I loved lots of things about marching band at the University of Nebraska, but one of the subtler pleasures was moving in a week before almost anyone else for the 14-hour days of band camp. I (goofily) felt like the campus was ours and the rest of the students were intruders, coming too late to know the place as well as we did or to pour as much of themselves into it. But I loved their return anyway, because it also meant returning to great friends I hadn’t seen all summer and soaking up the infectious energy that boomed from the loudspeakers at every pep rally and welcome ceremony.
The excitement’s not really aimed at me these days, but it’s hard to avoid when roughly one-third of Fayetteville’s population learns or works at the University of Arkansas. The 27,000 undergrads are a pain to some and a boon to others, as my colleague Stacy Ryburn cheekily wrote for today’s paper, but you can’t deny they have a good time.
Good luck to all of the students, and to the people who have to deal with them. If all goes well, the undergrads will get their names etched into the university’s sidewalks when they graduate, an Arkansas tradition that I caught a glimpse of as I left campus.
Thanks for looking!
For those celebrating Easter, I hope you had a good one. Among the eggs and the family and the garden shopping these past few days, I also marked the occasion by trying out something a little different. After sticking with a cranky old iPhone 4 for around five or six years, last week I switched to a newer model with a pretty decent camera on the back. This is some of what I caught with it, mostly around downtown Fayetteville yesterday.
Not too bad for a 5-ounce machine, though for anyone keeping score at home, a couple of minor marks against: Its zoom is almost worthless, and it has a habit of making everything in the frame in focus, which can clutter things up. Putting the camera through its paces was still a fun little trial.
Thanks for looking! Here’s hoping that below-freezing nonsense is finally done for the season.
It was a cool, rainy start to the Razorbacks football team’s home season yesterday, a day more fitting to late October than early September. After four years of Nebraska marching band and football, I’d been looking forward to my first game day here. Despite the 60-some degrees and drizzle, dark red cars waving Razorback flags flooded downtown bringing tens of thousands of people, and it felt a little bit like being back in Lincoln.
I hadn’t been able to walk around aimlessly during game day for years — the marching band’s schedule was always fairly packed. I saw a lot: a lot of young women and men in their Saturday finest (many times I felt as if I’d wandered into a Ralph Lauren catalog), a lot of mixed-race families, a lot of women holding hands, a lot of red. I’d say the crowd was a bit more diverse than Nebraska’s but half the size; the stadium wasn’t full. Sorry, Fayetteville — you didn’t match Lincoln today.
Away from the stadium, the campus was quiet, with occasional roars from the crowd breaking the stillness. The rain faded. The Razorbacks beat Nicholls State University 73-7.
I experimented a bit this day, such as placing subjects near the edge of the frame and shooting from the hip. I hope the results look all right.
Thanks for looking,
If you’ve never played ultimate Frisbee, let me introduce you: It’s sort of like soccer or football with a Frisbee, and it’s the only way I know of that I can run around for at least two hours.
Teams try to pass the disc down the field into an end zone but can’t move while holding it. If you haven’t played ultimate but enjoy exercise, you should consider it. I’ve started here with the Fayetteville Disc Association’s summer league, which means I’m one of at least a hundred people (and a bunch of dogs) who get together Tuesday nights in brightly colored team shirts. My team includes Wax, Goody (above), Coffee, Aric and several others. We wear green. It’s fun. I have room for improvement.
I will say it’s odd to be older than the mostly university crowd, but it’s awesome to be there. I hope I got a couple decent shots out of it for you tonight, too.
Thanks for looking!