Mountain Day is a yearly tradition at Berry College. It's sort of a
combined birthday party for Martha Berry, homecoming celebration and
alumni reunion. Needless to say, it's pretty special.
celebration begins on Friday afternoon, when students go back to their
dorms and prepare for the Mountain Day Olympics. My (alternative)
housing had the theme "zombies" this year. Since I hate zombies, my
friends and I decided to be zombie hunters. I ran back after my last
class on Friday, threw on some leggings, boots, and a hardcore jacket. I
made a messy side braid and even did a make-up bruise over my left eye.
I met up with my friends amidst a horde of gathering zombies.
all the people were assembled, we went down to the main road on campus.
We lined the sidewalks and watched as the dorms showed off their
Some memorable ones included: Deerapocalypse ("7:1 - The
odds were never in our favor"), Hunger Games (faculty/staff team), and
Adventurers (Ford girls). But my favorite was the Dana/Thomas Berry
theme: Braveheart. The students dressed up in homemade kilts, painted
their faces blue and charged out onto the road shouting. They were
followed by a drummer and a boy playing the bagpipe. Behind this
procession was a king and his armed guard. I was duly impressed.
all the teams were assembled, we marched down to the library lawn for
the events. There was a ceremonial lighting of the torch, a rousing
rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, and the games began! I was too
short to see much, but I'm told it was a fiery competition. Some might
even say that the faculty/staff had a girl on fire! (Ha ha, Hunger Games
I had to leave before the end of the games to meet my
family, who were coming into town. I didn't wash the bruise off my face
because I was rather proud of it. I had to stop to pick up a book at
Barnes and Noble and a flower at Kroger, and I tried to act as unabused
as possible. However, I know I started the hotel clerk, if no one else. I
met my family at the hotel. My parents and siblings had come down from
VA, and my grandparents were up from FL. It was a fun reunion, and there
was much rejoicing.
On Saturday, we began our trek to Berry
rather early. We swung by the townhouse to pick up my roommate, Kyley,
and then set out for Mountain Campus and the grand march. The tradition
of the grand march is a little foggy in my memory, but it goes something
like this: One year, Berry students wanted to show Martha their
gratitude, so they held hands and marched up and down a large hill and
put gifts down in front of her at the base of the hill. Apparently, this
was such an inspirational thing that it's an annual tradition.
and I had been practicing this year. I remember during my sophomore
march, I started having an asthma attack, and since my arthritis makes
my ankles weak and my heart is rather prone to palpitations I was
determined to make this year as enjoyable as possible. Especially
because this year I was going to get to hold a boy's hand (gasp!).
Because Berry has a high number of girls at present, normally the seniors and a few
lucky juniors get to actually hold hands with a boy.
my other friends and I all lined up with our class. We started walking
down the hill, where we dropped pennies in a basket to represent our
gifts. Then it was back up the hill. At the top, we joined hands with
other students, then turned and went back down. This continued until
there were sixteen students in each row. When we got to the bottom the
last time, we all sang the alma mater together (some more on key than
others). It was very fun--even if the tradition is a little weird.
this, my grandmother, mom, sister and I went to Oak Hill, Martha
Berry's house. We explored the grounds quite a bit, though we ran out of
time to see the museum. My grandmother loved every minute.
The following morning, my folks hit the road. Overall, it was a fantastic last Mountain Day (as a student).