NAMIBIA: College Station, Writing Across the Curriculum, Kowas

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by Jfet, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. Jfet

    Jfet AH Veteran

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    June 6, 2014: FHS Library


    School is out but not really out we still have 3 days of inservice training to complete before the teachers are free. It is, though, AFRICA MONTH! Currently I am sitting in our school library about to go through Writing Across the Curriculum training. In 27 years of education, I have done this several times. I could probably conduct the training. However, this time I am using it as inspiration to start my Hunting Report.


    This is an all hands on deck trip. Everyone on Team Fet. is hunting. Team Fet consists of: oldest son (Wyatt 23), youngest son (Ty 20), Princess Bride (PB ?) and me. We are going to Namibia in late June to hunt with Danie and Ansie Strauss of Kowas Safaris. This trip is a graduation present for Wyatt. He is now a graduate from Texas A&M University but the planning for this trip began 18 months ago. After sending the deposit, I did inform Wyatt that if he did not graduate in May of 2014 he could not go on the trip. Everyone else would go, but not him. Technically this statement was made in jest. Little did I realize that this would be a near run thing.
    Meeting is starting. I will have to continue latter. ;)
     
  2. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Looking forward to the tale.

    I can not think of a better motivator to study hard.
     
  3. Jfet

    Jfet AH Veteran

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    Yes, I am a firm believer in sticks and carrots. (y)
     
  4. Jfet

    Jfet AH Veteran

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    WARNING!!! This section contains potentially biased information from a very proud father.


    It is sufficient to say that Wyatt is a very accomplished student. He is naturally talented and will work hard to develop his talent. Thus, graduating from college has never been in doubt.


    Then we (me and PB) received the phone call from Wyatt in the first week of April. (graduation is the first week in May) A history professor had informed Wyatt that she did not like his thesis for the paper that was do in two weeks and she did not feel he had time to change his thesis and he should drop the class. After a few moments of silence I asked him if he had a plan. Wyatt said, “I have a plan. It will be ok. I will still be going to Africa in June.” I told him great and keep us informed and we loved him and were proud of him. I then ended the call, took my hand off of PB’s mouth and started running. She caught me. Fortunately all injuries will be completely healed by trip time. :whistle:


    Needless to say a passing grade was needed on the paper in order to pass the class, in order to graduate. I am not sure how Wyatt handled the pressure but we at home went through a large amount of pins and needles. In the end a new thesis was developed, new research was done, and a new paper was completed. On May 7th a passing grade was issued for that history class and Wyatt was on the list for the graduation ceremonies that were to be held in College Station on May 9th. The deal is still not done.

    I am not listening to the afternoon presenter and the principal of the school is starring at me. I will post more later.:D
     
  5. Jfet

    Jfet AH Veteran

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    June 6 2014 evening: Home


    Ok, school is out for the day. Yes, at this time of the year there is no difference between me the experienced veteran teacher and a 16year old kid. School has no purpose.


    Graduation Day at Texas A&M. PB and I are seated in Reed Arena the proud parents of a soon to be college graduate. I have even put on a suit and tie. Little brother has come down from the University of Arkansas to see his big brother graduate. We are all very excited! It is a big Deal!


    That weekend Texas A&M would graduate 8,000 students. It is tradition (those of you who are familiar with A&M know that tradition is a big deal) that as you walk across the stage you actually receive your diploma. Most large universities in the United States mail the diploma to the student after graduation. For clarity sake this graduation ceremony was for the College of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M. There were 1,800 graduates involved in this ceremony. There would be five other ceremonies that weekend. In this particular ceremony Clarence Sasser would receive an Honorary Doctorial Degree of Letters. Mr. Sasser is the eighth student from Texas A&M to receive the Medal of Honor


    Well, Wyatt walked across the stage received the tube with his diploma. Team Fet cheered and then we got ready to cheer for several of Wyatt’s buddies that were also graduating in that ceremony. Then we received the text message from Wyatt. It stated that there was a memo in the tube not the diploma. The memo stated that he had not met all requirements for graduation. He Had Not Graduated!


    I am not happy! In fact nobody in Team Fet is happy! We did not stay for the rest of the ceremony. We met Wyatt outside of the arena and he was already on the phone to his academic advisor. Bless this man because in the next couple of hours he went to battle for us. According to records Wyatt was lacking one credit hour of residency to qualify for graduation. The academic advisor proclaimed this as stupid (actually he used other more colorful terms) because Wyatt has taken all of his classes at Texas A&M. The academic advisor pulls up records, starts contacting people, and gets this error fixed. Did I mention that this was a Friday and school was done and I would not have blamed this professor for taking off early for an extended weekend but he stayed the course and did a great job.


    Through out this whole adventure PB and I had to sit quietly and let our little boy fight this fight. This is not in either of our personalities. I wanted to YELL at somebody! At this point Wyatt is a graduate of Texas A&M but there is no diploma. I am still not happy! I still want to YELL at somebody. I believe somebody on this forum talks about practicing whispering before you go to Africa. That advice was to pay dividends before the day was out.


    PB has just called and I have been informed that I am taking her out to eat this evening. Yes Dear!:whistle:
     
  6. CAustin

    CAustin AH Fanatic

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    Congrats to you and your son sir. I took my son Bryson last year to South Africa with African Sky safaris. I purchased the same hunt for him as I did for myself. I also took my bride who took all the pictures. We had NEVER experienced so much fun. Our PH, Hennie du Toit made sure that everything was to our satisfaction from start to finish.
    I hope your family has the trip of a lifetime. I tell you my son smiled more in 9 days than he had in the previous 10 years. Be prepared for too much fun! Everyone on this site will look forward to your pictures.
     
  7. tarbe

    tarbe BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Wow. What an ordeal. Your son will be a better everything for having survived this fiasco!

    Gig 'em!
     
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  8. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    GIG EM!!!

    Class of 90

    Your story so far has brought back many fond memories for me. I too was worried about that diploma being in the tube (for far less honorable reasons than your son!) and vividly remember peaking in the tube to make sure it was there.

    One thing about Aggies. We take care of our own. It doesn't surprise me that someone went the extra mile to take care of the problem, that day. At any other school that might be a surprise, but not at Texas A&M. Tradition and a willingness to help others make A&M different from any school in the United States, with the exception of the three Service Academies and maybe one or two others.

    Congratulations to your son and to your family.

    Royal
     
  9. Jfet

    Jfet AH Veteran

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    June 7, 2014: At Home


    It’s time to go track down a diploma!


    It’s like wounding an animal. You do not want to leave the field and you sure do not want to leave the recovery to somebody else on another day. You are sick! You are mad! You really want to yell, shout, and throw things, but it is at that point somebody on the team needs to think.


    After the academic advisor informed Wyatt that all the problems had been cleared up and he was a graduate. I asked where could we pick up the diploma. The Student Services Building is where you pick up the diploma. However, we were told that could not happen until Monday or Tuesday of next week. That was not a good answer. Wyatt and I headed to the building. PB and Ty were in observer roles at this time. I think Ty was along just to see whom I was going to blow up on.


    Wyatt and I marched into Student Services and the lady at the front desk had been there before. She recognized that here was a potential graduate and father that were not happy about graduation. She just pointed down the hall and then ducked. We marched down the hall turned the corner and was confronted by an immense room of bureaucratic cubicles filled with number crunchers and rule followers. Somewhere in this jungle was a diploma. We just had to locate the spore and track it down. I was about to use the bulldozer method and clear the whole place by yelling at the first person that looked my way. When Wyatt touched my arm and walked into a cubicle and quietly began chatting with the young man at the computer. The process of tracking the diploma had begun with a whisper.


    Wyatt began working through the sign and guiding the young bureaucrat, John was his name, through the almost hidden path of emails, policies, and procedures. Then there it was on the computer screen laying motionless in the tall 0 and 1’s. You could just make out the parchment through the dapple light of the computer screen. There was no ground shrinkage in this trophy! At this moment John informed us that the diploma was at Reed Arena and that typically policy dictated that it would be Tuesday before we could pick it up. Taking the cue from my son, I leaned over the computer and whispered, “Son, this is Texas A&M we are not about typical. We are about greatness.”


    John looked at me and said, “Yes Sir. Give me an hour and I will see what I can do.”


    At this moment PB suggested we go get something to eat. I realized that I was faint from hunger and there was nothing more we could do at the moment. It had been a long hard track. We just did not know if we were going to get it done that day.


    We went back to the hotel and changed clothes. We went to a near by restaurant. I do not even know which one we went to. Adrenaline was draining from my system. I wanted to sit down and feel sorry for myself.


    However, as we were about to place our order John called. He had the diploma. It was in his cubicle. The motor was running again! No we did not place our order. We did manage to exit the restaurant with out running over anybody. We managed to arrive at the Student Services office with out any police cars trailing us and John delivered the diploma to Wyatt.


    John had been great!


    Thus the first trophy in our adventure to Africa!

    IMG_0010.JPG
     
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  10. Jfet

    Jfet AH Veteran

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    CAustin, thanks for you best wishes. I believe you have hit upon a key note. Having FUN with family is vital and I believe having fun where all members are active participants in the adventure is key. Last night PB reminded me of our family dinner before graduation and how a comment from the waiter brought forth a story from TY about black dots and hunting turkeys from when the boys were little. We struggled to finish our meal because of intense laughter and the people at the other tables were having a hard time keeping a straight face. CAustin I hope you and your family will get to have such meals.
     
  11. Jfet

    Jfet AH Veteran

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    I probably should have issued a warning for this hunting report. Aggies are really good people but as my sister-in-law points out we can go on and on and on and on about Texas A&M.;)

    Royal, PB and I are class of 87. Thanks for your comments.

    Hint to PH's: If you have Aggies in camp play the War Hymn as wake up call. Tips will be larger. (y)
     
  12. tarbe

    tarbe BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Follow it up with a wise-crack about tea-sippers, and the tip will be astronomical! :)
     
  13. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    LOL - you probably should have warned them!

    Jfet, I literally had chills running down my spine reading your post this morning and seeing the picture of your son and his diploma. For me, this is the most exciting hunt report I've ever read here and the trophy picture the most magnificent!

    Always great to say Howdy to fellow Aggies.
     
  14. Jfet

    Jfet AH Veteran

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    June 7, 2014: Home


    Ok, there is a conspiracy on this forum. You veteran safari hunters, you have been holding out on some vital information. This hidden information is centered around the following phrase:

    “Honey, don’t you think we should fix __________ before we go to Africa?” :rolleyes:


    This is followed by a cute smile and fluttering eye lashes. Then immediately followed by a trip to the hardware store and several hours of hard labour under the Texas sun in summer time. This is a vacum cleaner! :mad:


    Ok, so for all you hunters who are 3 to 12 months out from your safari start getting those jobs done. Also, calculate fixing fences, stoping leaks, and others jobs into your budget for your safari. I just spent a wart hog at home depot.

    Hey, Team Fet is going to Africa!(y)
     
  15. tarbe

    tarbe BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    We leave one year from next week.

    I just spent $1,000 on a new scope. Does that count?? :)
     
  16. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    ^^^^ My payment was new hard wood floors.

    Sounds like you got off cheap!!!
     
  17. Jfet

    Jfet AH Veteran

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    tea-sippers is an endearing term used by Aggies towards our good friends and neighbors that attend Texas University. Graduates of Texas University eventually grow up to be fine upstanding citizens. :rolleyes: Case in point would be Admiral McRaven. Below is a link to his commencement speech at UT this May.

     
  18. Jfet

    Jfet AH Veteran

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    PB was doing good until she read your post. She had to cry for 30 minutes. :)
     
  19. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Meant every word and was from the heart. Glad the Mrs. read it.

    JUST DONT LET HER SEE THE POST ABOUT MY WIFE GETTING HARD WOOD FLOORS!!!!! Save that money for your second trip!!! :)
     
  20. Jfet

    Jfet AH Veteran

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    No, that goes into essential and vital equipment NEEDED for the trip. ;)

    What scope did you get?
     

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