Sunday, November 20, 2011

Photo of the Day - November 16 - 17, 2011

Sycamore for a Day (or two)

Arriving on the Indiana State University campus brought me back to 1975 once again!  I loved going to school there.  I had the best four years.  It was a time to learn, a time to grow up and a time to cut the proverbial umbilical cord.  But best of all, we had Larry Bird and Kurt Thomas!  World-renowned basketball champion and Olympic Gold Medalist gymnast.

It all rushes back to me the second I see those sycamore trees lining the newly enclosed campus which was all city streets when I was there.  Yes, I was cold, but I had my layers on.  The wind blowing in my hair felt refreshing.  Then I blink and realize this is not my reality anymore, it is my daughter's.

So we headed up to Lincoln Quad to put my suitcase in her suitemate's room.  She was extremely gracious and slept at her parent's home for one night so that I could stay in the dorm.  We gathered next door in their common room for their sorority.  It was a dorm suite without the walls, decorated with fresh paint, couches, comfy chairs and throw pillows.  It was study hour and only three of Rachel's sisters were there with their computers looking quite busy, of course checking their Facebook pages in between writing their intensely interesting term papers!

My daughter graciously cooked up a snack for me since I was hungry again.  She wouldn't let me clean up the dishes saying, "you are in my home and I don't expect you to clean up after me here," wow, how grown up is that?  I smiled.  But later that evening when she wasn't looking, I did wash the dishes and put them away.

A few hours later we were dressed and ready to attend the Symphonic Band concert at Tilson Hall with Noah's parents (her boyfriend is in the band).  We sat up in the balcony because my daughter, who is not only in Gamma Phi sorority, but also in the professional fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi as a little sister!  She said that we had to sit with her "brothers" and besides, the sound was better up there!  I was fine wherever we sat.  Each piece was a very upbeat, but short piece and the concert was over before we knew it.  And then we gathered in the Heritage Ballroom where I suddenly had deja vu because I remembered that I had been award the Alan C. Rankin President's award for community service in that very room in 1978!  I do believe there is a photo of me in one of the yearbooks getting that award!

Afterwards we all went out to dinner to a new Chinese buffet (not my style, but it was my daughter's choice).  I had to laugh because on buffet of not only Chinese food, were trays of macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and wings!!  But it was the company, the conversation and the experience.  And of course, once again, we closed out the place and the people was cleaning up around us!!  We continued our discussion out in the parking lot next to Vicki and Dave's smart car!  I just loved the size of it so I had to take a photo of course.  It is sitting next to Noah's "BOAT" and you can see how small it is.

Back at the dorm I was instructed to get into my pajamas, grab my iPad and join the sisters in the common area.  We sat there, chatting about life, social issues and what was Rachel like as a child until almost 1 a.m.  My eyes hurt at that point and I really needed sleep, so excused myself.  I had to take a running leap to get in the bed because it is up on blocks so that there is extra storage space underneath!  Yet another giggle!!

I was the first one up in the morning and read email, Facebook and Twitter stuff and made myself tea while I waited for my daughter to get up.  She wasn't moving, so I took a shower (quite an experience in the dark, cement floor stall) and got dressed and waited some more!!

Finally, my sleeping beauty got up and we headed over to visit our friend, John Newton.  He is an institution at ISU and in Terre Haute too.  He was the alumni director for years and years and once he retired last year, came back to work (on his own terms, part time) at the ISU Foundation.  He also served as a Councilman for the town for a few years.  But now enjoys his time traveling for both pleasure and for the school.  I am always amazed at the fountain of knowledge in his brain!  He knows every student, where they live, what they major in, when they are going to graduate and he really listens and hears and remembers what you say!

We spent about an hour and a half there.  He was even kind enough to print out my airline ticket which was amazing for John because he was so anti-technology a few years ago!

Then it was off to the Lincoln Quad dining hall.  Mmmmmmm dorm food.  After circling around and around I finally decided on a chicken patty on a bun with lots of salad on the side.  For dessert I chose a brownie.  So did Rachel.  As we took a bite, we both looked at each other with a very funny look on our faces and tried to figure out what we were tasting.  It was mint.  Who puts mint in brownies??  Well, midwesterners I guess!  Blech.  Well, I did want something sweet, so I ate a few more bites before I gave up!!

Onward we went to wake up Noah!  Yeah, I know, it was about 1 p.m. but he was sound asleep.  He had pulled an all-nighter to write a paper, went to class, turned it in and went back to his room and promptly fell asleep.  But we were heartless and woke him up and we made him go to Wal-Mart with us.  I wanted to buy something for the girls' suite to say thank you.

Of all the things in the store, Rachel wanted cleaning supplies and a rug!!  So that is what I got for them!!  And they appreciated it.  

Then it was off to the airport.  It was a very short trip but we packed in a lot of talking and eating and one huge hug at the airport (no tears) and I was headed home.

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