John Gallows Story Essay, Research Paper
From A Freshman?s Point of view
Purpose: To show how being a freshman at SUNY Oneonta altered the life of one boy.
He?s 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. He?s 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 Jack?s 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. It?s his mission here in college to live up to his family?s expectations.
John has two younger sisters, Christine 12 and Annie 10. Christine is blind, and requires a lot on attention. It is John?s 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. She?s 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. He?s 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? he?d always say? This is something John says he took to college.
John?s 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.
John?s next step was to pledge Bill?s 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 to be the hardest hazer. His roommate was to be no exception. ? He would wake me up in the middle of the night, and send me on bizarre missions. One time I had to go to the train tracks and put pennies on the rail. When I got back he made me do 100 pushups every ten minutes, and top them off with shots of mixture of dog food, urine, grain alcohol, and ice tea powder. When I?d give out, and faint, he?d beat me with belts and piss on me until I woke up. These workouts took place after long nights of hazing at the frat house, this was when I was supposed to be sleeping?.
John?s describes this part of his life as a living hell. He never went to class, spending all his free time which wasn?t much, sleeping. He?d spend 20-22 hours per day pledging. This consisted of steeling plates and silverware from Wilsbach, random verbal and physical abuse, and fundraising. ?This is when I really hit rock bottom. I?d never sleep, and I was always weak, then Bill gave me the first bit of help since I started pledging, and showed me cocaine, and I thought my troubles were over?. Now on cocaine, John had increased energy, and was able to function.
November 19th was a beautiful autumn day. Bright colored changing foliage filled the horizon, highlighted by the golden sun. For most of us this was an insignificant day. This wasn?t the case for John. He was woken up at 5:00am and told to meet his pledge brothers, and hike downtown. Before he left he snorted four lines of cocaine. He put his bag in his pocket and went to his brothers and went on their way. They arrived at the frat house to find six brothers up from the night before, very drunk and on drugs. The pledges were instructed to run to the Hess station and get them three thirty packs of beer ?and be back in 10 minutes, or else?. Two pledges were told to stay behind to do pushups and take the brothers drunken abuse.
As the pledges descended upon the gas station they chose John to buy the beer.
? I was the only one with an id, and we had to move quick?. ?I walked into the store and headed towards the coolers. I picked up the beer and walked to the counter to pay, the cashier asked me for id, and in a glance she refused me. I pleaded with her, trying to explain what would happen to me in I came back empty handed, she laughed at me and I reacted? Well John did react, he reached over the counter and punched the cashier. She fell to the floor instantly. John grabbed the beer and ran out of the store.
Just as he was leaving the lot, a police officer was pulling in. Minute?s later John and his pledge brothers were lying face down on the sidewalk, surrounded by six policemen. One at a time they were searched and interviewed. They found three grams of cocaine on John. ?After they found the coke I knew I was done, so I confessed. They let my brothers go, while I was being read my rights?.
As a result of John?s actions he was thrown out of school, given three years of probation and banned from the City of Oneonta. ?The worst part was facing my dad, He had so much faith in me, and I let him down. As bad as the pledging got, the thought of quitting never entered my mind. We don?t quit in my family, Gallows never quit?.