Wow! Who even knew my alma mater HAD a basketball team???
Here's the scoop. I went to UMBC, or the University of Maryland Baltimore County, a smaller honor's university version of the big U of Maryland. It is tucked away in a hillside of Baltimore and it is filled to the brim with academic overachievers and Chinese students (official statistics say the nationality is nearly the majority on campus). It has one of the best undergraduate programs for cultural anthropology in the country. And one more bit of trivia: our overwhelmingly large Nigerian student population has informed me that UMBC is like Harvard in Nigeria!
I absolutely loved my time here but still cringe a little when people ask me where I went to school because I can't just say "UMBC". Not only has nobody heard of it, but people notice immediately that the name is an acronym, so I have to explain the full name, which totally makes it sound like a community college.
Again, honor's university -- this mostly means we're better with our brains than our brawn. We don't have a football team, and the only sport I've known us to kick any form of butt in is lacrosse. But lo and behold, UMBC has made me very proud recently!
Yes, my readers, UMBC has made it to.... ummm.... some sort of NCAA basketball thing.... that is, like, really special? Spoken like a true alumnus, I have no idea about the sports world. But the beauty of it is that people no longer look at me quizzically when I speak of UMBC!
Exhibit A: After my dad telling me this news on Sunday, I put it to the test yesterday. I saw a new doctor and THANK GOD he asked me where I went to college! Avoiding my usual spiel, I simply said "Oh, UMBC." Despite my smugness, his smile took me offguard! He knew! I couldn't help but say "...You know what that is?" to which he replied "Of course I do, they made it to the [insert name of NCAA special tournament thing here]. YESSSSSS!!
I am so psyched to think of the possibility of watching a sports game and actually CARING who wins!! The ultimate would be if it comes down to UMBC and my dad's alma mater, Carolina, in the finals! My mom is already going wild in her imagination with all the dips she could make for that day!
So, I sum up by saying "GO UMBC CHESAPEAKE BAY RETRIEVERS!" and "...do you think that, now that we're getting noticed, we should perhaps come up with a less wimpy mascot? Maybe a dalmation? They're serious biters."
I'm off to write a letter to alumni relations about this. Eve, I hope you're also jumping with joy and that you'll come to Florida for the aforementioned PARTAY!