I couldn’t wait to take a running tour of my old college campus during the IU School of Journalism’s 100th anniversary.
I didn’t bother planning a route. The idea was to just head out the door of the Grant Street Inn and run for as many minutes as I had available, going wherever my heart led me.
It was pretty easy to decide where to go first. I took a left onto Seventh Street and headed past Dunn Meadow to Ernie Pyle Hall, where I spent most of my time in college working on the Indiana Daily Student.
From there I kept going, past the IU Auditorium, toward the little house on the edge of campus where I lived senior year.
I just loved that house, with its sturdy brick railing that could seat as many people who cared to come around. A bunch of us from the paper watched IU win the NCAA basketball championship there. Afterward we ran across campus to Kirkwood Avenue, where we sacrificed the paper’s weekly desk prize — a huge pink stuffed octopus from the Bluffton Street Fair — in an impromptu bonfire outside Nick’s, our favorite bar. One of the cops who were keeping an eye on the mayhem gave us a high five.
My old house looked much the same, except for the “for sale” sign in the yard. I jogged onto the driveway beside the porch, not remembering if it was an alley or not, but figuring it was early enough no one would notice or care if I was trespassing. Loping around behind the house, I saw my old bedroom window, and the spot where I parked my old car, a Sunbird that famously suffered not one but two flat tires on a spring break trip to New York City.
From there I decided to head over to Third Street, home of Mother Bear’s, our favorite pizza spot, and Aristotle’s, where I worked “book rush” freshman year. It was gone, gobbled up by a competitor, and now it appeared to be in transition once again.
Checking the time, I saw that I needed to start heading back. I took the first foot path that led back into the heart of campus, winding around some of the liberal arts buildings, appreciating the labyrinthian qualities of this campus. I ran up steps and through courtyards. I didn’t do it this time, but on a Saturday when the classroom buildings were mostly deserted, I could’ve run in one end of Ballantine Hall and out the other.
Retracing the footsteps of my younger self, I could run here every day for weeks and come up with a different route every time — excavating memories with every step.