Category: olympics

Memories of the silver and the blue

A few weeks ago, for the first time since graduation, I was able to go back to my beautiful alma mater for a visit.  And it wasn’t just any old weekend….it was Mountain Day!!  Between being abroad and being in friends’ weddings all over the country, it had been 4 years since I had been to a Mountain Day.  I cannot begin to express to you my excitement.  I woke up that Friday morning with Berry’s alma mater stuck in my head, and I couldn’t get rid of it until well after I had returned to Atlanta the next day.  (On a side note, the alma mater is where the title of this blog came from – the first line says, “far up in the hills of Georgia stands old Berry tried and true, the shrine of many a memory of the silver and the blue” [our school colors]).

Berry College – Gate of Opportunity.  Such great opportunities!!

But what, you ask me, is so exciting about Mountain Day?  Well, I’d like to tell you.  And I promise that I will do my best.  But at the end of the day, I think that I will fail – Mountain Day (and really, Berry College as a whole) is something that cannot be described, just experienced.  But I’m going to give it a try, anyway…here goes nothing!

Mountain Day weekend is always started off by the Mountain Day Olympics, a huge field day in which dorms, commuters, and even faculty and staff compete against each other to earn the coveted title of olympic champion.  Every dorm dresses up in a different theme, and the games include serious events such as egg tosses, human pyramids, and tug-of-wars :).  I left Atlanta after classes, and got to Berry right after the olympics had started.  Surprisingly, I was joined by my friend Amy.  I had asked her if she wanted to go with me a week before, but she didn’t think she could; then, an hour before I was going to leave, she changed her mind.  Yay for spontaneity! 😀

Pilgrim guys dorm – I think their theme was mountain men 🙂
The faculty/staff team – their theme was 80’s workout
The Berry College vikettes did a performance at the end of the olympics  

In fact, the whole weekend was an exercise in spontaneity.  When we left Atlanta, we had no idea where we were going to stay that night.  I had put some feelers out among my friends who still lived in town, but nothing had materialized yet.  The hours ticked by that afternoon – 3:00, 4:00, 5:00, 6:00 – as I made the rounds around town visiting my old friends and haunts.  We still had no idea where we were going to sleep that night.  Worst case scenario, we figured, we would just sleep under the stars.  (On a side note, I’m really glad that ended up not happening; Berry stars are lovely, but Berry nights in mid-October can get pretty chilly.)  Anyway, around 7:30, we were doing some work at Panera, when I ran into one of the 4 current students that I still know.  We started talking, she asked me where I was staying that night, and by the end of the conversation, she had invited us to stay in her adorable little on-campus cabin (it’s actually student housing, just very unlike a traditional dorm).  The house is over a hundred years old…I loved the little architectural quirks in it.

Our little cabin – check out the curved ceiling and the slated door 🙂

That evening, Amy and I went into downtown Rome.  I ran into a ton of alumni that I knew from my time at Berry, plus we got to do a little exploring on our own.  We continued the trend the next day, when I took her around to see the best spots on campus.  It’s hard trying to show 4 years of memories to someone in a day!

The sunset over the river on Friday night
Downtown Rome
Saturday morning sunrise

Of course we would have been remiss if we had missed the Grand March, the crowning event of Mountain Day weekend.  On the surface it’s really just all of the current students walking up and down a big hill several times, while everyone watching cheers them on.  Perhaps it’s just my sentimentality, but it’s really a whole lot more than that to me – and probably most every other Berry student, as well :).

The Grand March – senior girls wear blue, all the rest wear pink; senior boys wear white, all the rest wear blue
Some old classmates that we ran into at the Grand March
Me and our mascot, Victor the Viking

We were going to go to Marthapalooza, the carnival on Saturday evening named after our founder, Martha Berry.  However, eventually we decided that it was time to get back to Atlanta, so we skipped the carnival and came back early.  I hadn’t even left the city limits before I was missing Berry again.  I’m so grateful to have been blessed with 4 wonderful years in that place!!

The Ford dormitories, some of the most iconic buildings on campus 
Frost Chapel – popular for weddings and senior pictures
Possum trot – the original chapel and school buildings 
The Old Mill – this is the first time I had ever seen it operational
The House-of-Dreams – Martha Berry’s private retreat