Friday, September 2, 2011


Today is National College Colors Day!!!!!  How many of you knew that?  Luckily I happen to have a few items that are maroon and gold.  There was a time in my life when my closet was almost all maroon and gold.

I went to the University of Minnesota.  Some of the best years of my life.  In fact, I liked it so much I'm still a senior there!  Actually, I was so terrified of fulfilling my requirement of a science with a lab that it threw me off course.  That, being out of money, and the fact that I had changed my major several times and was still uncertain of what I wanted to do led to me taking a break.  A seventeen year break.  Anyway.......

So I was in the Marching Band.  I loved it so much, you people who were in marching band understand, right?!?!  I was a drummer.  Tenors, specifically.  Here's me:
 I was so young!!!

Marching Band really defined me back then, and I think it defined every person in it, in their own way.  Almost all of my friends were from band, all my social activities were with band people, and from August to November that's all I did.  For four years in college, and for three years before that in high school.  Being in band really brought me out of my shell.  So much that I think there were times that I forgot I ever had a shell.  More than being in band, it was being a drummer.  The other drummers (mostly guys) at "the U" were all so great to me, never treating me like I had something to prove just because I was a girl.  They were like brothers to me then.  Well, most of them. Others were, well, again--a story for another time!  ahem.

One of the benefits of being in the Band was going to the sporting events.  I was able to go to Boston for a Hockey tournament.  I went to every home game, and traveled to an away game each year.  I started to not only understand, but love football, and I still do.  Another big benefit is that it makes a big school seem small.  Even at the University of Minnesota, where it's so huge you really are just a number, you feel like you have your group, a building to call home (it was Northrop back then), and built in buddies.  And you really get into school spirit.  Thus, the overwhelming maroon and gold in my closet.  I even had maroon Converse shoes with gold laces that had maroon "M"s on them.  Sweet.  I hope my kids will have an experience like it.  I'd love it if they were in the Band, but since they're probably going to be the star quarterback and wide receiver for the Gophers (again--ahem), they might have trouble squeezing marching band in.

But the best benefit of it was the family you have while you're there.  Even though you grow up and out after you leave the Band, you will always have that bond.  When you see your old buddies at Homecoming or at weddings or other gatherings, it's like no time has passed.  You fall into the same routines, the same jokes that are unexplainably funny again, the same teasing, the same comfort.  You get way too close in those few years for it to ever completely fade.  That's a special thing, and I really do think it's kind of unique among marching band members.

I married a fellow band member, so we really are a Gopher couple.  He played Tuba in the band for seven years.  Yes, seven.  I think it was a combination of loving it and not knowing what to do with himself once he graduated....  What is it with those Tubas?  There are lots of couples like us, and it's fun to run into them at Homecoming with all our little Gopher kids.  We're creating our own little species, I think.  Look out!

So put on your college colors today, folks.  Or at least spend some time thinking about how college shaped you.  I have.  And now I have cheesy limericks and bus trip songs floating around in my head.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, Teri! Thanks for this post - I was just thinking about my music hall days (24-7 it seemed) at UNI. I loooooved college.

    ~Sarah A.