Homecoming weekend has come and gone. I’m sure for everyone it was filled with tailgates, beverages, parties and fun. All of the social organizations coming up with floats and events. Cornhole, beerpong and every other drinking game known to a college campus. There was the homecoming parade, alumni and, of course, the come-from-behind football game. In the midst of all these chaotic events, there was a quiet, unassuming spectacle going on in front the Glass bowl Stadium’s Rocket.
There was an 18-foot long teeter totter going up and down. Made from two telephone poles bolted together with an expertly welded 5 foot steel base, this is no kindergarten see-saw. This is a college see-saw, an engineer’s see-saw.
From seven o’clock Friday to eight o’clock on Saturday, this giant of a machine worked quietly for 25 hours. This marathon against gravity was a charity event called “Teetering for Tots.” It is put on by Theta Tau, a professional engineering fraternity. They have been by that rocket for over a decade, through rain, snow, mosquitoes, heat, humidity, sore calves and sleep deprivation. This year was the debut of the third teeter totter since the inception of Teetering for Tots. It is our most impressive piece of work, rocketing members almost 10 feet in the air with every push.
While other organizations are out there trying to have a good time and slowly forgetting everything they learned the previous week, Theta Tau tries to raise money for a local charity in Maumee. The Sunshine Foundation helps developmentally handicapped children and their families. It provides a respite for parents of children with disabilities. It helps find jobs and provides housing and care. Since 1984, it has been providing services to more than 900 individuals and their families across Northwest Ohio.
Tours pass with odd looks. We see floats drive by with odd waves. Those silly engineers and their teeter totter. We get the drunken yells from passersby at 3 a.m. in the morning. The tailgates in Lot 10 give slivers of their attention between beer, food and music. Those guys at the teeter totter bother no one. We go up. We go down. We ask for donations to help out a good cause. And, we have fun while we do it.
Theta Tau may not be making floats or worrying about our face paint, but we are still having fun. We are sharing pizza and burgers and having a great time with friends. We attempt Frisbee throws to the riders. We tie ourselves to the totter and attempt to sleep. We have a great time, and knowing that it is for a great cause makes the fun feel that much better.
Homecoming is a great time to reflect on just how lucky we all are. Classes may be tough, friendships rocky, your bank account may not be as high as you want it, but things could always be worse. Your life is nowhere near bad. You are getting yourself through college, making opportunities for yourself down the road. You have three square meals that you are able to feed to yourself. You can read. You have a full range of motion in all of your joints. Whatever problems you may be going through can always be put in a proper perspective.
Life, just like a teeter totter, has its ups and downs. It’s easy to feel good at the peak. You can see everything, you are almost 10 feet higher than the ground. All of the hard work is below you. You are nothing but potential energy. The lows are harder to enjoy, but that is all about perspective. Your low can always be lower. So, try to enjoy the moments as they come. All of us are lucky. We have our health, potential, friends and family. Things are never perfect, so enjoy them as they are.