Sunday, November 7, 2010

Alma Mater

This past Friday, I drove up to my undergraduate school, Bradley University in Peoria, IL. My former college roommate was asked by the Biology department to give a presentation on her career. She currently works at the Shedd Aquarium and has had an interesting path in environmental science. Anyway, we thought it would be fun to meet there for a little reunion.

It was fun. I have actually driven through Peoria many times on the way to my dad's house, but haven't really gotten an opportunity to walk around the campus and check out all the improvements they have made. Above is a photo of Bradley Hall. I pretty much spent all four years there. My undergrad degrees are in International Studies and German. Except for the hard sciences, all the liberal arts and sciences classes were taught there. They recently remolded the Hall. I couldn't get over how nicer it looked. It seemed all fancy and new. It definitely did not have the feel when I was there. M presented in the Olin science building. They had built a new portion with amazing labs, but she gave her talk in the old wing. It was crazy because it looked EXACTLY the same from when we were there. They obviously had poured all the money into the new wing and did nothing to the older areas. I had taken several biology course while I was at Bradley* and felt an immediate flash back to those classes. In some ways, the campus was exactly the same and in others it had really improved. It was nice to see that.

M & I were talking about how we each came to Bradley. It isn't a super well-known school and Peoria isn't the epicenter of excitement. We were freshman in 1991-1992. Back then, Bradley was on the cutting edge of technology. I remember that one of the huge draws (besides giving me a big scholarship) was that every dorm room had its own computer and printer. That was HUGE in 1991. They even had this thing called "email". It was amazing. Thus, I didn't have to have my own computer (which very few people had or could afford) or go to the computer lab. Plus, email sounded really cool. M said this was also the big draw for her. For me, too, it was the right size, not in Iowa, but still only four hours from home. Would I chose it again? I don't know. But, I certainly don't have any regrets about it. I met my husband there, so that was a big plus. The only regrets I have are that I didn't fully take advantage of everything that college life allowed. It is such a small bubble of time, that I wish I would have completely maximized it.

*I also considered getting a degree in Biology, specializing in Botany. IS & German eventally won out!

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