image1“Why Pandas?”

“Where did this love of pandas begin?”

For the past few months these questions have been popping up more frequently in my conversations.

Some have thought it’s because I’m trying to enforce my Asian-ness.

Others have thought its because my personality is similar to the panda.

And still others have thought its because I love Panda Express.

Though some of these are true, the real reason is actually none of these. Well, not consciously anyways.

My beautiful picture
Me and my panda with my little brother Phil and his koala

The reason why I love pandas so much comes from my childhood. It all can be traced back to one of my very first stuffed animals, which was…(drum roll, please)…a PANDA!

Instead of an imaginary friend, I had my stuffed panda, and never went anywhere without him. And I mean  was NEVER without him. He was my forever companion.

Through thick and thin he been by my side. He has watched over me as I grew up and learned the truth about Santa, got my first kiss by both girl and boy, went through puberty and struggled with my sexuality. He quietly supported me through my high school journey and tumultuous college days. He was even silently close by, with a protective eye, after I came out after college and went into a dangerous and self-destructive downward spiral. He was also there when I got my life together, met Michael, when I graduated from Eastern Michigan with my Masters, and watched as I celebrated getting my most recent position at Michigan State.

My beautiful picture
Sheriff Brian and Deputy Panda ready to take on the world!

And through all that, ever since I first met my little friend, my love for pandas has grown and hence the adoration for the cutest, funniest and awesomeness animal on the planet!

Now, after all of this, you must be wondering…“What is his name?”  Well, his name came about so randomly, but with such intention, I am still surprised by my innate intuition.

Christmas in high school with my buddy

His name is Number One Diamond.

It is derived from Number One Dime, after the most prized possession of the main character from one of my favorite TV shows when I was growing up. Now, somehow, in my innocent youthful mind, I must have made the same correlation as to the importance of this stuffed panda bear as that character did with his coin.

Now, I had a minor speech impediment when I was younger and I kept saying “diamond” instead of “dime” and it just seemed to stick. (Granted, I think it was also partly because I thought ‘diamond’ was more fun to say than ‘dime’. I mean diamond does have more syllables. LOL). But regardless, Number One Diamond became his name.

Last night with my bud taking a selfie for today’s post

Now, for the first person to Tweet me the name of the AWESOME 80s show Number One Dime was featured on I’ll give you a shout out! 🙂

But there you have it. A little more Brian Fun Fact and the story of how the panda love began. All from my Number One Diamond! 🙂

Until next time!

Peace, Love and PANDAS!

Published by Brian

I am currently the Assistant Director of Student Life for Registered Student Organizations and Late-Night Programming at Michigan State University. After earning my B.A. from the University of Michigan-Flint, I entered the Student Affairs profession. After a few years in the field, I returned to school and earned my M.A. in Educational Leadership-Higher Education Student Affairs from Eastern Michigan University. In my spare time I blog about my thoughts and musings on current issues in higher education, student affairs, digital worlds, identity development and general life inspirations and observations. I also volunteer a lot for my fraternity and multiple regional and national professional associations.

2 thoughts on “FINALLY: Why I LOVE Pandas!

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