Monday, October 26, 2015

Re-living the undergraduate experience

Sunday afternoon I drove over to Manhattan, Kansas, where I had attended Kansas State University. I had done the 5-year plan as an undergraduate because I never could decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. I finally left with a B.S. after majoring in Economics, Geography, and Pre-Law. I went on to law school, but I don't know that the question of what I want to be when I grow up has ever been resolved. 

I had been through Manhattan once or twice since I graduated, but this day I had enough time to walk around campus, drive around town, and even do a six mile hike out at Konza Prairie. It was a beautiful day, perfect for a hike and I thoroughly enjoyed it. 
I have a college friend who still lives in Manhattan and I had arranged to meet her at the Tallgrass Brewery's taphouse for dinner. I had a little time after the hike before I was to meet her for dinner, so I made my way to campus. A lot of my memories of college seem to be lost in a smoky haze, but some of them came back as I walked around places I used to live and buildings where I had classes. There are a lot of new buildings on campus, of course, and that confused me, but once I got to the center of campus things looked pretty familiar. 

I pulled into a parking garage at the Student Union, thinking that would be the easiest place to park and my best chance of finding my car when I returned. As I was about to enter the garage, I reached for my wallet and realized I had left home without it. I found street parking in Aggieville instead (an off-campus area roughly analogous to "the Corner" in Charlottesville) and went through my pockets and the car for loose change. I ended up wandering around Manhattan with less than $10 to my name, thereby bringing an unforeseen and less than welcome element of realism to my re-living of the undergraduate experience. 

I was parched from the hike so I bought a big coke at the Student Union and then just walked around, (an activity that was both free and entertaining), before bumming beers and dinner from my friend in the evening. She's such a good friend that she even offered me gas money to get home, but I had mom's car with a full tank of gas. It was like college all over again. 

Even though it was a cool and pleasant day, it felt good to
finally reach some shade.
This is a partially reconstructed  spring house
from the homestead site established by
immigrants from Sweden.

This empty lot is the location of a house where I lived for my
last two years or so in Manhattan. I didn't expect a historical
marker, and indeed there was none.

This building was the old Nichols gym, which had burned many
years ago and stood as a ruin when I was there. Only the walls
remained and there were trees growing inside. It now holds a
theater among other things.
Thompson Hall, where the Geography department was located,
it was very near my off-campus apartment.

This is Water's Hall on the other side of campus, where the
Econ department was located, but it was near the dorm I lived
in for my first two years.

My friend Becky and I at dinner at  the Tallgrass Taphouse

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So, I guess, you CAN go home again.
Jake is adorable in a push-faced sort of way.