Carolina on My Mind: May 2011
"My Carolina Revisited"
By Brad Muller, '92, Alumni Association senior director of communications
I once threw out my back while eating waffles. I pinched a nerve in my neck while drying my head with a towel after getting out of the shower. I opened the car door on my forehead and gave myself a golf-ball sized lump. All of this has happened in the last year or so. Perhaps 17 years of playing rugby may have had some influence on my various ailments, but I’m sure all of us have those moments where you realized you are not as young as you used to be. Walking on the Carolina campus does it to me every time, but with more positive and less painful recollections.
About four-and-a-half years ago, the Alumni Association launched its “My Carolina” campaign, which has since evolved into our brand. From day one of this re-branding, we’ve asked you to tell us what “My Carolina” means to you, and we still receive a steady stream of testimonials each week. I never get tired of reading or hearing how others respond.
Every time I walk on the Horseshoe, I take a look at the second-story window in Legare College, which was my living room during my senior year of 1991-92. Tiny rooms, but what a view! Like most folks, tailgating at Williams-Brice Stadium and long nights in the Thomas Cooper Library often come to mind. Recollections of my freshmen year in “The Towers” make me laugh. In the days before hand sanitizer, it’s amazing any of us made it out of there alive.
Hustling to the downstairs plaza at “The Big Bird” on Main Street after rugby practice was great, and I’ll admit, at some point during my collegiate career I may have accidentally made my way into the fountain in front of the library on a walk back from Five Points. I was actually testing the theory that the shortest route between two points is a straight line, so that was more like a field trip.
There was a great group of third-base hecklers in the late 1980s and early 1990s at Sarge Frye Field. In fact, I did a radio documentary on them for one of my journalism classes. Those guys were still the best I have ever heard.
I remember being in the Carolina Coliseum when the power went out. It sure gets dark underground! If I think about it, I can still smell all of the aromas from the circus that made its way to the Coliseum every year. (So that’s why it’s called the elephant room!) I remember walking to my classes on the first day of my freshman year. I had gone to an all-male high school in Connecticut before coming to Columbia for my college education, so let’s just say I was a little distracted at first.
If you were from out of state, you probably did all of your Christmas shopping at the book store. That’s what I did. Easiest shopping I’ve ever done, and this was before the Internet!
I could go on and on, but these are just some of the things that come to mind when I think about “My Carolina.” Of course there are lots of great memories about Carolina that come to mind from my days since graduation, but there’s nothing quite like those days as a student.
If you haven’t already done so, tell us what “My Carolina” means to you
For now, I’m staying away from waffles, drip-drying my hair, and backing away from the hatchback.