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Dancer Dan: The Final Update

The final 16 or so hours of THON are probably the biggest emotional roller coaster you will ever go on. You start off with the thrills of the pep rally, the tears and laughs of dancer mail, the long overnight where anything could happen and Family Hour which occurs in the 43rd hour. Your brain doesn’t know how to process this at times, something I now know from experience.

Dancer Mail arrived around 3:00 a.m. this year. Two cards in and I was bawling like a two-year old. Leading up to Mail Call, my emotions were good as was my physical well-being. But after the emotional toll that Mail Call took, things were dramatically different an hour later.

My whole body was drained of energy and I was finding it hard to keep my eyes open. While reading all my mail, I neglected to keep moving my legs and my feet soon hurt as a response. My being was on shutdown overload.

With the help of a group of moralers feeding me and getting me outside into some fresh air, I regained my strength just in time for the Kid’s Talent Show. The show was great as always and our second THON family, the Brewers, had made it to Happy Valley. Things were shaping up for a great last few hours.

I have often said (and even tweeted) that Family Hour at THON should be a graduation requirement. Make it a freshman seminar for all I care, everyone should fully understand why we gather in the Bryce Jordan Center for one weekend in February.

Nick Patalone (sp?) spent his first weekend at THON this year. He explained how his contraction of cancer would not keep him from living life and that we were all on the same team. He epitomized my thoughts of THON and I cannot express enough gratitude for him sharing his thoughts with the Penn State community.

As I finish up this post, Go Go Gadjet has taken the stage and I have an hour and fifteen minutes left on my feet. As much as I love giving you all my inner THON thoughts, I have a organization to choreograph!

About the Author

Dan Vecellio

Dan is a graduate student in meteorology, hailing from Bradford, Pennsylvania. His interests include sports, Penn State and commons cheesesteaks. Feel free to contact me through my email or follow me on Twitter.

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