Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Choosing 'Mr. American'

On Monday night, some on campus residents turned their attention from more serious matters to participate in - and view - the “Mr. American” contest.  This annual event is a spoof on the Miss America contest featuring nominees from each dorm.  The contest featured a bathing suit parade - all contestants were quite modestly attired - a talent contest,, formal ware and questions.  At the request of the show’s organizers, officers in AU’s Residence Hall Association, I agreed to be one of three judges.  Free snow cones and popcorn were offered to the audience, which numbered between 75 and 100, including the Executive Director of Housing and Dining and a goodly number of his staff.  Housing and Dining has been working hard to strengthen the Residence Hall Association, with good success. Some years ago, “RHA” was almost invisible on the South side of campus.  Now its offices are on Anderson Hall’s first floor and it is a definite presence.

The contest lasted less that two hours and was, I thought, refreshingly unprofessional.  With one exception, the talent competition exhibited no exceptional talent; answers to questions were unpolished.  Each contestant had a small cadre of supporters who cheered their candidate, when not distracted by conversation.  By 9 PM we judges had made our choice, prizes were awarded and we all returned to dorm rooms or the Library to write term papers, study or complete end of semester projects.  I was tired after a long day and turned in early, after an indifferent swipe at my usual mountain of unanswered emails.  The Mr. American contest and been a fun and relaxing break from intense end-of-semester obligations.  A good time was had by all - including the judges.


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