These Are The People That Make Auburn Special

These Are The People That Make Auburn Special

An inside look at an amazing man in the Auburn faculty.

There is no question that part of the driving force behind the southern town of Auburn, Alabama is the university. Known nationally for its prestige, its phenomenal traditions, its athletics, and, most importantly, its people. The residents of this town, both those college affiliated and those not, are truly some of the most outstanding humans on the planet. The way that this city seems to be a hub for genuine, kind people is truly something magical. Since officially joining the city of Auburn as a college student a year and some odd months ago, I’ve been longing to write an article about the unique atmosphere and makeup of the people in this town. After deliberating on an effective way to capture and share its essence, I'm thinking of someone I encountered that gave me the perfect idea.

You know those people you meet who instantly make you feel good about life? Something about their smile, their voice or the look in their eyes just instantly makes you feel happy. Their joy is radiant and you cannot help but to be infected by it. Now, place yourself on the campus transportation system, a place filled with headphone filled ears, somber faces heading to class and usually awkward silence. These typically overcrowded, ice-cold buses are the last place you’d expect to find that type of joy, but enter into the scene AJ Billingslea and that’s where the story changes.

Adolphis James Billingslea is the epitome of the person I mentioned earlier. Mr. Billingslea is a driver for the university transit system and completely embodies the Auburn spirit and the type of people that make up this town. He’s known for his “no student left behind” policy and his ever consistent “good morning/afternoon sir/ma’am.” I was lucky enough to catch the tail end of a conversation Mr. Billinglsea was having with another student one afternoon on the transit that sparked my interest in him. Apparently, Mr. Billingslea frequently makes an extra stop for a woman walking to work so that her commute isn't as long- even though this act of kindness had been frowned upon by the transit coordinator. I just had to know more about this special man. One afternoon I climbed on the transit, and because it just so happened to be time for a shift change, so did AJ. In hopes to learn more about him, and thus start investigating the people that make up such a vital part of this university, I did an on-the-fly interview. I found that he only further proved my idea that the Auburn men and women are some of the best on the planet, and I would like for you now to take this transit ride with me so that you could see this too.

First, let's get some background. Mr. Billingslea, AJ for short because his mother thought his name was too hard for others to pronounce, was born and raised in the small town of Lanett, Alabama. He is the oldest of two children and came to work in Auburn in the 80s because of the bigger job market that Auburn possessed over Lannett. He has been working with the transit system for five years now. Mr. Billingslea and I connected over the fact that we both grew up in small towns (he actually knew where Roanoke was!) and briefly talked about the those small communities and how they differed vastly from the atmosphere here at Auburn. I then started to badger him with questions.

What is your favorite part about working here in the transit system?

Mr. Billsinglsea informs me that we have to be silent until the route starts, because he cannot miss his call off and must start on time. After a stream of numbers flow from the microphone system on the bus, the transit slowly pulls from the loading dock. He then tells me that he loves dealing with the public. He always has, and he loves speaking with so many different people on such a consistent basis. It's something that brings him joy daily. He said the job here is the perfect combination of public service and interacting with others.

Most drivers don’t make such a conscious effort to pick up students and assure that no one is left behind. Why do you take such special care to stop for everyone and what made you first start doing that?

“I’ve just always been that way.” To clarify what I'm talking about, I've once had AJ actually pull up to my car where I was parked so that I wouldn't have to walk 50 yards to the transit stop. I've also been on the bus with Mr. Billingslea and witnessed him wait and wait for students that might possibly need on his route. While we covered the first leg of the Park and Ride route he began to explain to me that this behavior was partly due to his parental instinct. He remembers his daughter going to get her education and he knows the effort we put in, and wants to match it for us. Mr. Billingslea never had anything short of a smile the entire ride, but I couldn’t help but notice the way smile changed, and his face lit up when speaking of his mother. She was a teacher and stressed the importance of education. He knows what a task higher education is and wants to make it as easy for us as possible, even if what he does is just a small way to do so.

Again reminiscing on his hometown, he marveled at the size of this community. He knows, and has experienced, that sometimes people won’t always reciprocate his energy. Sometimes they don’t even smile back, but he wants to do all that he can to help as many people as he can. He said, “you guys are my living, and I want to help you all for helping me.” Mr. Billingslea told me he gets in trouble frequently for his tardiness due to waiting on students and for leaving no one behind. He actually got in trouble a few years ago for letting too many students on the transit at one time, but he said it was worth it. He couldn’t find it in his heart to leave them. Kindness has always been important to him and his thick head doesn’t plan on changing anytime soon. He did tell me that the new transit director loves his personality and encourages him to keep it up.

You have a wonderful disposition, how do you keep that up?

For the first time all ride, his lips were no longer forming a smile. Instead, they pursued together in deep thought. I had stumped him. “Well everyday I do something silly as my vitamin.” He then started to describe his morning routine, which begins with waking up and saying hello to his cats. The best explanation he could give me was that he was always ready for the day from the start. He doesn’t encounter a stranger, he’s always loved to work, but he could never really answer why. A tad defeated he said, “I know I’m not answering your question, but this is just who I am.” But, that answer was really the best one yet. He went on to say that he truly enjoys life and feels good most of the time. He’s happy to have a job, he’s happy to be alive. If he could credit his joy to one thing he’d say his parents and their relationship. They were very good to him and that helps him be as happy as he is. He just has never really seen a reason to be mad.

From here, the "interview feel" ended and we just continued talking. I got so wrapped up in his words I forgot to write them down. We talked a little about animals, about football- which he isn't so crazy about- and his views of the world. They are so sweet and wholesome. The last thing I remember us talking about was his strong distaste for ugly. He doesn’t understand why the world is so full of fighting and killing, but he doesn’t care to have that negativity or focus on that in his life. I don't see how I could've disagreed.

You see, it is people like AJ that keep this world turning. It is people like AJ that make Auburn so special. Apparently, this was the first time AJ had ever been interviewed and it was really the first time I had interviewed someone too. Today, AJ and I both traveled out of our comfort zone, yet I've never felt so comfortable. Because even when AJ didn’t feel like he was answering me the way he should be, he was actually giving me, and any other student he encounters on the transit, exactly what we need- hope that there are still genuinely good people in this world.

Cover Image Credit: Google Images

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35 Major Life Facts According To Nick Miller

"All booze is good booze, unless it's weak booze."

Fact: If you watch "New Girl," you love Nick Miller.

You can't help it. He's an adorable, lovable mess of a man and you look forward to seeing him and his shenanigans each week. While living the infamous and incomparable life of Nick Miller, and obviously Julius Pepperwood— he has learned many valuable laws of the land. And, although Nick refuses to learn anything from anyone besides his mysterious, old Asian friend Tran, he does have a few lessons he'd like to teach us.

Here are 35 facts of life according to 'Nick Milla Nick Milla':

1. Drinking keeps you healthy.

"I'm not gonna get sick. No germ can live in a body that is 65% beer."

2. Dinosaurs never existed.

"I don't believe dinosaurs existed. I've seen the science. I don't believe it."

3. A paper bag is a bank.

"A bank is just a paper bag but with fancier walls."

4. Having sex is similar to delivering mail.

"I'm like a mailman, except instead of mail it's hot sex that I deliver."

5. Moonwalking is a foolproof way to get out of any awkward situation.

Jess (about Nick): "Now he won't even talk to me. I saw him this morning and he just panic moonwalked away from me. He does that sometimes."

6. Using a movie reference is also a great way.

Cece: "Come on, get up!"

Nick: "No, I don't dance. I'm from that town in "Footloose."

7. There's no reason to wash towels.

Nick: "I don’t wash the towel. The towel washes me. Who washes a towel?"

Schmidt: "You never wash your towel?"

Nick: "What am I gonna do? Wash the shower next? Wash a bar of soap?"

8. Exes are meant to be avoided at all costs (especially if/unless they're Caroline)

"I don't deal with exes, they're part of the past. You burn them swiftly and you give their ashes to Poseidon."

9. IKEA furniture is not as intimidating as it looks.

"I'm building you the dresser. I love this stuff. It's like high-stakes LEGOs."

10. You don't need forks if you have hands.

Jess: "That's gross. Get a fork, man."

Nick: "I got two perfectly good forks at the end of my arms!"

11. Sex has a very specific definition.

"It's not sex until you put the straw in the coconut."

12. Doors are frustrating.

"I will push if I want to push! Come on! I hate doors!"

13. All booze is good booze.

"Can I get an alcohol?"

14. ...unless it's weak booze.

"Schmidt, that is melon flavored liquor! That is 4-proof! That is safe to drink while you're pregnant!"

15. Writers are like pregnant women.

Jess: "You know what that sound is? It's the sound of an empty uterus."

Nick: "I can top that easily. I'm having a hard time with my zombie novel."

Jess: "Are you really comparing a zombie novel to my ability to create life?"

Nick: "I'm a writer, Jess. We create life."

16. All bets must be honored.

"There is something serious I have to tell you about the future. The name of my first-born child needs to be Reginald VelJohnson. I lost a bet to Schmidt."

17. Adele's voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.

"Adele is amazing."

18. Beyoncé is extremely trustworthy.

"I'd trust Beyoncé with my life. We be all night."

19. Fish, on the other hand, are not.

“Absolutely not. You know I don’t trust fish! They breathe water. That's crazy!"

20. Bar mitzvahs are terrifying.

Schmidt: "It's a bar mitzvah!"

Nick: "I am NOT watching a kid get circumcised!"

21. are blueberries.

Jess: "So far, Nick Miller's list of fears is sharks, tap water, real relationships..."

Nick: "And blueberries."

22. Take your time with difficult decisions. Don't be rash.

Jess: "You care about your burritos more than my children, Nick?"

Nick: "You're putting me in a tough spot!"

23. Getting into shape is not easy.

"I mean, I’m not doing squats or anything. I’m trying to eat less donuts."

24. We aren't meant to talk about our feelings.

"If we needed to talk about feelings, they would be called talkings."

25. We're all a little bit too hard on ourselves.

"The enemy is the inner me."

26. Freezing your underwear is a good way to cool off.

"Trust me, I'm wearing frozen underpants right now and I feel amazing. I'm gonna grab some old underpants and put a pair into the freezer for each of you."

27. Public nudity is normal.

"Everbody has been flashed countless times."

28. Alcohol is a cure-all.

"You treat an outside wound with rubbing alcohol. You treat an inside wound with drinking alcohol."

29. Horses are aliens.

"I believe horses are from outer-space."

30. Turtles should actually be called 'shell-beavers.'

Jess: "He calls turtles 'shell-beavers."

Nick: "Well, that's what they should be called."

31. Trench coats are hot.

"This coat has clean lines and pockets that don't quit, and it has room for your hips. And, when I wear it, I feel hot to trot!"

32. Sparkles are too.

"Now, my final bit of advice, and don't get sensitive on this, but you've got to change that top it's terrible and you've got to throw sparkles on. Sparkles are in. SPARKLES ARE IN."

33. Introspection can lead to a deeper knowing of oneself.

"I'm not convinced I know how to read. I've just memorized a lot of words."

34. It's important to live in the moment.

"I know this isn't gonna end well but the middle part is gonna be awesome."

35. Drinking makes you cooler.

Jess: "Drinking to be cool, Nick? That's not a real thing."

Nick: "That's the only thing in the world I know to be true."

Cover Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter

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The Zodiac Signs As Bath And Body Works Scents

Just in case you want to know what scent you are!

Bath and Body Works fans could be considered to be part of a cult. The scents draw you in as if calling your name, if you ever
wondered what your scent should be based on your zodiac sign, here it is!

Aries: Country Apple

The rather impulsive Aries takes their time picking and choosing the scents from Bath and Body Works. The soothing scent of a fresh apple orchard is just what they need on a daily basis to keep up with their shenanigans.

Taurus: Japanese Cherry Blossom

The personality of a Taurus is stubborn, or what I like to say, is stuck in their ways. When they first discovered this scent in middle school, this was it. This is the only scent you will find anywhere around a Taurus.

Libra: Pink Chiffon

Pink Chiffon is another cult classic. This best selling scent went out of style for a hot second but is back and bigger than ever.

Leo: Thousand Wishes

Thousand Wishes is a purr-fect scent for a Leo. The light scent adornes the wearer just the right amount to get the desired reaction from those around them.

Aquarius: Be Enchanted

The rather cold personality of an Aquarius is counteracted by the loving scent of Be Enchanted. The scent is just enough tenderness for the wearer to be relaxed.

Gemini: Moonlight Path

Gemini's constantly change their favorite scent and are in and out of the store almost weekly to by new lotions, candles, and body washes. You will never see a full empty bottle of anything, however, Moonlight Path is the scent they keep coming back to again and again.

Virgo: Sea Island Cotton

The clean personality of a Virgo must be matched with the clean scent of Sea Island Cotton.

Capricorn: Cucumber Melon

Another clean scent of Cucumber Melon is the exact thing a Capricorn needs. The balance and calming scents are what make this scent so attractive to a Capricorn.

Scorpio: Paris Amour

The light scent is what you would expect from an extreme sign like a Scorpio. The scent lightly washes over the wearer in almost a cloud that

Sagittarius: Cashmere Glow

Cashmere Glow is a perfect scent for the winter sign. The vanilla and golden peach scent is just the mixture that creates the perfect accessory in the chilly months.

Pisces: Warm Vanilla Sugar

This lovely scent accentuates the lovely personality of a Pisces. They can never get enough of this scent so they just keep buying and buying until they have a full stockpile.

Cancer: Velvet Sugar

Velvet Sugar is the perfect blend of red velvet and strawberries and a Cancer is always changing their mind. The wearer can tell if it is a more red velvet or strawberry kind of day, and that is the balance that they need in their lives.

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