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UCLA Magazine Summer 2004
Of God and Blue-Footed Boobies
The Providential Scholar
Of the Community, By the Community, For the Community
Good Fellows
The Perfect Storm
The Next Step
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Coming Home
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Summer 2004
Coming Home
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As I've noted, however, attending the reunion event was a somewhat spontaneous decision for me. That's because for all my self-proclaimed "I bleed blue and gold" associations, I have never before partaken in an official UCLA alumni function. I have always felt that being a UCLA alum in many ways spoke for itself. It needs neither explanation nor excessive display.

Not like our cardinal-and-gold rivals. I have always felt that declarations of the "Trojan Family" were overtly effusive and ostentatious. It reminded me of the notion that if you say something enough times and prominently display it enough times, you may actually start to believe it.

On the other hand, just the four letters U ... C ... L ... A provide a simple but effective connotation. Has an alum ever had to say they were part of "the Bruin Family" or an official member of "Bruin Pride"? No. UCLA is self-explanatory. It has always implied a world-class education, preparation for a successful post-graduate life, a reputation without peer and, if you can make yourself forget that the last two years ever happened, a superior basketball team.

So what I have always felt, or wanted to feel, is that UCLA as an institution need not require excessive self-promotion or chest thumping by the masses. Do Bruin alumni really have to be spurred, invited, encouraged or even downright prodded to announce their true colors? Was this truth not held to be self-evident? Did I really need to attend an official alumni function to reinforce my eternal loyalty to the alma mater?

Yet, I felt compelled to attend. Why was that? Was it to catch up with long-lost friends? Not necessarily. I had no expectations about seeing anyone and, as noted, I am still close with most of the people who were my friends in college. In fact, in looking around, I really didn't see a lot of "I haven't seen you in so long ..." going on as much as I saw people just having a good time.

I also didn't find myself or anyone else breaking out into spontaneous bursts of spirit. I didn't perform any sudden eight-claps, high-five Joe Bruin or point out to my girlfriend the exact spot in Pauley where I sat when Ed O'Bannon kissed center court on his last home game. Although, of course, one could argue that decorum was as good a deterrent as any on that one.

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