Reflections on bringing the younger sister to S.D. State

Todd Vanderwerff

Todd Vanderwerff

When I ’twas a young whipper-snapper who worked the golf beat at the ol’ Collegian, I was lucky enough to be privy to a younger sister who constantly reminded me that I went to a bad school.

Indeed, the first time she visited me, she took a perfunctory look around the campus and affected the kind of smug flippance that only high school sophomores have perfected.

“I’m not going here!” she said emphatically.

I wasn’t really paying attention, because I was a musician/actor/geek shelved on the top floor of Young Hall with a large number of freshmen football players.

I’m not saying this was a bad thing per se. I’m just saying that now I live by the railroad tracks and I have an easier time sleeping through trains than I had sleeping through the football team coming in from practice.

Regardless, something about the mere presence of lots of shirtless football players must have caused my sister’s fragile mind to snap, for she was soon convinced SDSU was the place for her and not the University of South Dakota (official motto: Our mascot spreads mange!).

Most high school students buy one or two shirts showing off which school they are attending after graduation (though you never see shirts saying, “I’m looking forward to years of welfare!”). Most students do this as seniors. My sister had several SDSU shirts on in the womb. She made up her mind very early, as opposed to her brother’s indecisiveness.

(Sidenote: This, of course, is far from true. My sister, as I have already indicated, thought she was going to USD up until her junior year. This is not to ignore the fact that she still settled on her final choice as a junior, when you were still trying to get off your butt and change the channel. Besides, I’ve never seen a sonogram so I have no idea what she was wearing in the womb.)

All of this is why I came to be lugging a refrigerator in a box that was falling apart rather quickly up several flights of stairs only to find that my sister’s roommate had also brought a fridge.

I was informed that they needed the extra fridge space, despite the fact that my sister is a vegetarian and I had trouble quashing the suspicion that she only needed the fridge to store her frozen goldfish collection.

It’s been very nice to have my only sibling in the same town as me. My parents are slowly going insane; my father drooling every time he sees a Harley Davidson and my mother baking pan of cookies after pan of cookies, apparently stocking up for grandchildren that may or may not come in ten years.

Still, when I bump into my sister in Country Kitchen or the union, it’s a pleasant surprise. Despite the fact that she knows she’s going to be a lawyer and I’m a shiftless journalist/performer/writer guy, I still love the kid.

Or at least, I have to say that, if I want a Christmas present.

Ask for Todd VanDerWerff’s sister’s phone number at [email protected]