The pursuit of excellence… If we really think about that phrase, we realize that’s a huge undertaking. To pursue excellence causes us to define excellence, and how else are we able to define excellence without looking immediately to Christ. To define excellence by anything other than the divine perfection that is God is bold and straight up prideful! Thanks to sin in this world, we fall so short of attaining anything close to excellence. Thankfully, we serve an excellent and perfect God who continues to show us grace.
I start this blog with that thought because over my few days with the Gamma Chapter at Texas A&M University, I saw that the chapter operates with excellence, or how I had previously defined excellent. That being said, nothing changed about my perception, just the interpretation.
I came to encourage these men to continue pursuing the vision of BYX, to operate both internally and externally with excellence, understanding that when we do brotherhood well, when we are challenging each other spiritually and sharpening each other as men, what overflows is social excellence, serving the Greek community as a member of it and the campus as an integral part. Just as a bike needs both wheels turning together to move forward, BYX requires social involvement supported by a strong brotherhood to thrive. One does not grow without the other, just like a bike without its front wheel leave can you with a busted knee after flipping over the handlebars. No one wants to flip over the handlebars. I’ve done it. It hurts.
Jared Lyda and I share a similar love for the Zac Brown Band. It’s simply great music. It’s routinely the first segment of every conversation he and I have ever had. I met Jared for my first meeting on Monday at Barnes and Noble near the university and talked about his plans for Island Party in the Spring! (Here’s a hint – It’s going to be great.)
After catching up with this dude and his continually improving beard, I headed off to meet with John Hoehner, the president of the Gamma Chapter. I would spend the next couple nights on his couch. After catching up on what’s been going on since our time together at the second annual COR Leadership Retreat (which everyone should apply for in 2015) and discussing the state of the chapter, I met Gabe McKinney, current chaplain and fellow COR participant, for dinner at Fuego, a College Station legend. In all honesty, I’m partial to Torchy’s Tacos and that’s still the case after this trip. Fuego isn’t bad by any means. Torchy’s is just that good!
From dinner, Gabe and I went over to Kyle Field before chapter because of course I had to get a picture with the stadium that carries my namesake. Meeting itself was great, between elections taking place and addressing the 230-plus brothers, it was special.
To Cameron Elston, thanks for asking your question! See, that night was my mom’s birthday and I couldn’t miss my mom’s birthday. I hadn’t forgotten, but I had never had a good 20 minutes to call and catch up. What Cameron did was ask if my mom would like the chapter to sing “Happy birthday” to her, so of course I said yes. That’s without a doubt one of the cooler things I’ve had happen as an advisor, and I’m incredibly thankful because I know it brought her joy. It may have not been the prettiest singing I’ve ever heard, but it was awesome, so again, thanks guys!
After chapter, the newly elected officers as well as the old headed to Whataburger for some honey-butter chicken biscuits. This has been a common theme from my chapters in Texas, and I’m gaining weight because of it. Somehow the topic of conversation drifted towards uncontrollable bowel movements and what it would be like to mess one’s self while wearing a diaper. By this point, I’d lost it and couldn’t make a face without laughing harder. It took some real effort to settle down and breathe again, but eventually the crappy talk ended and after biscuits, I slipped into a welcomed food coma.
Tuesday came early as it always does and Kettle waited with open arms; open arms and lots of coffee. Pledge Captain Josh Tucker and I met over a complete breakfast to discuss recruitment, pledgeship and how we can build on this semester’s successes going into the next year.
The rest of the morning was filled by a meeting with Tanner Crake, who come to find out, is from Raleigh, North Carolina and knows a good friend of mine; small world! We met at Mugwall’s, a cool little coffee shop not far from campus. In saying that, every cool coffee shop has been super hipster and while that’s far from being my kinda thing, it’s always created a good environment to read, write or meet with officers. Thanks, hipsters!
After coffee, Tyler Silva grabbed me and we headed to the always superior Torchy’s. We ate relatively quickly because something great was about to happen: Paintball!
Around 4 p.m., BYX and KAΘ met for an epic afternoon paintball mixer! After a few hours, there were some serious welts. If you can come back from playing paintball without getting hit, you’re either too good to be playing with normal people or you aren’t doing it right. These men represented BYX well and showed the ladies from Theta a good time. The only question I was left with was, with as many guys as were out there, why was a girl the only one manning the grill…?
Paintball left us ready to eat, and we made our way to the sweet, sweet promised land better known as Lupe Tortilla, home of the best steak fajitas in the history of ever. If there was ever a food that could come close to replicating the food Adam probably had in Eden, the fajita steak that Lupe serves would be my nominee.
Unfortunately, Jared Lyda had to work this night so he wasn’t able to join the other officers and myself. Tortillas of this caliber have a tendency to lead to deeper conversation and this night was no different, so what followed was an impromptu officer meeting. After good discussion with the officers as well as downing our fair share of quality Tex-Mex, John and I went back to his house.
The next morning, I met several of the brothers at Kettle, again, for the exact same thing I’d had the day prior. Well worth it. When it came time for them to head off to class, I hit the road, leaving College Station in the rear view mirror but excited for the opportunity to return in the Spring.