Purpose: To show how being a freshman at SUNY Oneonta altered the life of one boy.
Hes from a normal town with parents that love him. Jack and Judy Gallow dropped their child off on a warm august day at Suny Oneonta, with pride. His name is John. Hes the first is his family to go to college, he is the first step in the transition of his family. His father Jack owns a large pluming firm, the second largest in Rocklyn County. It was his fathers before him and will one day belong to John. The business is expanding, so it is Jacks plan that his son can go to college, study business, take over the firm and bring it to the next level. John has a lot of pressure on him, and his life planned out. Its his mission here in college to live up to his familys expectations.
John has two younger sisters, Christine 12 and Annie 10. Christine is blind, and requires a lot on attention. It is Johns hope to be successful enough to take care of his sister when his parents can no longer. His sister Annie is a child prodigy, with an I.Q. of 149. Shes in all the gifted classes. Next year at the age of 11 she will start high school. Annie loves and looks up to her older brother. They have a wonderful relationship. When John was failing 12th grade calculus, Annie tutored him; he ended up with an A.
The family is well off. Jack Gallow comes from a large family, the oldest of six children. He was born and raised in Nyac. As a child he used to sit on the shore of the Hudson River, by the Tapanz Bridge and watch the cars go by, wondering where all the people were going. Jack, like his daughter is very intelligent, and excelled in school. His dream was to be an engineer, build bridges and bring pride to his family. Unfortunately when he was 17, weeks before his high school graduation his father died of a heart attack. Jack was forced to drop out of school and take over the family business. Hes worked hard his entire life, and is proud of what he accomplished. My dad always talked to me about pride a man is nothing except his pride hed always say This is something John says he took to college.
Johns first day at Oneonta was typical. He arrived at 10:00, unpacked the car, said goodbye to his family, and told his parents he was going to make them proud. At 12:00 his roommate showed up. His name is Bill, a sophomore, and a member of a fraternity. The two hit it off instantly. Having a lot on common: sports teams, music and other interests. They spent their first night together, drinking beers, singing songs and sharing stories.
John really looked up to Bill. He saw how well Bill knew the flow of the school. As the first weeks of school progressed, John began to feel invincible. Bill took him under his wing and tried to show him the ropes. He took him to parties and introduced John to all his friends and frat brothers. Eventually Bill even got him a fake id. They became regulars at the Alley. John was good with the ladies. He also got into a lot of fights, always with Bill at his side. John felt great, and his new found invincibility was reinforced with every beer and punch.
Johns next step was to pledge Bills Fraternity. It just seemed right, Bill was like the older brother I never had. When I was at home, my dad put a lot of pressure on me, and always drove me his way. College was my chance to go my way. So on September 29th, 2000. John was sworn in as a member of the delta pledge class of one of the largest fraternities on campus.
Now John was no longer John, he was Brail (the elders of the frat named him Brail in honor of his sister). And his best friend Bill was Sir. Their relationship changed, Bill decided to make his mark on the frat and pledged