Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Three Cheers for the Purple and White

At the age of 18, every cliche song about leaving home ran through my head. I wanted Independence (perhaps, a touch of Independence, the kind funded by one's parents) and new experiences. I loaded up my belongings and set my sights on college nine hours away.

It was the best decision I have ever made.

This past weekend I returned to my Alma mater to celebrate my 10 year college reunion. I can be a bit of a sap and tend to be slightly dramatic, so such things as "10 year reunions" are my cup of tea. My college roomies and I met up on The Hill and within hours of pulling into West Texas, it felt like I had hardly been gone.

The collage experience gave me lots of things:

It gave me an education (and school loans).

It gave me an understanding of independence...eventually not funded by the parents.

It gave me everlasting friendships.

It gave me the chance to meet my husband.

It gave me a sense of self.

Going back to the grounds in which such things were brought into my life was beyond an enjoyable experience. Earlier last week when it appeared the flu might possibly wreck such plans, I was a bit sad about possibly not being able to attend such events. Fortunately tami-flu and a devoted husband saved the day and I was able to embark on my journey. Fourteen years ago this past August I drove into the small college town as a girl with big dreams. Last Friday I drove into the same town as an adult with some dreams fulfilled and others still emerging.

ACU does not do a tiny Homecoming celebration...they go all out. Purple and silver tinsel hang from every stop sign and street marker. There is a Friday night carnival, Saturday social club breakfasts (at 6:30am...who started such a tradition and why has someone not changed it to lunch???), a parade, Homecoming chapel, the actual football game (aka "Nap time"), and a dinner in the evening for classes celebrating reunions. Apparently there was also a sunrise devotional on Sunday, but I had already had my fill of getting up early for the weekend and opted out of that fun.

The weekend was festive, fun and a gentle reminder of the passing of time. Bonds were reestablished and school spirit was reignited. I wanted to grab every little baby-faced college student I passed those two days I was on campus and attempt to explain to them exactly how important their time was right now, how precious the memories they are creating at that moment will be to them one day, how never in their life will someone hand them an iphone and a chance to have such an incredible experience ever again.

But I refrained and simply basked in my coming home experience.

I also took a few pictures as well, in between my bouts of dramatic reflection and all.

Four out of the five roomies at the carnival

Four out of the five roomies at KJK breakfast
Our little social club celebrated their 90th year this Homecoming.

The missing 5th roomie

This gal and I attended ACU together 3 out of 4 years, yet never really chatted during that time. She actually lived on the same street as Tobe. We have since become blogging friends and real-life pals on those rare occasions when our paths cross. She is uber-crafty and has a kitchen that I pine over via her blog.

Chambers Hall: Home to all my under-grad and grad psychology courses. This is the place where I met Tobe...mainly because he used to shout "Welcome to Chambers Hall!" along with a fellow class clown every Tues/Th morning of the Social Psych class we shared my sophomore year and was hard to miss.
Fortunately he no longer yells such things at me when I enter our home.

The Kojie float in the Homecoming parade.
Those poor pledges will never get back the countless hours they toiled over their tissue paper float. However, they can now add such skills to their resume. I keep waiting to use my knowledge of crafting chicken wire and tissue into a large sailboat (the float I helped create when a pledge years ago), but have yet to be called on to make such a being since my sophomore days of college....

1017 Washington Blvd
This, dear readers, was my college home. Although it was old and had a wall on the verge of collapse, the roomies and I loved our home at 1017. Many laughs and many tears were experienced inside this little home. I think we all cried when we moved out after graduation, likely wondering if we would ever live anywhere quite as fun ever again. We were happy to discover that girls reside at 1017 once again (stinky ol boys moved in after we moved out). Half of us roomies wanted to knock on the door and ask if we could get a quick peek at our old homestead. The other half realized that perky young college girls would likely be frightened by a group of older women storming their home, excitedly chatting about such foreign topics as the "tish wig" and inquiring as to where "peeps" happened to be at the moment. We never knocked on the door, although we did slow down long enough to take a few pictures of the old place.

And this, dear readers, is where Tobe lived for a short while during college. Fortunately I did not know him when he lived in such a "home".

Do you attend college or high school reunions? What about them makes them special or terribly horrible for you?


The Binkley Family said...

We didn't attend any of the festivities, since Gary was working and I obviously have no business at such things, seeing as I how have never logged any hours at ole ACU.

Next time you guys are in town, holler at us! :)

Kelly said...

Sounds like it was a great reunion! It's so good to go back there.

Elasha said...

Hey lady, it was good to see you this past weekend! Sorry we didn't get to visit more! We should plan a coffee/brunch/lunch, something like that to get together soon! I really don't think we live too far away from each other. Talk to you soon!

Jordan said...

It was fun, wasn't it?

And I would just like to point out that the house pictured at the end of your post was NOT the one down my street that Tobe lived in. Just wanted to clear that up! :)

Dancing In His Reign said...

I have another year before my h/s reunion hits, but next weeked at HU's Homecoming I will be attending the ChiO Anniversary celebration. While nervous as I haven't kept in touch with a lot of the girls... I'm very excited to see old and new faces. I'll post on it after the 31st I'm sure!

DKDFW said...

Tobe's house looks like some sort of anti-governmental compound