Playing in my old dorm room

Guess my favorite sport back then

Fifteen years ago last week I began a new stage in life – college. I was a freshman, as oblivious of my future as Maurice Clarett. Sometime during that year of missteps, lessons and late-night Spades, I managed to snap a photo of “my side” of the dorm room.

Looking at it now, I notice various odds and ends. I wonder if you notice them too. So, in keeping with the theme of college life, let’s take a quiz! See what you can find! (And yes, I resisted the urge to stick Waldo in there somewhere).

You can find a larger version of the photo here. See if you can:

1. Guess the college which I attended.

2. Find references to at least three NBA teams.

3. Find the late ’80s/early 90s pop idol.

4. Find a poster based on a popular adult beverage commercial.

5. Find at least two momentos from high school.

6. How many bare knees are visible in this room?

7. What is the ratio of family photos to athletes?

8. How many milk crates are there?

9. How many newspaper clippings are on the wall?

10. Name one item which is obsolete in most dorms today.

11. Name one item which shouldn’t be in any dorm room, empty or otherwise. Hint – younger siblings always point this out to mom.

12. See a blue puppy?

13. Guess the one item which foreshadowed a future occupation.

14. Guess which one item I still own and use.

Answers after the jump.

1. Guess the college I attended.
Appalachian State, baby. I wish I still had that flag. The university retired that Yosef logo years ago.

2. Find references to at least three NBA teams.
Chicago Bulls, Charlotte Hornets and Philadeplhia 76ers. New York Knicks would also be acceptable, since that is upon whom His Airness is dunking. The partially hidden black-and-white Jordan poster is from his Carolina days. He’s dunking with the late Len Bias looking on behind him. I also wish I still had that.

3. Find the ’80s pop idol and guess the album promoted.
Paula Abdul. It’s a promotional poster for her classic Spellbound, which ended her career, really. The album featured The Promise of a New Day, which In Living Color perfectly re-dubbed Promise of a Thin Me. She never really was taken seriously after that, until this occurred. And no, I can’t recollect how or why I had that poster. But I did have that tape. And still do. I love me some Vibeology.

4. Find a poster based on a popular adult beverage commercial.
The Budweiser poster, with three women blending in with a Budweiser towel. Back in high school when I ran for band president, I used that poster for campaign material. I hung it on the wall in the band room. The band director made me cover the .. um … more eye-catching aspects with a sign that said “Vote for Rob.” It still worked. I won.

5. Find at least two momentos from high school.
There are several. There’s a South View mug on the desk with my high school seal on one side and the names of all my fellow 1991 graduates on the other. There’s a small music trophy on the shelf. It was from my senior year in band. There’s also a framed poster of my high school marching band on the side of my desk. The framed “DB” represents my roommate’s prep alma mater – and my high school’s biggest rival – Douglas Byrd.

6. How many bare knees can you find?
Six. (Two on the dunking bball player on the closet, two on Kathy “Hello Nurse!” Ireland above the closet, one unbraced on Jordan, and one poking out from the Budweiser poster). That’s a lot of knees.

7. What is the ratio of family photos to athletes?
1 to 2. The nurse is my roommates’ mom. Beside her is a smaller photo of my mom and sisters. The much more prominent athletes are Jordan (twice), Barkley, and an Appalachian dunker. In hindsight, that seems so wrong.

8. How many milk crates are there?
Three. And yes, the Carolina blue one did specifically state it was illegal to be used for anything other than transporting milk. I was such a rebel.

9. How many newspaper clippings are on the wall?
At least eight. Two of them are columns by Lewis Grizzard, aka the redneck Dave Berry. With no Grizzard, Far Side or Calvin, I wonder how many of today’s students have any reason to favor portions of a newspaper, much less decorate a wall with them.

10. Name one item now obsolete in most dorm rooms.
The dual cassette player, which also had a built-in radio and record player. So many memories. As a teen at home I had it on the floor under the television. The speakers were placed in front facing each other, separated by less than a foot and a head – mine. It served as headphones for the lazy. Many days my mom would find me asleep on the floor in their loud embrace. Good times.

11. Name one item which is common in some dorm rooms today.
The Bacardi bottle, which is pictured full of change. I actually didn’t drink from it. At least, I don’t remember doing so. Yet why does remembering its scent suddenly make me ill? Ugh. I still own a similar Bacardi bottle from college which serves a similar monetary collection function on my dresser. It’s from my sophomore year, and I do indeed remember drinking from it. Better times.

12. See a blue puppy?
He’s hiding in the mug. Another momento from high school, it was given to me as a band superlative. Most Friendlist, if I remember correctly. I still have him downstairs in the basement.

13. Guess the one item which foreshadowed a future occupation.
The plastic fireman’s hat. It was my roommate’s. I’m at a loss to remember from whence it came. Fifteen years later he’s a volunteer fireman in the Raleigh area. I’ll have to ask him if he still wears it.

14. Guess one item I still own and use.
The white cubed alarm clock. It sits in my bedroom to this day. I was surprised to see it in this photo, given that it still wakes me up most days. Actually, I still have a few items – the cassette tape case, the barely visible Snickers tin which held more tapes, the small music trophy and that framed photo of family.

Now that I think about it, all those posters and flags are long gone, but I still have that framed photo. And that’s how it should be.

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