I have had a great time at the Georgia Council for the Social Studies annual convention here in Athens, GA. The city’s nickname is appropriately called the Classic City.
It is also the home of the University of Georgia where I went to school. Today was a gorgeous day so I went for a nerdy photo walk – something I would have never done as a student because frankly, 19-year-olds are too cool for that. But I’m old and not cool. There’s definitely some freedom to possessing that designation.
I entered the north campus through the famous arches. UGA was chartered in 1785. It is the first state-supported university in America.
First stop is the chapel where I was privileged to play my flute in recitals when I attended UGA. It’s a very old building and the Doric columns on the front are gigantic.
The flowers around campus are still blooming. Mine at home have died long ago.
This next building is the oldest one on campus. It once was the classrooms, dining hall and dormitory for the college. The college has grown a bit since then.
If you look closely at the door, you will see it is a 1 1/2 doorway. The story goes that there was a tax on doors which was the indicator of building size, so they put in 1/2 doors to skirt the issue and pay less taxes. I have also heard that they were built that way to accommodate old hoop skirts but I was later told that wasn’t true.
More gorgeous flowers led me to the library. Back in the day, I remember thinking how odd and also wonderful it was that you could talk in the UGA library. There were only a few areas that are no talking zones. That was such a wonderful concept to me. I guess I felt stifled by the shushing in traditional libraries of my pre-college days.
Next, I passed the Terry College of Business. I spent many hours there getting my degree in Marketing. It caught on fire in 1995 in one of the worst blazes in the college history but has since been repaired.
Next stop is the stadium. It has grown upward many layers up since the 1980’s when I attended. Both ends were also open and you could see through to the train tracks where many people used to watch the games while sitting on the hill below the tracks.
I went across the street to the student center. When I was in UGA, that space used to be my parking lot. There was nothing there except my car and about 500 other cars.
Zigzagging across from the student center used to be the hangout spot for campus, Memorial Hall Plaza. Everyday I passed through there on the way to my dorm which you shall see momentarily. As I went through there were people playing guitars, sitting in groups, standing on steps and shouting out doomsday sermons. Off to the side was the pool hall – a wonderfully seedy and fun hangout. You had to pay by the MINUTE to play pool. I only went played once and then played for free in my basement at home.
Now look at the plaza.
It’s a ghost town. I expected to see tumbleweed rolling by. The bulldog has no one to watch over.
But if you go around the front of the statue, perhaps you can tell why no one is in the plaza. Look at that face. Yikes!
Go up the steps behind the scary bulldog and behind the stadium and you will find my old dorm. It was Payne Hall, built in 1923. It was originally the football player’s dorm but apparently what isn’t good enough for the athletes anymore is okay for us normal students. We often joked about that. What wasn’t very funny was the heat. Although you see window air conditioning units now, we had NO AIR CONDITIONING AT ALL except the occasional window box fan or a critter on a hamster wheel whirring to make a breeze if you fed them extra carrots. My room was the one on the end on the second floor.
I headed up back to hotel and then later, went for yogurt. I bet you wish you had a beautiful rhyming niece-Elyse to have a late night treat with like I do. She is leaving for the coast tomorrow on a research trip. Fun!
I ended the day at the Halloween store nearby. Yikes again. Elyse warned me it was scary, and it was. Anyone for clown lights?
Now that you won’t be able to sleep tonight you can spend the time going through my old posts and reading some happier thoughts. The rest of my blog is a clown-free zone!