Yesterday was Homecoming, and it quickly became one of my favorite days at Hopkins so far. The weather was beautiful, and the alumni streaming into campus amplified the school spirit at Homewood to levels I’ve never seen before. Here’s how it went down:
I’m up. Sorry today will be starting so late. That’s just how I roll.
We head outside to the freshman quad, where the FFC has been relocated for the day. Gladys (our lovely FFC greeter and unofficial Hopkins mascot) hands me a plate. The sun is just pelting us with heat, which is a welcome first for the season. I’m decked out in a Hopkins shirt, blue sunglasses, blue socks, and blue shoes. I approach the table. Said table contains mac and cheese. I eat said mac and cheese. I am happy.
My friends Prateek, Ajay and I stroll into Homewood field. We’re running a bit late but we climb up the bleachers and get a good view of the field for the Hopkins Michigan game. Unfortunately, we can’t find any space in the Nest (the roaring blue student section that goes nuts during the game) so we found some seats with the mild-mannered Class of 1990 across the stadium. Dainty.
The game was amazing. While it started off close, Hopkins widened the lead slowly by slowly. Our guys were swift, had strong drives, and passed often. I’m no lacrosse expert (okay or a lacrosse enthusiast, or a lacrosse rule-knower really) but they were definitely better than me probably.
I had to leave a bit early from the game (the lead was pretty gaping by now) to make it to an interview I had at 4 at Levering with a graphic design firm on campus. Design has been a hobby of mine since I downloaded my first freeware photo editor on an old Dell, and I’ve been working on it for years ever since. It would be really cool to do have people to design for at Hopkins, so hopefully it works out! Interview was fun.
I grab some to-go dinner from the FFC and head back to my dorm. I wind down with some Parks and Rec, and then look over my notes for a Social Psychology midterm I have on Wednesday. I try to keep my workload light today; it’s ~homecoming~. I watched some more TV I think.
Prateek finds some cool underground concert happening tonight near Penn Station. It starts at 7, so we hope it stays for a while and plan to leave soon.
We take a Collegetown Shuttle to Penn Station. From there, we walk two or three blocks until we get to the venue: Charm City Art Space. It’s a sunken, moldy room with plastered walls and a folding table littered with band merch, In the back of the place is a small stage surrounded by probably 20 people. The band is some sweaty shirtless dudes hammering away on their electric guitars as their equally large friends jump and minimosh away. And yet, amazingly enough, there was their mom, in the corner with a purple wool sweater and a camcorder.
The band finishes up their last song as we get settled in, and the crowd begs for an encore. I think they were all MICA (Maryland Institute College of Arts) kids, and it was really cool how supportive they were of each other. The band finally gave in and decided to play one last song. “Everyone here better sing along, because I KNOW you know the words to this one,” the frontman blurted in between heavy pants. My friends and I looked at each other and smirked. Sorry man, I don’t think we will.
By the second chord, I realized they were singing Allstar by Smashmouth. We sang along.
We get to the Harbor via the Charm City Circulator. It’s late so a lot of the main places to eat are closed. We walk along the harbor and wander into a nearby Subway. We get our sandwiches to go, because we kind of have a plan for what we want to do next.
We take our food and walk back across the perimeter of the harbor. As we get further and further from the skyscrapers, they look more and more beautiful. Eventually, we reach the other side of the Harbor, and it’s gorgeous. But we’re not there yet.
After getting to the opposite side of the Harbor, we walk to Federal Hill, with sits right off the edge of the land and stands tall and resolute as a fixture in Baltimore’s landscape. We went here once during Orientation, but now would be a little different. We would do it on our own, and at night. The climb was a steep one. I’m sure there were stairs somewhere, but not from the angle we attacked the hill from. The grass was dewy and the hill was steep, but we hobbled onwards.
Panting, we reached the top of Federal Hill. We sat down on some park benches, took out our sandwiches, and took in the view we had earned: Inner Harbor at night. It was absolutely breathtaking. It had been amazing in the day but this was something completely different. We stayed for a while until a cop drove by and told us the park was technically closed, but we’d absorbed it by then so that’s okay.