Friday, October 22, 2010

11 reasons why I wish I was going to Homecoming

I am seriously wishing I was flying to the Midwest today to enjoy the Homecoming festivities at my alma mater. Not only is it Homecoming, but my undefeated team is playing the No. 1 BCS team and ESPN GameDay will be there.

In an effort not to bore readers that didn't graduate from my university, I've condensed this to a list of 11 things I will miss by not being there this weekend. (I chose 11 because that's MU's ranking, and I realize it is still a long list but I could write forever about my college days.)

1. GameDay will be at the quad. 

This is the first time they've ever been to MU's campus, and this is a huge game for my team. MU has done better in football in the last five years than the four seasons I was a student there. Right now they are the only team I cheer for that is still undefeated this season. I'm not making any predictions, but I am invested in this game!

2. It seems like everyone is going to Homecoming this year; the Facebook statuses are constant reminders. I haven't been back for Homecoming since the fall after I graduated. The last time I was even in the state was for a wedding two years ago. So there are plenty of college friends I haven't seen in four years that I would love to catch up with, not to mention getting to visit some friends I know from Georgia. One day I will have a job where I can take a Friday off in October.

3. House decorations. 

I can't begin to explain this, and this photo taken with film and scanned in doesn't do it justice. But they are huge scenes created with scaffolding, plywood, tissue paper and glue, otherwise known as pomp. (I don't want to think about how many hours I spent pomping over the course of four Homecomings, and we didn't cheat and use chicken wire either.) There's a 10-minute skit that runs continuously for the kids that come out to Greektown. It's A LOT of work when you are in a sorority, but as an alum I would just get to enjoy it. 

4. The parade. 

I'm going to say the Homecoming parade wins as the best parade I've attended. Granted, I've always had a stake in it and walked in it three of four years but still it is impressive. The sororities and fraternities create floats -- some with moving pieces (the advantages of being paired with an engineering fraternity), there are high school and college bands from all over the state, there is usually a famous grand marshal (Sheryl Crow one year) and then there's this:
Pretty much the reason my mom let me go to school nine hours away from home. (A story for another post.)

5. Wearing my Mizzou hoodie and fitting in. 

I went to Target last Friday night and pulled on my hoodie since the temperature had dropped, and my black and gold just didn't quite fit with all the orange and blue in this town. I've also been made fun of for wearing my hoodie when visiting family, but Midwesterners understand the need for hoodies!

6. Faurot Field. 

It may not be a massive SEC stadium or even as big as the one in my current town, but you feel like you're at a college football game, not an ESPN production. And at one time they let the students rush the field and take the down the goal posts.

7. The Zeta house. 

I lived there for four semesters and spent much of my freshman year over there. It's a little like going home to walk in that front door. I'd love some of the chocolate chip cookies that were served frequently and a hug from my house mom. Not to mention it is a convenient parking and tailgating spot to enjoy all the festivities from.

8. The new journalism building. I haven't seen it. There's a whole corner of the quad that has been taken over by the journalism school that is all new since I graduated five years ago. I would love to see what I missed!

9.  Flat Branch. Their artichoke dip is to die for, and if an appetizer isn't enough, you can get it on one of their amazing burgers. They also have Strongbow beer to remind me of London. And since I'm mentioning food, I'll throw in Shakespeare's pizza.

10. Shake's frozen custard. I've tried to replace it with gelato, frozen yogurt and even frozen custard from a local chain, but it's not nearly as good. (Sidenote: In looking up the link, I discovered they are getting ready to open one in Auburn, so my Georgia friends should try it out.)

11. The church I attended. They no longer meet in a high school auditorium, but I would love to go back there for worship. It was (and I assume still is) a church very focused on the worship experience, and once you walked into the service, there was no chatting or hugs, shifting seats or waving to friends, you found a spot and started singing or praying on your own. The auditorium was pretty dark through the service, so it was all about the individual experience, not what your neighbor was doing. It was a place I never minded going to alone, in fact I often preferred it that way.

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