A few weeks ago, during spring break, I took my oldest daughter on a couple of college visits. One was to my alma mater, Indiana University. We began by sitting in on a psychology lecture. The professor spoke about memory, and a man who had tragically lost all his memories. The whole topic was ironic on this day, because being at IU again, for the first time in almost 30 years, was bringing back all kinds of memories for me. IU Memories, I have a few …
We hurriedly followed the group through the IU Memorial Union. It was reminiscent of so many quick walks through that rambling place, either on the way to a class or between classes. We passed through one utilitarian hallway that reminded me of a 30-year-old airport lobby, and it spurred a memory: here, 30 years ago, I spent one evening with a fellow Campus Crusade for Christ-er, randomly approaching students to go through “4 Spiritual Laws” booklets with. Boy, that was traumatic for me, not being a drive-by witnessing type.
Ah, of course the fountain in front of the auditorium, hearing about what happened to the fish after the IU basketball team won the 1987 NCAA tournament. I remember standing here when I was on a campus tour as a teen — only we heard a different story about the fountain, since the tournament win was still in the future at that point.
The Arboretum — how many times did I walk across this green space, either mentally reviewing some concepts learned in class or contemplating my next change of major? Many, many times. That’s for sure.
Oh my oh my oh my — Beck Chapel and the cemetery beside it, with Ballantine Hall in the background. So many classes there, so many trips past the Chapel, so many memories. It feels so strange to walk by these once-familiar landmarks that I passed during those formative years, having now lived much of my “grown up” life. So strange … I guess it feels comforting to know that so many landmarks here seemed the same, despite the passing of the years.
Although it wasn’t included in our tour, I had to go inside the IU Auditorium to catch a quick peek at the Thomas Hart Benton murals that had so fascinated me years ago. They were still looking good 🙂
It was fun to visit a “real” dorm room in a dorm I remember, and see again a much-missed neighbor who showed us around.
Have you ever gone back to your college? What was the experience like for you?