I’m so glad…

Commencement 2002

The Mecca. The Capstone. The Hilltop. The Real HU. This month, I celebrate my 10-year class reunion from Howard University. While I won’t be participating in the reunion/commencement weekend activities, I wanted to commemorate my college experience by reflecting on some of my most memorable moments during my four years there. Going to Howard was one of the best decisions I ever made and I enjoyed every moment. So, here goes…

These Boots are NOT made for walking. Then again…
I had heard about this thingamajig called a “boot”, but never saw one until I got to D.C. And once I saw one, I would see them in abundance all over as students neglected to pay their parking tickets. I only received two tickets during my time there, and I paid them immediately in person, and prayed that irony would not strike me with a yellow accessory on my wheel while I was inside paying the ticket. That was one after-market upgrade I did not want on my car.

My name is…
As a student in the School of B (Business), one of the first things we learned in Business Orientation was the art of a proper introduction. The intro is ingrained into my memory. “Hello, my name is Yves Brown and I am a (insert classification here) Information Systems major from Detroit, Michigan. (we then proceed with the question or comment or answer to a question)” Sounds silly? I think not. I did my intro (complete with firm handshake) to a gentleman who was the Executive Director of an Auto Dealers Association and a few of his associates on an elevator one day. We talked for a few moments. Fast forward to summertime when I got a phone call from that man’s admin, offering me an internship. SN: The intro also gave insight to your Senior year status. Just by adding “graduating senior” to your intro, everyone knew you’d been cleared for commencement.

Black Power!
I still lift my fist when Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing begins to play…and I’m slightly disappointed if I don’t hear the remix the band played. 

Smoking on…
There’s a little ditty that came out in the nineties by Crucial Conflict. Yes, the song “Hay” is about the joys of a certain medicinal (not always for one’s glaucoma). It is also the perfect get hype song. The band would play it before the start of every football game. Though I have never partaken of the stuff, every time I hear the song, I smile and get a little hype.

It was something out of a movie…
I was on campus on 9/11 and saw the thick, black smoke from the Pentagon as I sat in a computer class. It is still one of the most surreal days of my life. The weather was perfect. Everything and everyone moved in slow motion. That night, the streets were the empty, but after being cooped up in our dorms watching the events over and over, some friends and I had to get out for a bit. We wound up in a little diner in Silver Spring, Maryland. Despite all that had happened that day, we had each other.

The man in the fuchsia turtleneck and blue smock
The BEST grilled chicken sandwich and half-and-half (well you controlled the percentage. I was a 70/30 girl) you could get was in this shop called Labamba. The cook was this slender black man who I always remember wearing a fuchsia turtleneck under his smock. But dude would hook that sandwich up just how you wanted. It was across from the School of B and I didn’t have much self-control and willpower when it came to going over there. Neither did my student council cohorts. Just say the word “Labamba” and we’d be ordering for at least three people. And once they got a fryer to make French fries, it was on and popping. I’ve yet to find a chicken sandwich to top theirs.

However, when you’re hungry but you’ve only got a minute and a dollar…
Coco Bread from the cart outside the School of B. With butter. Done.

Howard Homecoming
Need I say more?

Patience is a virtue
There was no such thing as being “in and out” of the A Building (administration) when it came to dealing with the business side of being a student. I came to expect a wait in financial aid, student accounts, cashier’s office, etc. Now that I’m a student again, I don’t whine like some people when I’m waiting in financial aid or academic advising. I’ve been here before. I’ve got my Kindle and my mp3 player.

Clash of the regions
Who knew what you called a carbonated beverage would spark so much debate? I expected to learn about the cultures of my classmates from Africa and the Caribbean, but having to explain to my Queens-based roommate that in Detroit, we stand “in line” and not “on line” was new to me. On line is for AOL. We didn’t quite get why people were wearing Tims and it was 80 degrees out. But they didn’t quite understand that when we said Coney Island, we’re talking about food, not amusement park rides…so in order to help them out, our state club created the “Michiganary” for the back of our t-shirts. I did eventually come to appreciate the differences on a regional and international level. No matter if the Nikes on our feet were gym shoes, sneakers, or tennis shoes or if the Coach that hung from our shoulders was a purse or a pocketbook, we were all there for the same purpose. And there is an instant connection because of Howard that transcends where one was raised. We’re Bison, regardless of being a Cali girl, raised in the South, Philly, or The D.

Those are just a few of my fond memories from college…what are yours?

Congratulations to the Howard University Class of 2012…I hope your experience was as memorable as mine. Welcome to the Alumni Club!

Yves Brown McClain
School of Business C/O 2002

Accepting my Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges award with then-President H. Patrick Swygert

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One thought on “I’m so glad…

  1. College…so many great memories. I remember so much of my experience the same as you do yours…the music, the times, the people. Isn’t it great to reminisce?

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