Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!
Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My Day at Penn State

Old Main, Penn State
This past Sunday I traveled up to the Penn State Main Campus in State College, PA.  John had some business up there and I tagged along to keep him company on the 3 hour drive up and back. While he was doing his stuff, I spent the morning and early afternoon wandering the campus reliving college memories from my own alma mater, Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ.
 
Old college campuses are very similar in that they all seem to have that large stately main building on campus where it all began. There is a cupola on top and two wings of classrooms. Old Main at Penn State brought back memories of the Old Queens building on the Rutgers College campus in New Brunswick.  Friends and I would hang out in front of or behind it on the Voorhees Mall studying for our classes or just relaxing in the sun. Today at Old Main, students were doing the very same thing. Some guys were playing Frisbee, a couple here and there being romantic, and several students studying.
Old Queens, Rutgers
 
One of my favorite memories at Rutgers was starting off each new semester seeing your classmates and fraternity brothers again for the first time after the break. We would all wander down to the Rutgers Bookstore to purchase our books for the semester. I think, back in ... ahem 1988, I would spend about $200 on books. I bought the used ones to save money. I was extremely fortunate to have my parents pay for college. Believe me I realize how lucky I am! Their requirement was for me to pay for my books and supplies each semester. Uh... did that include beer?


Books, books, and more books.
$147.00 for a new book
I wandered into the Penn State bookstore, it is a temporary one as they are redoing the one in the HUB building on campus. I was in basically several connected trailer type buildings looking at books left and right. I asked one of the women if I could buy a text book even though I wasn't a student and she said of course I could. I was in heaven in the Art History and Architecture aisle. I found several I wanted until I looked at the prices. Used books were still cheaper than the new ones but they also now have "rental books" and "e-books" which are cheaper still. Wow, a totally different generation of college students.  We were one of the first classes at Rutgers to be assigned "email accounts." I said to my friend Sharon, "What the heck am I gonna do with an email address?"  I don't think I ever opened it up once.

Anyway I found an incredible architecture book, Buildings Across Time, which I just had to have ... until I saw the price:  $147.00 new and $110.25 used. SO much more than when I went. I could buy all my books for just double that. The only books that expensive in 1988 were the nursing and pre-med books and those were friggin' bibles! Oh well, Amazon here I come!  There are currently 104 used ones online starting at the cheap asking price of $10.00!

After my time in the bookstore, I decided I needed to get some coffee and write for my blog. I ended up at the HUB which is the student union and activities building. There are tons of meeting spaces, game rooms, a gallery or two, and a large food court. Unfortunately there was no food or coffee on a Sunday but I still decided to hang out, write, and reminisce when I was back in school. Undergrad students were studying left and right and lemme me tell you, even with the obviously older grad students, I still felt out of place. I even had some kid hold open the door for me saying, "Here ya go, sir." UGH. Gee thanks kid.

Schreyer Park
I retreated to a solitary park just beyond the temporary bookstore named Schreyer Park. It was really peaceful and I enjoyed my time there tapping away on my laptop. Several squirrels, REALLY tame squirrels, jumped about sometimes a little bit too close! There were also tons of ducks wandering around the grounds of Old Main and some rabbits, too. I was amazed at how comfortable these animals were with people around.  

Ducks hanging out around Old Main
All in all it was a really fun day. I got a blog article written (not this one. LOL) and some other boring miscellaneous paperwork which was made palatable with my collegiate surroundings. I would write, take a break, people watch, and then get back to writing. Truly relaxing. I met up with John later and we headed down to College Avenue for a bite to eat after some shopping. We had a really good late lunch at a bar called Mr. Pickle's Tap Room. Good food, good selection of beers, and friendly people. Oh and this picture below, actually happened BEFORE the beers and lunch.

Showing my team spirit for Penn State!
 
 

1 comment:

  1. I love college campuses as well! Such great motivating areas to get work done!!!

    ReplyDelete