I'm Going Home...

Well, to my university's homecoming that is.

It was last month and I decided that since it's already been 5 years since I graduated and I haven't really been back there since, why not?

We drove the 30 miles over in the late morning. I took the back roads for nostalgic reasons. It was fun driving past all our old favorite just off campus places.

First thing we did on campus was check out the remodeled Cole Hall.

For those that don't know, Cole Hall is the building where the 2008 Valentine's Day shooting occurred (I've mentioned it on Valentine's Day every year since). On the main floor, the building consisted of 2 big auditoriums used mainly for Gen-Ed lectures that the majority of students took during their time at NIU, as well as housed a small anthropology museum. Thanks to the voices of students, alumni and others, they made the decision not to tear down the building like originally planned and instead sent out a survey as to what should be done. The result was a remodel. The outside and front/main hallway got a total facelift, the auditorium where the shooting occurred got split, part of it now being a smart classroom while the anthropology museum expanded into the other part. The other auditorium got a facelift as well so it no longer resembles the old one. Pretty neat.

Gotta admit though, I got chills and started to choke up a little just walking through that building again. I had several classes in that damned auditorium during my time there. It was a tad emotional.

After that visit, we headed over to the Alumni and Visitors Center and proceeded to the Alumni Village area behind it where they had various tents for each college at the university where you could eat free food. Since I was an Art major, we went to the Visual and Performing Arts tent. Can't say I knew a single person there. After we ate lunch we went in search of the school's newspaper tailgating tent, since most of the people I knew during my time at school, outside my art classes, were the newspaper staff. Sadly though, this being the 1st year with a new adviser in years, there apparently wasn't one! Which sucks as I knew some of my fellow newspaper staff people were th
ere... somewhere.

New building in the end zone!
We did get tickets to the game though, where we were up by A LOT at halftime (which is when we
left as Jay couldn't sit through an entire 3 hour football game). There was a lot of changes though - at the one end of field is a new field house that I had no idea existed. You could also the new high-tech residence hall from the stadium. I got myself a new t-shirt, as well as one for Jay to grow into.

After we left the game, I ran into a few of my fellow newspaper peeps - the gal that was editor-in-chief the semester I started as well as 2 guys that I worked on staff with for a few years. It was nice catching up with them!

Jay hamming it up at the football game
with mommy and his plastic Geico gecko
(you can see the plain backside of it)
From there we took a drive around campus and then went to our favorite local dinner, just off

Then we drove over to the theater so I could harass my bestest buddy from my time there. Sadly, the last of the kids I worked with on staff had just left not too long ago, aside from one that is now management and left before I got there.

If anything, this trip made me realize how much I miss DeKalb and my time in college... we really did have too much fun in college!

Funny story though - at the Alumni and Visitors Center, Geico had a booth and they handed out pompoms with a plastic Geico gecko as the handle. Well, ours immediately broke off so we gave it to Jay to play with... Little Man clung to that plastic gecko alllllll day, lol...

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