Going into my last year at Furman, I have done more than my fair share of icebreakers and get-to-know-me type games. Which is not to say that I won’t do an introductory post here for the blog, but I am going to have more fun with it.
So first, the basics: my name is Ben Gamble, I’m a senior History/Spanish double major, and I’m feeling bullet points for this post.
-I’m President of Furman University’s improv troupe, because it’s the only student organization where being less prepared makes you better-suited for leadership positions.
Michael Scott’s improv reflects not only my improv skills, but also my leadership skills.
-I am a firm believer that the greatest possible use of your meal plan is to use a meal swipe for Chik-fil-A nuggets in the Pden and then use Palapoints for sushi to make one complete delicious meal. This combination of Eastern and Western philosophies is what makes a liberal arts education so powerful.
-My freshman year, I was unable to play for my hall’s intramural soccer team, up until the final game. I showed up for the last one, we won the championship, and I got a free t-shirt and my picture taken. One could make a strong argument that this was the most valuable lesson I have learned at college so far.
-I am also on The Echo (Furman’s literary and fine arts magazine) editorial board, because I enjoy proofreading angsty poetry and trying to tell the non-colorblind members of the board what good art looks like.
-I have traveled abroad twice, once to Cuba and once to Spain. Between this, my facial hair, and my interest (but not skill) in boxing, I am becoming disturbingly close to a young Ernest Hemingway.
Due to communism, they would never have guys dress up in Mickey Mouse suits/something equally capitalist in Cuban parks. So I got my picture taken with these friendly Revolutionaries.
-I am a member of Paladin Ink and the Dead Poets Society at Furman, which is also not helping with the Ernest Hemingway vibes.
-I saw High School Musical for the very first time last year, and I was left with a lot of questions about the movie, Troy Bolton, and also the society we live in. I am told by friends that I will be watching both (are there more?) sequels this upcoming year.
-A quick flurry of fun facts that tell a complete story: Dave Chappelle is my favorite comedian, my voice drops about three octaves when I’m nervous, and Dave Chappelle did an impression of me at a Q&A after his show in Atlanta this summer.
-In Spain, a succession crisis led to a long series of civil wars in an attempt to get one line of descendants placed on the throne over another line during the 1800s. Even going into the 1970s, some of these descendants were adamant that the throne would be returned to them. This is relevant to Furman because they took away Einstein Bagel’s from us sophomore year, and I will see the pretender Bread and Bowl struck down from their throne. #Einstein’sForever
-My freshman year, we were able to take a trip to New York City for one of my classes. I am 95% confident that I saw Lin Manuel Miranda walking down the street while our group was going to dinner. Using the kinds of leadership skills that only a Furman education can offer, I immediately lied to our professor and said, “Hey, I think the restaurant is this way” and tailed maybe-Lin for a few blocks. It’s possible we missed our reservation and that my navigational privileges were rescinded after this event.
This picture is in no way relevant to this blog post, but I feel like having my dog’s popularity rub off on me can never hurt.
-The most terrified I have ever been at Furman was 72 hours before my final project was due at the end of junior year. I was taking a Mongolian History class. In this class, we could pitch the final project idea to our professor. Said project was about 40% of our grade, so most were choosing a safe option like an essay or critical review of a primary source. I, however, was very interested by the fact that that Mongols gave military orders in rhyming verse (to help with memorization for largely illiterate soldiers), and that Genghis Khan encouraged terrifying myths and rumors to be spread about him. Who else combines rhymes and wildly untrue boasts? Modern day rappers. I felt that a Genghis Khan diss track was therefore the logical project to reflect his life. Starting this project three days before the final was due, I realized that I knew nothing about writing rap or Genghis Khan. I did, however, get an A in that class, and I also have an eight page Mongolian rap if anyone ever needs that for some reason.
The rest will come in due time. But for now, I’m looking forward to having an outlet for thoughts on Furman. Let’s see what this last year holds. #furmanbound #BenThereDinThat