“My mother prayed that I would be
A man of some renown
But I am just a refugee
As I go ramblin’ round…”
“Ramblin’ Round” ~ Woody Guthrie
First: Yes, the Ramblin’ Wreck, Georgia Tech’s 1930 Ford Model A, has something to do with our magazine’s name, but not to the extent that you might think. The gold-painted car you see at football games and around graduation has been a part of Georgia Tech history for decades. That being said, our magazine’s title functions more as a nod to university tradition than the outright acknowledgement of a namesake.
Second: No, it has nothing to do with your high school teacher’s digressive lecturing style. “Oh, he just rambles and rambles and never says a thing.” We recognize that such people may exist, but we did not have them in mind when we thought up the name of our magazine.
Here’s the real reason.
College students’ lives revolve around structure. Everywhere there are messages being shouted, telling you where to go or what to do. Take this class. Do this homework. Join this fraternity. Work with this professor. Get that internship. You are kept at attention and made to march. Day in and day out. It’s exhausting. Sometimes you just want to get away.
Do you think it might be time for a change? Why not go for a ramble?
To us, a ramble is an opportunity to do just that: to do something different, to get out of the old routine, to change direction, to leave behind every-day scenery, to wander and drift towards nowhere in particular, for no reason in particular, except pleasure or escape, if only to feel like yourself again. Digressions or divergences from the expected can be restorative, especially when they lead to something unexpected or surprising. Who knows what you’ll find if you just let yourself ramble.
That is what we want to publish. We want you to ramble. We want to see creative work that rambles. Not the way your aforementioned professor does. If you submit work that says blah, blah, blah, meh, we most likely won’t publish it. We want work that surprises us with its quality, depth, and thoughtfulness, restoring us by breaking away from what is mundane and formulaic and routine. We hope that your rambles will lead you to re-imagine and re-shape the ideas and memories that continue to shape you. We look forward to see your work.
Guthrie, Woody. “Ramblin’ Round.” This Land Is Your Land: The Asch Recordings, Vol. 1, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 1999.
"Ramblin' Wreck" (adapted) photo credit: Disavian [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons