2013 Convention Stories

Clowns in the Street: Sigma Tau Delta Convention in Portland, OR

Victoria Goreby Victoria Gore
Southern Student Representative
Southeastern Louisiana University

The phrase "Keep Portland Weird" is alive and well throughout downtown Portland. In just one city block you can see a variety of people, including business people, panhandlers (some with signs), newspaper peddlers, runners, teenagers in pajamas, and clowns. Yes, clowns.

Clowns in the streetEven Portland's food is a little "weird." You can get Indian, Korean, and Greek food from adjoining food trucks, or Oreo and peanut butter, maple-bacon, and Captain Crunch covered donuts from Voodoo Donuts--and everything has a gluten free or vegan option.


Jayne Higgins performing 'Rage Against the Man'In 2013, Sigma Tau Delta helped keep Portland interesting by adding our own bit of "weird" into the mix. Of course, I'm talking about the infamous Bad Poetry Contest and Dry T-shirt Skit Competition. The Bad Poetry Contest is divided into two categories: good-bad poetry and bad-bad poetry. The competition is fierce...and fiercely funny. If you don't laugh until you cry, you aren't laughing hard enough. I find that nothing is better than honestly bad poetry, and so my personal favorite this year was Ms. Jayne Wiese Higgins with her poem "Rage Against the Man," a relic of her hippie youth from her hand-embroidered journal entitled "Feelings."

The next best thing to the poetry contest is the Dry T-shirt Skit Competition. There are puns! What good word lover doesn't like a little wordplay? The winners of the skit are more often than not a little bawdy, and the Alpha Eta Sigma Chapter from Westfield State University certainly lived up to the challenge. Their ingeniously inappropriate pun this year was "Chicks Like Big Dickens."

From food to people to ideas, isn't the best of everything a little weird? When you gather hundreds of bright young minds from around the country, you're bound to find something a little weird...and a little wonderful.