Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Place I Love, that Bleeds Orange and Maroon

At the end of May Tim and I started a road trip across country. We began in New England, drove down to VA, drove across I-40, and then up to San Francisco. I continued on to WA afterward for my summer internship, whereas Tim stayed in Palo Alto for his own experience with getting paid.

Although the first few stops were to see family and old friends (including a friend of mine's wedding), our first stop after the trip truly began was in Blacksburg. I hadn't been back since the summer after I graduated, so I certainly wasn't going to miss the opportunity.


Since we were short on time, we decided to bike around campus. Conveniently we had both of our bikes on the back of my car. The ironic part about this aspect of the adventure is that I have never biked in Blacksburg. When I lived in the dorms I walked, which made sense given all of the stairs, hills, and winter weather. When I lived off campus I took the bus, drove, or walked to get to campus and then walked around throughout the day. Thanks to the speed of biking I was able to show Tim much of campus in only a few short hours, including the duck pond where we sat for a rest. I certainly didn't sit around campus enough when I was in school.

Stadium sign

The last time I was at VT, the stadium was undergoing renovations. The South End Zone was complete, but the West Side was still under construction including the press box. It was absolutely amazing to see the finished product. Even the sign outside is monstrous, so of course I had to stand in front of it. The end result of the construction is actually very beautiful, thanks to the design as well as our wonderful Hokie Stone. If you ever get a chance to go to a Hokie football game at Lane Stadium, be sure to check out the outside of the stadium. And of course I highly recommend attending a Hokie football game at least once in your life (preferably at least once a season, but even I can't manage that!).


Of course this was also the first time I had been to VT since the shootings in April. It was heart wrenching to walk around the memorial, and see Norris blocked off with fences, tape, and security guards. At this point they still hadn't decided what to do with it, so it could have been the last time I ever saw it standing. It was almost surreal to stand there, remembering all the times I walked through the front doors for class up on the second floor.


I also showed Tim the War Memorial, and on our way over there we saw many trees tied with black, orange, and maroon ribbons. They seemed like a fitting gesture to show that the entire campus was affected, but would pull together. With the majority of students gone for the summer, it was as if they were the silent guard.

us at Torgersen Bridge

One can never visit VT without a picture at the alumni mall (Torgersen Bridge), so of course we swapped cameras with another couple that was there. Although bad things did happen at my glorious Alma Mater, the campus is still beautiful and as wonderful as I remember it being. I'm glad I was able to visit, and although it made the April events seem even more real (if that were possible) it also brought a sense of closure. I have returned, all is as well as it could be, and it will be even better next time.

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