Friday afternoon I flew out of Oklahoma City and into Knoxville, TN, for my second visit at the University of Tennessee. The women from UTK were moving into Laurel, their sorority apartments on Friday, so I stayed with an adviser in the area until Saturday morning when the women were prepared to host me. The chapter's Panhellenic adviser, Lisa, graciously volunteered to host me for Friday night. She and her three daughters picked me up from the airport, and I spent all evening with her family. It was refreshing to hang out with small children (her daughters were 4, 2, and 8 months) after so much time with sorority women. Their oldest daughter had curly blonde hair, just like the younger version of me, and we had a lot of fun playing dolls and going through my makeup! After going out to dinner at a local BBQ restaurant (yum!), we came home and everyone started getting ready for bed. As the girls were getting ready, I realized just how sleepy I was and decided to go to bed just after 9 PM.
Saturday morning Lisa's family dropped me off at the sorority apartments on UTK's campus, and things have been hectic ever since. Today was Go Greek Day, the first round of recruitment, and everyone was busy preparing for that!
Today has been my longest day yet. I met with the president at 6:45 AM to head to the campus Panhellenic building and get things set up. From 8 AM-3 PM there were parties--only 10 minutes each with about 50 potential new members coming to each party! Then we had a Panhellenic meeting, dinner provided by the Kappa alumnae, and voting. The first night of voting always takes the longest because a) You have to vote on every potential new member and b) everyone hasn't gotten back into the "voting groove."
I'm exhausted from my 16 hour work day and feeling very miserable, largely due to my allergies. My nose is a terrible combination of runny and stuffy, my eyes, are watery, my throat is scratchy, and I can't stop sneezing! I am taking Zyrtec every morning, but I can hardly tell a difference. No matter how well this visit goes, I cannot wait to get out of here! I just want to be able to breathe again!!
Today hasn't been half bad though. The best part of my day was participating in "roll call" after all of the recruitment parties. There are 13 different sororities at the University of Tennessee and none of them have houses (yet). Currently, they are all housed in the four-story Panhellenic building on campus. Each sorority has a suite that opens up to a large atrium. After recruitment parties each day, UTK has a tradition of taking "roll call."
All of the sororities come out to the atrium and line the banisters.
The Gamma Chi's (recruitment mentors) come out onto the first floor of the atrium and sing this ridiculous roll call song. Each time they sing the song, they call out a different sorority. That sorority then proceeds to sing their "trademark" song/cheer as fast as humanly possible. They work their way up, from the 2nd floor to the 4th floor, singing the songs of all 13 sororities.
Once a chapter has sung its song/cheer, they give gifts to the recruitment mentors who are members of their chapter. Each chapter has give bags for each of the mentors, and they tie ribbon to the bags and lower them down through the atrium! It's really the most ridiculous and hilarious thing I've ever seen. I love it. I'm thinking of videotaping it one of these days, per Michelle's request!