Halting the monotony of the unusual

Brendan McCabe, Opinion Editor

Day-to-day, I do not remember much about school. I can recall a few formulas, facts and due dates, but there is nothing to really differentiate one period to the next. This monotony is what really wears on me, not the quizzes or homework. Even after a short week and a half of classes, I can feel the dullness sneaking up on me.

I cannot remember the specifics of any test I have ever taken, and I challenge any other student to recall the same. I remember some tests being harder than others, certainly, but beyond that they are grey blurs in my memory. Though I have learned much during my time at UND, four years of school is far too long a stretch of time to have no defining memories.

Almost exactly a year ago today, I was sitting with my father in a small cow pasture in southern Minnesota. We were dressed to the nines in full ghillie suits with our backs to a steep, tree filled hill, a sprawling cattle pond surrounded by sharp inclines laid out before us.

The day prior, a flock of three Canada geese came to our calls, and I managed to take all three before my father could even crack off a shot. This was much to his dismay, and I had spent the rest of the morning being referred to as a “hog,” but it was worth it to see the angered yet proud look on the man’s face. While this in itself was memorable, what I recall most was a flock of geese that got away.

An hour before the flock of three came in, I had heard a faint honk before having a group of 30 geese buzz around our decoys. After circling once they peeled away, despite our furious calling.

On the second morning in our cow pasture, I recalled this flock had stayed on the outskirts of our spread the day prior. I had a modified choke in my gun, and figured I would change it out for a longer-range extra full model. Right as I had my choke completely unscrewed, I once again heard that faint honk. I turned my head and through the tree branches I saw the same group of geese begin their descent into the pasture.

My stomach immediately contorted itself into a knot. In a flurry I managed to reinsert my choke and stuff three shells into the shotgun.

As the flock began to touch down, I brought the gun to my shoulder. Without a word between us my father and I began to fire. One goose, two goose, three goose. I set down my old Remington and picked up my backup auto. Four goose, five goose.

By the time the fray came to a close, our aging yellow lab and spry pointer mix had retrieved 10 Canada geese. My old man had mirrored my volley, getting five of his own. Through some lopsided combination of luck and skill, we reached our daily limit from a single flock. The air quickly filled with congratulations and countless pats on the back were exchanged. I remember the day as vividly and fondly as if it were yesterday.

The only true memories I have from the past four years have been outside of class, particularly when I was out in nature with friends and family. Although school is paramount to our futures, I believe we all need to set aside time to create memories worth reminiscing about.

Brendan McCabe is the Opinion Editor for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]