The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Junior P Emily Kennedy (11) winds up to pitch during Texas A&Ms game against Kentucky on April 7th, 2024 at Davis Diamond. (Jaime Rowe/The Battalion)
Took the Tide
April 15, 2024
Junior P Emily Kennedy (11) winds up to pitch during Texas A&Ms game against Kentucky on April 7th, 2024 at Davis Diamond. (Jaime Rowe/The Battalion)
Took the Tide
April 15, 2024
Junior G Wade Taylor IV (4) covers his face after a missed point during Texas A&Ms game against Arkansas on Feb. 20, 2024 at Reed Arena. (Jaime Rowe/The Battalion)
When it rains, it pours
February 24, 2024
Ali Camarillo (2) waiting to see if he got the out during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Four for four
February 20, 2024
Dr. Weston Porter (top left) and researchers from the breast cancer lab. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Weston Porter)
New A&M research initiative provides cutting-edge cancer treatments
J.M. Wise, News Reporter • April 8, 2024

It has been 20 months since Michelle Pozzi, Ph.D, of Texas A&M’s Biochemistry and Biophysics department was diagnosed with cancer. However,...

Junior P Emily Kennedy (11) winds up to pitch during Texas A&Ms game against Kentucky on April 7th, 2024 at Davis Diamond. (Jaime Rowe/The Battalion)
Took the Tide
Kylie Stoner, Associate Sports Editor • April 15, 2024

After a close pitching battle in the beginning of the matchup, Texas A&M softball defeated 9-4 Alabama to take the series on Monday, April...

Visitors attend Homegrown at Northgate, an annual farmers and artisan market on Sunday, April 16, 2024. (Samuel Falade/The Battalion)
Homegrown brings food trucks, local vendors, live music to Northgate
Nadia Abusaid, Life & Arts Writer • April 15, 2024

A cool breeze flows on a Sunday as people listen to the strums of a guitar and smooth vocals. People stroll past stands and food trucks, stopping...

Guest contributor says students pose an unacceptable danger to local motorists. (Photo via Nile/Pixabay)
Letter to the editor: No-More-Student-Drivers
Trey Bass, Guest Contributor • April 15, 2024

Dear Editor,  I am writing to discuss the current state of our city and some glaring issues I have noticed being perpetrated on the innocent...

Perspective: Bonfire builds us.

Photo courtesy of Jerome Ledničky

Bonfire members gather at sunset to slam logs to build the stack at the burn site on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023. 

Aggie Bonfire: We burn to build again.
Since its beginning as a small trash fire in 1907, Bonfire has burned bright almost every year as a testament to Aggies’ undying flame of love for their school — and, of course, the burning desire to beat the hell outta TU.
For those who build it, Bonfire symbolizes the Aggie Spirit and perseverance. More than that, it’s about spending early mornings and incredibly late nights with people you can count on. In the woods and at Stack site, your worth isn’t determined by exam scores, essays or your GPA. You’re measured by the time and sheer effort you put into the organization and the hours of sleep you squander just to build something out of nothing.
Describing Bonfire to someone who’s never experienced it is almost as impossible as finding a toucan in the woods, but I’ll try my best.
I was a bit of a late bloomer as a fish, so my first Bonfire event was Halloween stack 2021. I knew next to nothing going into it, having been assured that I’d “figure it out” once I got there. After spending 20 minutes riding silently in a coupe with a man adorned as Megamind in head-to-toe blue body paint and a black cape and another man dressed as Wong from Dr. Strange, shaved head and all, I was ready for anything.
Surprisingly, “anything” wasn’t enough. You have to remember, I knew literally nothing going into this. I was even shaky on who the Redpots — the head honchos, for those uninitiated — were. We got out of the car and immediately people were yelling “I need some meat!” and students were running every which way with one hand on their pots like 1940s businessmen late to a board meeting, clutching their fedoras against the wind.
Come to find out, “meat” is just anyone without a position of leadership. After a short calibration period, I moved my first log, standing far on tree end across from a girl with a Blue’s Clues shirt who cursed like a sailor. She helped me with the calls — it was a small log, a good one to learn on — and thanks to our height I saw her on most of the other logs I got under that night.
After moving logs for a while I found myself on a rope about to slam a massive log onto Stack. This is accomplished manually thanks to a pulley system, but due to the size of the log most of the meat was on that rope. It still took us a good bit of pulling, but there’s nothing more satisfying than hearing bark crash against bark and knowing that you and your fish buddies did that.
I loved every minute of Halloween stack, so much so that I went back the next day, and the next, and before I knew it, we were slamming dorm logs and I hadn’t missed a single one.
Bonfire supplied something I had been missing in college — a step back from grades and homework, just spending 6-8 hours with a bunch of other people who love tradition and working with their hands.
We built Bonfire by hand that year, as we have every year before and will every year in the future. But it’s about more than just building the fire … to quote the old adage, it’s about the friends we make along the way.
The connections you make from Bonfire are something special. Trust is quick to build — you don’t jump underneath a 500-pound log without believing that your buddies will help you keep it up. Your crew is the reason you’ll spend nine hours in the Texas heat swinging on trees or hefting logs onto trailers and still leave with a smile. I’ll never have conversations like the ones I shared with my fish buddies while downswinging in the woods or sitting around on logs during push shifts when the cold sets in.
Bonfire becomes your family, especially during the throes of November. It’s fun — every crew has its little idiosyncrasies. For example, if you ever want to see a man go rabid, find anyone in Walton and say the word “load.”
These values and connections are why, to anyone in Bonfire today, it’s about more than just building a big fire and hoping we beat the LSU kitty cats.
It’s about the sting of blisters, faded Dixie Chicken hats and falling a log right where you want it for the first time. It’s about foggy mornings on OSR and Brownpot specials around perimeter fires, about the scream of chainsaws and holes in your grodes and the last time you ever hump it to yell “Build the hell outta Bonfire.”
It takes all of that to realize that Aggies don’t build Bonfire. Bonfire builds us.
Charis Adkins is an English junior and opinion columnist for The Battalion.

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Charis Adkins, Opinion Columnist
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