Saturday, August 06, 2022

UGA and Fort Yargo

Grandpa suggested that he take the kids to UGA for a little tour to supplement their Georgia studies. UGA boasts being the first chartered public university in the United States (1785), a fact that confused me at first because UNC also claims to be the first public university in the United States (having held its first class in 1795). But UGA didn't hold classes until 1801, while UNC wasn't chartered until 1789. So obviously the idea of a public university was simply in the air.

UNC beat out UGA by ten solid years when it came to desegregating campus, however (1951 vs. 1961). There's a lovely display in the UGA library about a few Black pioneers like Charlene Hunter-Gault and Hamilton Holmes (the first Black students to register) and Mary Frances Early (who was the first African American graduate from UGA, and is the namesake for the College of Education). We eventually made our way to the library, but it was a long hot (and bit of a meandering) walk for us. 

Phoebe can't wear a mask yet, so I brought along a little air purifier for her to use, which she loved. She insisted on holding the purifier right by her little face so she could drink up all the clean air coming out. She was rather enthusiastic about it. 

Here she is in the library:

Campus was pretty much deserted today, anyway, since summer session has ended and there are a couple of weeks before the fall semester begins, so I wasn't too worried about transmission. We spent most of our time melting outside, anyway.

Let's see...before heading to the library, we stopped to look at the stadium (which seats 92,746 people, a mind-boggling number considering I grew up in a town of...ahem...9000 people, and was born in a town that today has a population of...ahem...3000 people (which is fewer people than pupils in our assigned high school)).

Here's everyone saying "Touchdown!" (which is a joke in Andrew's family because it was one of the first tricks he learned to do as a baby—say "Touchdown!" and throw his arms up in the air):

Oh, I guess I haven't mentioned why I came along yet. Grandpa took the kids on several "field trips" in March and April while I was finishing up the spring semester, to give me a few hours here and there to really put my nose to the grindstone. He hasn't done many trips this summer...but, to his credit, (a) he took Rachel and Miriam to Washington, DC, which was like a week-long field trip, and (b) we spent most of the summer sick, sick, sick. But, anyway, with school starting up again, he's been getting excited about going on field trips again. He's reading our Georgia History text and making note of interesting places and UGA just happened to be the interesting place for today and...well, I'm not in school yet, but I did have a few errands to run on campus.

I was going to get my student ID card. But when the girl said, "Sure! That will be $30, please!" I recoiled a bit and said, "$30. Really?! Look, I only come on campus about three times a year. What will I even use this card for, really?"

$30 is almost as much as it costs to get a driver's license in Georgia (a license is $32), so it felt a little pricy for a piece of plastic that I would very rarely use. Like, I can have Andrew check books out at GSU's library, thank you very much!

So I didn't get an ID card.

I also was supposed to pick keys up for my office...but the secretary who is the key-keeper went home early today.

So I didn't get my keys. 

Which is fine because I only go on campus like three times a year. But I just thought it might be nice, if I ever did need to be on campus, to have my own office to hang out in with Phoebe, who would inevitably end up coming with me (even though she's a Daddy's girl).

So it was a bit of a waste of a trip in that department, but still nice to get out of the house, I suppose.

But it was nice to get to spend a little bit of time on campus, since I usually don't. Here's Benjamin in front of...a building...

I sat to nurse Phoebe outside of Candler Hall (which wasn't too far past this building) while the kids ran around on Herty field, which was the original football field for the campus (opening in 1891). Apparently they were running around punching and kicking each they could all be hurt-y on Herty field.

Sounds like them.

Had we walked just a tiny bit further, we would have seen the arch leading onto campus. But...we didn't didn't go.

But, here's a picture Benjamin took of a brick wall:

And of me with Rachel and Miriam heading toward the Founders Garden:

And a picture he took to distract Phoebe from crying in the stroller:

He also found this ginormous pinecone, which I think made the journey back to PTC with us.

We were all terribly hot and sweaty and worn out (Miriam, who likes to wear a FitBit, informed us that we had walked about 3 miles in the blazing sun). Alexander in particular was desperate to get home (so he could play Minecraft because it was a "free day"). But, we'd planned to stop at Fort Yargo on our way home—we'd even packed our swim suits so we could splash in the lake!

But when we got there we learned that the lake was closed due to low water levels. They'd had to drain it earlier in the year "for natural resource management and enhancements" and had planned to have it back up and running by May, but haven't been able to refill it yet. I don't know why. But, that was just another little disappointment for the day (which is fine; we can handle disappointments).

Here's Benjamin wishing there was a lake he could go jump into:

And here's Phoebe happily sucking on the air purifier (even though she's sitting outside in the fresh air and no one else was around):

We did drive over to the fort to read about it. 

It was built in 1793 as protection against "Indian invasions," which feels a little ridiculous given (1) the small size of the fort—I figured this was, perhaps, a building within the fort and that there would have been an outer wall and towers and and so forth (thinking more along the lines of Fort Macleod (1874)), but I was wrong and the fort is really just this blockhouse? Though surely there's more that wasn't preserved. 

It's also ridiculous given (2) the fact that they "established farms in the Indian territories because the land was free for the taking." Excuse me...what? And then they're confused that there is, like, conflict between themselves and, you know, the people whose land they've taken? I mean...friends...let's think about this for a moment.

Anyway, here's Benjamin reading all about different kinds of fencing:

And here's Grandpa with Phoebe, who was excited to be out of the car for a minute (though her day was easy compared to her cousin Millie, who had to drive from Rexburg to Calgary today).

We've decided For Yargo looks like a place we'll have to return to for some hiking...once it's not so sweltery-hot outside.

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