March 4, 2014: No place like home

Just returned from a TSUS Regents’ meeting and an alumni luncheon. Travel is an education of sorts. It helps provide perspective and it also helps increase appreciation for home.

Whenever I leave Alpine I pretty much can expect the weather to be less Alpine-like (meaning less ideal) than anywhere I go. Colder elsewhere than here in the winter, hotter everywhere else than here in the summer, and always more humid.

This past week’s schedule took me to San Marcos, a place I like a lot. Hospitality was great and we dined in the newly updated football stadium and also attended the opening of an opulent, if not breathtaking, performing arts center.

Riding back, Cesar Valenzuela and I talked about our Sul Ross campus and how it compares with others in the system. Our Alpine campus is one of natural beauty and simplicity. We even discussed why we don’t have showpiece buildings. True, we have a new $1.4M football field house, a fantastic Gallego Center, the best residential housing in Texas, a great baseball park, and a modern student union, but none of these are particularly flashy. Why? ┬áProbably because our history and setting are practical like the people who pioneered and populated West Texas.

Ours is a rancher’s mentality. Why build something for more if we can build a darn good one for less? Why serve lobster bisque and white wine if you can put steak and enchiladas and sweet tea on the table?

Yep, we’re not all that fancy at Sul Ross, Trappings aside, but we do appreciate great performances and unique poetry, good food and good company. For me I prefer the West and the twang that comes with it!

Incidentally, I wrote this blog on a plane to Big D, before heading out the next day to DC. I already miss the Big Bend!