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Elena Donovan Mauer. Top 10 New Dad Fears. The way you get up in the morning, the way you study, the way you organize your social life, the way you speak and write, these are all based on certain habits or routines that you develop and are performed, by and large, in an informal ritualistic way. Today I would like to share with you some thoughts on another kind of ritual. One that is considered very private and is often esoteric. I am the fraternity ritual. One that you will find locked in a file in the corner of some dark office.
Because I don't get used or opened up very often, I have a lot of time to think and I'd like to share with you some of my thoughts. Sometimes, I go through a real identity crises. Who am I?
What am I? Why am I? In order to know what a thing is, you must first know what it is for.
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You tell what a thing is for by the way it is used. Although there are some exceptions in the way I am used, let me tell you how the majority of fraternity chapters use me. The vast amount of my time is spent in a dark cabinet, locked up and gathering dust. About once a semester there comes a mad rush for my existence, people literally scrambling, and all of a sudden I become very important. It's really funny because many times they can't find me.
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They forget where I was placed and a mild panic sets in until finally they dig me out from under the stacks of constitutions, by-laws, and chapter minutes. Once I am found, I am under 24 hour surveillance. It's almost as if I'm being digested, but that's not really it; what's happening is that I'm being memorized. I'm literally studied word for word, phrase for phrase, with, "Well let me just copy my part," then the argument gets hotter because somebody says, "No, it's not legal to copy anything out of the ritual.
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After being up almost all day and all night for a week, I am taken to a dimly lighted room where a number of people are gathered. There I am presented with much feeling and serious drama.
What happened when I followed the best-selling book’s advice for two months.
It is obviously a moment of great climax for some of the people, for they are seeing and hearing me for the very first time. Shortly after the ceremony, I am brought back to the dark room and placed in the locked file drawer and I am not seen or heard of until the end of the next semester. In this case, as a ritual, what am I? Well, as I see it, I am a perfunctory service that must be performed in order to get new members into an organization. Once the initiation is over, I'm pretty much pigeonholed until the next class is to be initiated.
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