance envelope.

When my older son received his acceptance to the University of Texas at San Antonio three years ago, there was a tiny, nagging thought in the back of my ever-Tefloning brain:

I’ll be repeating this scene before long.

Showing even less enthusiasm (gotta love the Cookie Monster wristband, though)

Sure enough, it was little bro’s turn yesterday to hold up his big envelope for me to photograph. This one was from Sam Houston State; a couple weeks ago he had opened a regular-sized envelope with his acceptance from the University of Houston. Two applications, two yesses. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

Reading his acceptance letter

But, of course, it wasn’t. For awhile, we wondered if the kid was even going to make it out of high school, as he battled his severe school anxiety that started the second semester of his sophomore year. The twin horrors of homebound school and online high school had us reeling until my son righted his ship with medication and returned to his public school second semester junior year.

This first semester of his senior year started out rocky for the first two weeks, but he hasn’t missed any classes since. Of course, even when the waters seem smooth, the Mister and I are forever on our guard for wobbles and waves that could capsize our son’s journey. We are battle-worn but ready.

He’s in!

All of which just added to my tears when I read the kid’s college acceptances. Yes, it does mean that my beloved baby boy will be moving out and on with his life, as the Mister and I face an empty nest for the first time. I know I’ll miss my younger son as much as I do his older brother. They are my life.

But, more importantly, it reminded me of how this kid fought for his normalcy and to keep up with his schoolwork so he wouldn’t fall behind. He never gave up. How even though it’s been difficult at times to sit in his classes, he hangs in there, because he knows his future is bright and worth fighting for. I am so proud of him.

Hey, Sam Houston State! Say hello to your newest bearkat!

Congratulations to my brave big little boy. You are and always will be my hero!

Saying Hi to Good, Old Sam Houston

SHSU shows pride in its longevity.

After seeing that the University of Houston has a bowling alley on campus, I thought that C.J. had locked in his college decision. How easy-breezy his last year in high school would be, as he contemplates staying close to home (albeit living in a dorm) and attending the Mister’s alma mater.

But then C.J.’s long-time pal (since kindergarten), RJ, made a fateful decision: He wants to attend Sam Houston State University to study criminal justice (it’s one of the top programs in the nation).

Sam Houston watches over his campus.

Stop the presses on that college application (as if my son has even started it)! It was time to see if another hat (preferably Stetson) needed to be thrown into the matriculation ring.

Which meant that yesterday we were on the road to Huntsville, home of the university named after the former governor of and senator from Texas (and two-time president of the Republic of Texas, as well as the governor of Tennessee). It’s about an hour and 40-minute drive from our house, which is far enough away for my son and close enough for me.

Students always know what time it is.

We had never stepped foot on campus before and weren’t sure what to expect. We discovered during our hour-plus tour of the buildings and several dorms that SHSU is a gem of a college! We both were impressed by the beautiful, well-maintained grounds (it’s very green), mix of old and new buildings, and possible majors.

Sidebar: C.J. is having trouble deciding what to major in. Am I one of the few people who knew at a young age what I wanted to be (a writer)? Which, of course, led me to get a journalism degree at the venerable University of Illinois.

An advising center JUST for my son!

As we drove home, my son and I discussed the pros and cons of U of H and Sam Houston State. Right now he’s rating them as even contenders for our dwindling college bucks, so he’ll apply to both of them and see what happens.

This was the one, pitiful photo I snapped of my C.J. Sigh!

One thing seems certain: My beloved baby boy will be some kind of cat next fall. But will it be a (UH) cougar or a (SHSU) bearkat?

Time will tell!