A walk around Indiana University

My son graduated from Purdue and then landed a job in Bloomington, home to Purdue’s arch-rival, Indiana University. So far, he’s not taken too much flak for his educational pedigree! I visited him a couple weeks ago and we strolled around campus as we talked. I had my Pentax K10D along with its 18-55mm zoom lens.

In 1988 I had a girlfriend at IU. Laura and I remain friends to this day. Sometimes she’d come to see me at Rose-Hulman in Terre Haute and sometimes I’d visit her at IU. We walked campus a lot because it didn’t cost anything; neither of us had much money. It’s remarkable to me how after more than 30 years IU feels exactly like it did then, but I recognize almost nothing.

On the Indiana University campus
On the Indiana University campus
On the Indiana University campus
On the Indiana University campus

My son and I stepped off campus proper to walk some of the neighborhood directly to the north. I was drawn to its brick streets and the architecture of the houses. Many of these houses contain university departments today.

Brick streets of Bloomington
Brick streets of Bloomington
Brick streets of Bloomington

Kirkwood Avenue is the heart of the off-campus student experience. It’s remarkable to me how many places on it are still there since the 1980s, like Nick’s below. I remember well having beers at Kilroy’s and the Irish Lion back in the day, and pizza at Mother Bear’s. They’re all still open.

Nick's English Hut
The Von Lee
Buffa Louie's at the Gables

We’re still dealing with COVID-19, of course, and campus was crowded. So my son and I masked up for our walk.

I was just talking to a friend the other day, a fellow with young children who admitted that he doesn’t enjoy his children as babies. I was the same way. I loved them, but I didn’t start to enjoy them until they were mobile and verbal. The older they became, the more I enjoyed them. The middle- and high-school years were my favorite. What I wouldn’t do to have just one more year of high school with my sons! But that ship has sailed. I’m fortunate that my sons are happy that when their old dad wants to come see them. They always make time for me.

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13 thoughts on “A walk around Indiana University

  1. You’re fortunate to have such a good relationship that he is pleased when you come visit. It’s also nice the way some places never really change even while the world around is going nuts.

    • I’m especially fortunate after an acrimonious divorce and some years of their mom trying to drive a wedge between us, that my sons want me to come visit. My greatest fear post divorce was that my children would want to distance from me after the court orders for parenting time ended, and that has not remotely been the case.

      • That’s wonderful! By the way, I have been trying to comment on your posts for the last few days and have gotten weird error messages. I’m not sure if it’s me, you or WordPress but it has been frustrating. Have you heard that from anyone else?

        • Yes, another commenter yesterday said the same thing. I have no idea what’s going on. I’m on Business, which I’m pretty sure puts my blog either on its own server or in dedicated server space, and perhaps my server was acting up.

        • Darts and Letters says:

          Don’t worry, it’s not just you. I had the same bug. The last I checked it hadn’t shown up as an issue in the forums but a WordPress happiness-engineer-or-whatever-they’re-calling-themselves-these-days told me that it’s affecting a lot of people.

  2. 2 of our 3 went to IU so I got pretty familiar with the places you show here.

    I enjoyed our kids at all ages and really enjoy them now as young adults. The hardest part of Covid for me has been forgoing opportunities to spend time with them. Like you, I am blessed to have a great relationship with all 3.

    • Yes — COVID has really hindered my relationship with my sons. I just don’t feel comfortable having them over. I’m concerned about how hard it will be to see them this winter.

  3. DougD says:

    Good stuff. Having been out of university for almost 30 years there were faint stirrings of old memories the last time I walked around Windsor campus.

    I’m hoping to visit there with my daughter by the end of the year, she’s looking at civil engineering and although the school is unremarkable I lived in a really great residence college run by the Anglicans.

  4. Glad IU still has some of its old joints left! Ohio State has changed so much, with High St. right off campus having so many of my old haunts having closed or moved out, plus my old dorm is gone too! Hardly feels like it used to, and I hear even moreso since the last time I was there.

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