Hey! It’s a bonus article!
I realized I had some pictures I didn’t incorporate into the other articles, mainly because they weren’t Nerdy or Lunchy. However, a huge part of my going on this trip was revisiting the old stomping grounds. Where I lived, where I went to class, where I hung out, where I went when I wanted to get away. And even though the tie-in isn’t as strong to our subject matter, Illinois State University is an important location in the history of Nerd Lunch as it is the location of our origin story.
I was a pretty atypical college student. Didn’t drink. Didn’t party. I felt that my peers were almost singularly focused on those things. I’m fortunate to have met Jeeg who was not only disinterested in the party scene, but also very much into the same things I was. We started out as neighbors the first semester, but our second semester, we were roommates. My home at ISU for my entire duration was Manchester Hall. Jeeg spent quite a bit of time living there, too, but other things pulled him away so he wasn’t there for the 7 semesters I was.
I’ve talked about TV-10 quite a bit already, but here are a few more shots. TV-10 is housed in the basement of Fell Hall. Many of my communication classes were there.
TV-10 is a fully functional television news control room and studio.
Currently the news uses a physical desk but completely virtual sets. The entire studio is green. It’s a pretty cool set up.
TV-10 reporters cover the entire local area and have access to this vehicle. While I was there, we had two vans: the Silver Bullet and the Bronze Bomber.
The quad was pretty much the same as I had remembered it. There were small differences in what memorials and monuments had been erected since 1998. The “castle” building was still there. There was now a large area behind Fell Hall that featured a Reggie Redbird statue.
Walking around campus, I stumbled across a pretty cool robot competition. I almost shot my own news story to submit to TV-10 all about it. If I had had more time, I might have.
Right next to the campus is Downtown Normal, IL. When we were there 20+ years ago, it was a bit junky and rundown. That was not the case anymore. Almost the entire downtown had been revitalized and it was completely different. The only places I recognized were the Normal Theater which played old movies and Mother Murphy’s which was this seedy place that sold old records and CDs.
Way off campus, in Bloomington, is where I went to church while I was in ISU. Although I went home so often because my girlfriend/fiancee was back in Champaign that I was only a moderate regular there. I’m sure no one there would remember me.
This visit gave me new perspective on my college experience. I never felt like it was the “best four years of my life” and never will. But I’ve come to a greater understanding about what those four years did to mold me into who I am today. Satisfied with who and where I am, I can certainly appreciate to a much greater degree what ISU did for me.