Monday, April 30, 2007

Traveling back in time.

This lovely one lives next to the main door to C's building. She never even things twice about the students constantly coming and going through the doors, or swiping their ID cards just below her nest. This is her second year in residence. One more, and her on-campus requirement will be complete!

When C. and I were first dating, and I was gushing madly about him to anyone who would listen (C., if you read this, please know—and los amigos will vouch for this—that little has changed!), a frequent topic of conversation was his job. As a Resident Director at a local university, this means that not only does he work in a residence hall, he happens to live in one, too. A few years out of college, and even more out of our residence halls, this was a great novelty to myself and my friends.

It even smells like a residence hall! Weird!

In the months that have passed (and that C. and I have subsequently stayed together!) the shine has worn off a little (read: a grumpy boyfriend because a few first-year students decided to set off the fire alarm at 3:45 am with burnt popcorn—or the like). The nostalgia, however, hasn’t. It’s still intriguing to walk down the hall to his apartment and see all the decorated doors, dry-erase boards, and jam-crammed living spaces. While I wouldn’t eagerly go back to sharing a room the size of a bathroom with a virtual stranger for 9 months out of the year, it feels good to hang out over there and know that the community, friendships, and quirky college events are going on all around us. In just a few weeks the students will move out, and the summer conference folks will move in. If last year is any indication, though, there will be a few days of utter silence. Whoosh, they come in, whoosh they leave.

* * *

This past weekend, I attended an entirely different sort of nostalgic event out in Forest Grove. “Faire in the Grove” held at Pacific University was quite the hilarious event. I hadn’t attended a bonafide Renaissance Faire since I was in high school. It was all there. The costumes, the sword play reenactments, the vendor booths, and the overnight campers with their tents, braziers, and mugs of mead. We wandered around a little through the Faire, taking in the sights and people-watching. In the end, I came away thrilled and a little amazed that this community exists and thrives. The looks of awe on the faces of the little kids are they ran around and watched armor-clad men bang on one another with swords was priceless. All the little girls got to wear flowered crowns, and I saw more than a couple fairy princess/ballerina tutus made of flowing pink and purple netting.

One factor I find so compelling about the whole event is the absolute acceptance of make-believe and “pretend.” Aside from the lascivious-hued holidays of Halloween and Mardi Gras, when do adults have the utter license to dress up in costumes, speak in overblown accents, and pretend to their hearts’ content? There is definitely an awkward vibe that surrounds Ren Faires—“Shouldn’t the people dressing up be just a little embarrassed? Shouldn’t we be a little embarrassed for them?” Once you look past that, however, the theory of the thing is somehow rather brilliant. And no wonder the kids love it—it’s like walking into make-believe land, and all the grown-ups are playing, too.

For more photo-documentary of this event (and proof I was there!) visit: and choose the "Faire in the Grove" photo set. There are also lots of pretty new flower pictures there too! Maybe I will have a photo-post soon of Spring Flowers in Oregon. They are popping out all over!

1 comment:

Emily said...

That is totally true. Adults need to make-believe more often. How did it ever become "dorky" rather than necessary? Why is WATCHING TV considered more acceptable, for Pete's sake?