I was invited to speak at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater last fall. It was a lot of fun. Beautiful campus, great people. Hopefully the students enjoyed my talk about GIS Careers. The morning of my talk I walked to the bookstore and bought a small University lapel pin. I thought it would be nice to show some school spirit while brightening up my blazer. I didn’t know it at the time but this was the beginning a new hobby, collecting College and University lapel pins!
I’ve never been one to accumulate stuff of any kind, certainly not decorative do-dads, but for some reason this works for me. Maybe because they’re really small and don’t take up much space. Maybe because they don’t cost much. But mostly, I think, because they represent important cultural institutions and unique locations. I love visiting college towns and campuses so this just gives me something to do when I get there. Might also eventually lead to some sort of interesting cartographic wall hanging or some such thing.
On a recent family-truckster style road trip through the Midwest to visit family and friends I collected a few pieces to add to the collection.
Next stop was a visit to my Mom’s home in the middle of corn and soybean country and not far from the great University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. I was sort of disappointed in the football helmet (secretly I was hoping to find the Chief) but certainly better than leaving empty handed….which is exactly what happened at Northwestern University.
After Illinois, we continued east to our former home in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We had a great time re-uniting with some close friends and neighbors. And, of course, I had to stop by the Michigan Union to pick up this beauty. Go Blue (unless they are playing Oregon)!
That’s all I have for now. You may be thinking – this is kind of a weird blog post. Who cares about lapel pins? I know, right? I would have had the same reaction about a year ago. That’s the funny thing about this – I’m actually very excited to share my collection. Almost giddy. So I think it means I’ve found a good hobby, at least it’s good for me.
If for some reason you are compelled to contribute to my collection feel free to send any and all lapel pins to my attention at PO Box 8093, Pueblo, CO 81008. You will receive full credit here (or anonymity if you prefer). Don’t worry I won’t be holding my breath.
Now, back to geography.