Thursday, August 28, 2014

Throwback Thursday: It all started with some vests

Dear Em,
I just watched a video on Facebook of URI RAs in at a bowling alley in costume. They had an entire acapella performance to go with their costumes. It was truly amazing.

Once upon a time, I was an RA. When I started, we didn't have staff bowling. After two weeks of training, we had a staff cruise night. Traning was an intense time of learning & preparing (& fun too), & the RA cruise was a great way to unwind. We dressed up & mingled with all the RA friends we had made that summer.

My last year as an RA, it was announced that the RA cruise would be replaced with RA bowling. I was bummed. I'm not really a bowler. I mean, I'll go with friends, but I mostly feel ehhh about it. And what about dressing up n a cute dress & taking pretty photos? My staff wondered how we could bring a little more fun into bowling night.

It all started with some vests. I'm not sure where we even found them. I mean, what store was selling cheesy black vests in bulk? I'm not sure if we were going for Grease's T-Birds or tough bikers, but we bought the vests & decorated them with puffy paint. We gave ourselves nicknames that we painted on the front of the vests. Then we bowled. We bowled & we laughed at ourselves...because no one else was wearing funny vests. No one else was dressed up at all. It was a great night. The Barlow staff had found a way to make bowling fun.

I returned to RA training the next year as a Graduate Assistant Hall Director. Not willing to let go of finding something fun to do while bowling, I told my staff about our vests from the previous year. My staff was so amazing & so fun. They jumped right on the idea of dressing up. We made tshirts & bought neon visors (where did we ever find those). We wore boxer shorts & knee high socks. We looked ridiculous...& we laughed at ourselves because, again, no one else was dressed in silly costume. We got a lot of stares that year, but we got the Director of Housing to wear one of our visors & had TONS of fun. It was a good night.

The next year, there were whispers from all over about dressing up for bowling night. My staff went with a theme that was easy to put together but had a lot of shock value...we dressed like we were heading to the shower. There were towels (I wore a strapless dress under mine) & shower caps & loofahs. It was amazing. Guess what?! We weren't the only ones to dress up that year. There were other staffs in their own themed outfits too. It was so freaking fun!

My last year at URI RA training, my staff & I all dressed up as Hillbilly's. We had so much fun getting our costumes together. As we walked outside to join the others at the busses, I think my mouth dropped open. All the staffs were walking out from their costume! Even the Hall Directors dressed up. The costume themse were thoughtful & funny & amazing. That night bowling was truly fun (& hilarious)!

It's been a long time since I participated in RA bowling night, but once each summer I see photos posted on Facebook. Costume bowling night is so much bigger & more elaborate now. It's pretty amazing. It puts a smile on my face as I think of all the RA staffs that came before. I think of the amazing staffs I got to work with & how they made bowling fun. Sigh, it pretty amazing what a few cheesy vests & some great people can start.

I love you so,


  1. Wow! I had no idea that our fun spirit caught on! I remember everyone thinking we were the weirdos...with our games and spirit and was weird I guess...but weird can be so fun.

    1. Oh Jes, you should see it now! Every staff dresses up & performs. We were actually tame compared to what it is now. Ha! So fun to think a bunch of weirdos started it all :)


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