Sunday, April 03, 2005

Back to Chico.......bummer.

On Friday evening, my wife and I drove back to our home town of Chico, California.
Yes, that Chico.
The Chico that is famous for frat parties hosted by adult film companies.
The Chico that is famous for more than a few horrid hazing deaths.
The Chico that is famous for even more deaths by alcohol poisoning.
And finally, the Chico that recently arrested a professor while he was smoking meth out in his car between classes.
Every time people find out that I'm from Chico, and that I graduated from Chico State, the first question I'm asked is about the parties. This is especially true with my students, many of which are dying to go to Chico so they can get blitzed 4 nights a week. I'll be totally honest with you, I have never gone through the whole "party scene" that was Chico. The only parties I attended were with friends and they were well away from 5th and Ivy (the center of partydom). The reason I stayed away? Basically it was because the whole scene is a lot like high school, only everyone is way more drunk, much more stupid, and dying to fight. When the school gets a bad rep, the school complains. This weekend it was this L.A. Times article that the Chico State president stated was inaccurate. He's right, it is actually much worse. It doesn't mention the constant fights, the combat that often results between police and students, the youth that are getting drunk off their ass, the alarming rape statistics, and the huge number of students that visit the Chico State care center because of STD's.
It is scary that the university has become this.
In the article, one student stated that he left and graduated from Sacramento State because Chico was dangerous. I've had 3 students that went to Chico come back and tell me that their time there was wasted. One student was down right angry. "I spent 3 semesters and thousands of dollars on nothing. I couldn't do any work because the environment wasn't for working. I wasted two years of my life." I taught this boy during my first year. Now he's moving to Southern California to get a degree.
My visit to Chico was similar, a complete waste. We visited my wife's family, which is on the nice side of town. But on our way out of town, we stopped at Celeistino's Pizza, one of the greatest eating joints on the planet. Down for a slice, we drove to the downtown location. We weren't there 5 minutes before we were cussed out by three college guys who wanted our parking spot. Seriously, they were ready to throw down.
Over a parking spot??
Sounds like glorified high school crap.
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