I’m sitting in the Student Union and University of Iowa having a bit of a surreal experience. I’m here to judge a debate tournament, something that I have been participating in for the last 13 years. When I found out it was on campus and not at a high school I was pretty stoked because quite frankly, I like college campuses. I like new books and that everyone walks everywhere. I like the downtown area most large campuses have filled with bars, food and bookstores. But, it just isn’t the same, and all at the same time it is exactly the same.
I can walk down the street and pick out the frat guys, smacking and carousing outside the first bar of the night, catcalling and harassing everyone on the streets. The union has a few sporadic people with group projects trying to get them out of the way before Sunday night rolls around. There’s free WIFI, sweatpants and messy buns. There’s a kid setting up for some kind of musical number or show that will happen tomorrow night longingly looking at everyone who isn’t him that can load backpack up and haul ass home.
I’m none of these things tonight. I contemplated a drink since I am sans kids, staying in a hotel and don’t have to drive anywhere. Then I realized if I wanted to stay up and judge this round that begins at 8, a drink will just not do, unless I have a student wake me up when they are done. I fear that won’t earn me my commission. So I decided I would try Which Wich, and I do indeed want to have it’s sandwich food babies…repeatedly. I also hit up a used bookstore outside of campus and bought some texts for schools and some things I thought looked interesting. Then of course on my way to the restaurant I happened across a bookstore with a coffee shop, a sale section and several books on my To READ sticky note wall.
And I walked away with another three books.
I wouldn’t say this is all that far off from college, but I had less money to spend then (sorta). I loved a quaint little coffee shop downtown called the Coffee House and the Mount Fuji Snow. It’s peppermint tea, milk and a shot of vanilla. I’d write papers, talk to girlfriends and typically enjoy a delicious pastry.
I wasn’t ever much of a bar girl, I just don’t like drunkards. I hadn’t thought about that much until I walked by “Oh MAH GAWD, and she had the fishbowl and I was like SERIOUSLY, I wanted to be in on it, but I thought I drank too much last night, but like are you going to come out with us tonight it’s going to be so AMAZE.” Then I hated her, and all of the words falling from her mouth. Like OMG.
Isn’t it strange how something that is such a large part of your life for 4ish years becomes such an outside event just a few years later? I’m heading off to find a student store, because I like pens. And I am a boss.