We all love Alma College. Otherwise we wouldn’t be here. But sometimes we just need to get off campus.
This past weekend and at the beginning of this week, I spent more time off campus than on campus and it was quite re-energizing.
On Saturday afternoon I set off on an adventure with Adam Mossoian (’16) to Detroit to see one of my favorite bands in concert, Cold War Kids. I had excitedly bought the tickets months before and I had spent all summer counting down to Saturday. When it finally rolled around, together we took off for the great city of Detroit in my 15 year old minivan.
The concert was fantastic. We were ten feet away from the stage, the speakers made us half deaf, we met the opening band, I got a cool t-shirt, and a girl behind us almost lit my hair on fire. True story.
For me personally, there’s something magical about seeing my favorite bands live. I had been looking forward to seeing Cold War Kids live for months and months and it finally happened. And one of the best parts was that I was out of Alma and venturing to bigger places like Detroit. Adam and I also got on the wrong highway and got lost for a while, and that was part of the adventure too.
The day after the concert, Sunday, my RA staff and I took a staff fun day to Anderson and Girls, which is an exotic petting zoo, cider mill, and pumpkin patch. The weather was perfect; warm and sunny. We got on a wagon ride and waded through a pumpkin patch. Talon Morris (’14) and I rode a camel together. I petted a zebra and fed a donkey. All eleven of us fed some birds peanut butter and seeds. We had cider and doughnuts and I had my one and only caramel apple of the fall.
The entire afternoon was spent off campus in each other’s company just enjoying fall and everything that Michigan has to offer.
Also, here’s a picture of me feeding the birds.
I think the best part about my adventure to Anderson and Girls was riding the camel. They have really fuzzy humps, if you wanted to know.
To complete my adventures off campus, my English 420 senior seminar had class at the cemetery on Tuesday. The thirteen of us and Dr. Vivian met in the Heritage Center parking lot and carpooled straight to the Alma cemetery across the river to hold class and discuss our latest book, Ironweed.
We spent twenty minutes walking reflectively among the graves and thinking about life and death. I sat on a gravestone and wrote a poem. I found small graves, large graves, graves with flowers, graves without. When we were done walking and reflecting, we sat at the entrance to the cemetery in a circle and discussed the book. My junior year, I had another class with Dr. Vivian that went to Wal-Mart and I thought about that a lot, that I had the chance to leave Alma’s campus for a class. On Tuesday, sitting outside in the sunshine and smelling the crisp fall air, reminded me of my spring term in England where we held class underneath the shade of York Minster Cathedral in York.
Sometimes you need to get off campus. You need a different perspective. You need to break out of what we call “the bubble”.
But we always come back.