Archives For college

Pledge Season

October 25, 2013 — 8 Comments

Vintage plaid blazer + denim // We So Thrifty

Vintage plaid blazer + denim // We So Thrifty

Vintage Plaid Blazer + Denim // We So Thrifty

Vintage plaid blazer + denim // We So Thrifty

Vintage plaid blazer + fraternity pin // We So Thrifty

I did good at the thrift shop this weekend. Well, I suppose I should say I did well, but either way you say it, I left the store feeling quite satisfied. In one trip, I thrifted most of what I’m wearing today. I found this amazing, unworn vintage wool blazer for $3.50, and this Liz Clairborne denim tunic (okay okay – a dress for the normal-sized among us) for $5. If those prices seem crazy-good, it’s because I used my Salvation Army stamp card – 10 visits to the Salvation Army and your 11th visit is 50% off. I am both proud and horrified by how easy it was for me to amass 10 stamps. Most pleasingly, I think these two items are new closet favourites separately, but also work quite well together. I completed the look with some antique fair jewelery, and my trusty Ralph Lauren leather belt from the Bibles for Missions. The item that gives this outfit its story, though, is the smallest one – the pin on my left.

This pin isn’t from the thrift store. This pin is from my jewellery box. It was, until recently, one of those items I never thought about. However, it caught my eye in a burst of organizational behaviour a few weeks ago, when I pulled it out of the dark corners of my jewellery box to the messy chaos of my coffee table. I hazily recalled it coming from from my grandma’s jewellery box, shortly after she passed away in 2007, but it never came with any details. It sat on the coffee table for a few more days, and I’d occasionally pick it up and twirl it around during commercial breaks. I thought I’d wear it someday and feel like I belonged to the house of Ravenclaw (but that doesn’t make any sense, because we all know I’d be a Gryffindor).

Once I finally l took a closer look, though, I saw a rough-but-clear inscription on the back – “Lambert P. Konyndyk” – my grampa, who passed away nearly 13 years ago. Upon this discovery, I showed the pin to Matt, to see if he had any insights. He then made me feel rather embarrassed for not recognizing this pin for what it so obviously was – a fraternity pin! I didn’t know where my Grandpa went to university, much less his frat house. But I knew my dad grew up (mostly) in the Michigan area, so the University of Michigan was the obvious contender for its origins. I then deciphered the Greek symbols (thanks, Internet!), and discovered that my grandpa was at some point a member of Phi Alpha Kappa at the University of Michigan.

Rather excited by my discovery, I made a call to my Dad, and he filled in all the gaps: Grandpa went to the University of Michigan for his first (of two!) masters degrees. His initially completed his masters in education at Michigan, and later returned to school (in his 50s!) at the University of Ohio for a second masters in economics of education. This, of course, prompted a few more stories from dad about that move to Ohio, alongside other memories about Grandpa and Grandma that I hadn’t heard before. This pin was a little piece in the big story about two people I still miss very much.

I love old things from the thrift store. I love old things from my family even more.

Vintage plaid blazer + denim // We So Thrifty

Vintage plaid blazer + denim // We So Thrifty

Blazer: Salvation Army | $3.50
Denim Tunic: Salvation Army | $5
Necklace: Christie’s Antique Fair | $5
Purse: Talize | $9
Belt: Bibles for Missions | $0.99

Back to School

September 20, 2012 — 14 Comments

September. Weather cooler, pants longer, days shorter and TV better. There is a shift in the air, and perhaps no more pronounced than in the grand lecture halls and dingy dorm rooms on college campuses all across the globe. Earlier this month, millions of students returned to the college life, trading their crappy summer jobs for crappy 8:00am classes. Some ready to learn, some ready to party, and some ready for both. While everyone feels this shift, I’m observing it at close distance. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a graphic designer at a university, and so I can’t help but relive my own college memories at times like this. Sure, I’ve wandered into the realm of academic nostalgia before on the blog, but September also brings the pangs for the social joys of college life. You know: cheap Corona nights, dorm pranks, crushes that last for approximately one psychology class.

Since most of you don’t find yourselves surrounded by memories off ye ol’ college days, I thought I’d pillage Julie’s College of Pop-Cultural Knowledge once more and let TV do some reminiscing for us. And let’s be honest: TV life is always way more fun than real life.

Always one to dress for the occasion, I’ve prepared for this lecture with some recently thrifted college fashion: this studious vintage mini, a collared shirt, and a chunky belt. I’ve put them with my not-thrifted Oxfords and a bag big enough to hold all the books I read spark notes for. Even if you’re years and miles away from your college days, these shows are bound to make you long for the college experiences you actually had, and the ones you wish you had. Some of them are shows, some just episodes, all fantastically fun portrayals of life within the the post-secondary universe.

Oh gosh, I’ve professed my love for this show on more than one occasion. But any self-respecting list maker (that’s a thing, right?) couldn’t start a college list without it. While this show has veered into broader territory in its later seasons, season 1 is the most delightful look at community college cliches ever. The joys of running the school newspaper, core classes that make your brain cry, electives that no school actually offers, but should. It’s all gold. Plus, I think we can all agree that paintball wars should indeed be mandatory at every university.

This show could quite actually be called the opposite of Community. It takes college so seriously. But still, it’s full of glorious young-intellectual angst. It could also be credited with cementing a classic TV rule: that all dorms are SO MUCH NICER than any actual dorm in real life. Extra credit: they taught me how to say “hey“.

The Simpsons: Homer Goes to College
If I need to explain why this episode is classic, I don’t think you should be reading my blog. But in case I do, here you go: Here and here.

Undeclared is to college what Freaks and Geeks is to high school: An awesome, Judd Aptow creation that was tragically cancelled before it’s time. My brief affair with this show began out of the same motivation that got dudes watching 24 – “It’s that kid from Popular Mechanics for Kids!“.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
This isn’t a show about college, of course, but two fantastic college episodes are enough to get it on the list. Buffy and the gang would eventually do what most teen shows do: stop going to college after a few months because it’s just too hard to keep it interesting. But two episodes in Buffy Season 4 are some of my favourite bits of college-themed TV. Firstly, episode 4.1 has Buffy completely intimated and lost in her new university surroundings. She even does the classic walk into the wrong classroom and don’t realize it until it’s too late. This wins because I TOTALLY DID THAT. The second must-watch episode is the one with Buffy’s roommate. She labels her food, listens to Cher on repeat, and irons her jeans. Therefore, she’s an evil demon. We’ve all been there in some fashion, right?

I could expand this list to movie territory, but then I’d have to reveal to all of you I haven’t seen Animal House, and I just haven’t worked up a decent enough excuse for that yet. I have seen Old School though, so that’s got to count for something.

If I do ever get around to a Top 5 College Movies list, I have an anecdote ready to go for The Social Network. It doesn’t really have anything to do with the movie, but I did have the privilege of being in college when Facebook launched as a a new, exclusive college thing. At one point, I made the mistake of inviting everyone in my “network” to our Halloween party, and all four of my housemates did the same. The next thing you know, our house is so packed I thought it might explode, our lawn is torn up with tire tracks, a ninja turtle is puking in the hallway, and my housemate and I are outside dealing with a spontaneous visit from the landlord. We did our best to convince him of our upstanding citizenship, while dressed as a vampire and a cheerleader, respectively. Nothing says “responsible” like pom poms and a cape.

And as hard as I’m trying for a college look today, that one will always take the cake. A TV moment if ever I’ve lived one. Give me an “A!”