Exploring and Encouraging a Healthy Life Marked with Joy

Posts tagged ‘Berry College’

Berry Rome-ing

I drove up to North Georgia last weekend to visit my undergraduate alma mater, Berry College and the city of Rome.

And look at this pretty Roman lady I ran into:

I hadn’t visited Rome in years, but I knew my first stop (since lunch time loomed) had to be the Partridge Restaurant on Broad Street downtown.

I loved this restautant as a student. (Would it still be as good???)

They serve up the southern cooking family style. Well actually Kyra Sedgwick from TNT’s The Closer does! Look!

Not only did she have the physical resemblance, but my incredible waitress sounded just like the Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson character, if not a tad more Southern. Her real name is Wilma Temples, and I LOVED her.  When she asked me if I liked the fried chicken,

(now that’s a piece of fried chicken)

and I told her that yes, it was delicious, she clapped her hands in delight.

What an incredibly tasty meal!

(Wait, look, there she is again, right behind me.)

But on to Berry College I stufflingly (for this post, let’s pretend that’s a word) went. Next stop: Oak Hill, the antebellum family home of Berry Founder Martha Berry.

And the backyard:

My childhood home doesn’t quite look like Martha’s:

What a wonderful feeling to drive through Berry’s main gate again, The Gate of Opportunity.  And at nearly 30,000 acres, Berry College boasts the world’s largest campus.

Ridiculously silly video introducing Dana Hall (toward the end I got distracted by students who yelled at me from their car):

I somehow managed to convince an RA to let me into my former dorm, Dana Hall and found my old room, #235.

I also tried to tell the kids about the cool Sock Hops we used to have, but they looked at me like I was from another century. (Just hush.)

Outside Dana Hall:

The Berry Chapel:

Pausing at Martha Berry’s gravesite. Yes, it’s right there next to Dana Hall beside the chapel.

And on to arguably the most beautiful section of campus, the Ford complex (Henry Ford funded this part of Berry).

I used to eat in the Ford Dining Hall below. (Also the site for yesteryear’s Sock Hops that those baby Berry students knew nothing about.)

Ah, the memories.

Finally, I drove about five miles (yes, still on Berry property) to the old Berry Academy part of campus to see my favorite spot of all, the Old Mill.

Believe it or not, we used to try to (illegally) climb that thing!

But not anymore. Nowadays these boots are just made for walking.  And sitting.

What a great Rome-ing day.

I have been so blessed to be a part of three beautiful and top-notch schools: Berry, Georgia Southern University and now SCAD (the Savannah College of Art and Design).

Other related posts and links:

My GSU Tour

GSU Retirement Post #1

GSU Retirement Post #2

SCAD-ing Outta Retirement

“My Berry”: 

Check Back

Check back later this evening for musings on my weekend trip down memory lane to Rome (Georgia!) and my undergraduate alma mater, beautiful Berry College.

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Walking in Beauty

I spent my undergraduate years basking in the incredible natural and manmade beauty of Berry College  in Rome, Georgia.  I will never forget the JOY of studying on the world’s largest campus, surrounded by sites so breathtaking that occasionally, even as a green freshman, I would stop in my tracks on a journey across campus and stare, openmouthed, at the afternoon light shimmering off of Swan Lake or, on a cold February morning, gaze entranced out my Dana Hall second-floor, frosted dorm window into the ordered courtyard below and smile as deer delicately ate holly leaves and startling red berries in the snow.  I can still hear my young footfalls on the ancient wooden floors of Berry’s gorgeous chapel (modeled after Christ Church in Alexandria Virginia).  And here’s where I ate my meals, the Ford Dining Hall:

What fond and HAPPY Berry memories I have.  Oh my gosh, that place was magical!

So, of course, I never thought that another school could compare with Berry.

But for the past twenty-four years, I have taught English at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro.  When I first arrived, my limited vision focused, uncomfortably, on sand, 100 degree summers and beyond-belief pesky gnats.  (Why is that “g” there?  Why are gnats ANYWHERE?) “Who could live in this desolate place?” I wondered.  But slowly the tall pines and the amazing spring azaleas and (inexplicably) even the hot, humid summers wooed me, and I gradually fell in love.  As I adored beautiful Berry as a student, I came to cherish GSU as a professor.  The school and the land have been so very good to me.

I have watched GSU’s campus grow and develop into an enclave of living beauty.  But far too often, in my busy business of teaching and grading and conferencing, I would forget what thrived outside my office window.  So recently I decided to take a leisurely walk across my campus home.  Come with me.

Let’s begin at the Akins Blvd. entrance off Veterans Parkway:

The RAC (Recreational Activity Center) where I spent many an hour trying to hold back the belly bulge.

Let’s ride over to the two eagle statues.

Now let’s climb a tree.

Look, I’m an Olympic hero.

Did you know that the “S” in GSU also stands for my last name, Saye?

When I sit down and think about it, I realize how much I have loved this school and this beautiful land.

Georgia Southern University has allowed me to enjoy a great career of helping young people progress and mature into their greater lives.  I’ve been involved in a wondrous building process!

I’m so happy that both Berry and Georgia Southern are part of who I am.

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