Homecoming Weekend

Incredible, from top to bottom. That’s all I had to say.

After a long and stressful week with graduate school applications and work culminating in my performance review (which went quite well, thank goodness!) this couldn’t have been a better weekend to kick back for UPenn’s homecoming weekend.

Since Jeff and I had gone out earlier that week for the Local Natives concert, I had bought a pair of two QuakerPasses for the weekend festivities. And the somewhat hilarious notion is that at $25 a pop it actually wasn’t a bad call, included lunch from 11-1pm (via QuakerFest), tickets to the homecoming game from 1:30 to whenever it ended (at $15 for this part, I thought this was annoying, used to be $5…lol), dinner from 6-10pm (Celebrating Culture at Penn), desserts and drinks…and the Young Alumni homecoming party from 10-1am, which was more desserts…and more drinking, and the theme of course, was a homecoming party.

The tickets also included all access to other events, which I also went to the Spectacular Quaketacular at the Alumni House on Locust. It had the air of a business networking event, which worked to my advantage as I ran out of business cards chatting with alumni young and old and noshing on fruit-laced brie, salmon risotto and a few drinks. Yes alcohol was flowing all day and all night on campus, and mind you, not the cheap stuff. Penn does take care of its alums and given the amount of money it gets in return, I’m sure it doesn’t mind. My friend Maria and I both joked at the same time during the dinner party that we all literally ate our way through Homecoming…well truth be told, we did.

The homecoming game brought back a few memories, and much needed refreshers on my part. During the third quarter for instance, we threw toast in a toast to Benjamin Franklin.

The infamous tradition of throwing toast. 30 Oct 2010.

Jeff on the other hand is a huge college football fan so between him watching the game live and following his other schools Saturday afternoon, the game itself was quite the treat as I had to explain my alma mater’s traditions to him whilst also trying (desperately and somewhat in vain) to prove that not all UPenn students and alumni are snooty and pretentious. I, for one, sure hope that people don’t look at me and think that I think I’m God’s gift to the world because especially in this day and age when so many are suffering, that’s one of the last impressions I want someone to come away thinking of me. (And if they do, I hope someone is willing to tell me what I’m doing that gives them that impression!)

UPenn's football team. 30 October 2010.

I think the last time I attended the homecoming game itself was in 2007, being on a student budget through until recently. I don’t think I attended the game during my college years – I simply couldn’t spare my time for any football games because of my studies. Hell I couldn’t spare time for much of anything because of my studies. It really had to be something I liked a lot to sacrifice my time.

The Quaker mascot. 30 Oct 2010.

After the game, I allowed Jeff to split for about an hour to catch a breather (we’d spend another 7 hours back on campus for both evening parties) while I headed off to the alumni house for the happy hour, or Quaketacular as it was called. Among other drinks, was the infamous “highball.”

A highball drink at a mid-afternoon networking event. 30 Oct 2010.

Then finally, the main dinner event, which celebrated the diversity of Penn with – you guessed it – food and drinks.

Jamacian and African fare at the first of two school-sanctioned alum parties. 30 Oct 2010.

Bean soup with cinnamon and cornbread await us. 30 Oct 2010.

Jeff having fun at the smores station. 30 Oct 2010.

By 8pm, the Hall of Flags was packed.

Alums party it up at the cultural festival. 30 Oct 2010.

The second party was in Houston Hall as well, but in the opposite end of the building, in the Bodek Lounge.

Jeff and I got there early so he managed to score – of all things – a chicken hat.

Jeff and I donning our last-minute Halloween garb. 30 Oct 2010.

Yes, there was actually a table for people who “forgot” their costumes, and the party organisers encourged everyone to dress up. I can’t tell you how many people out there looked like Snooki from Jersey Shore…oy.

This isn’t to say the drinks didn’t let up. Oh no it didn’t. The cocktails of the evening? Caramel apple-tinis, pear mojitos and pumpkin pie-tinis. All were good indeed…

Jeff's apple-pear mojito and my caramel apple-tini side-by-side. 30 Oct 2010.

All in all, a killer good time. Caught up with a lot of people and networked quite a bit. The day was worth every second to say the least. You better believe I’ll be back next year.

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