Week 4: What's a tailgate anyway?

For the second week of classes we were assigned books and articles to read, resources to explore and then discuss in the discussion forums on Angel and Yammer before coming to class for further discussion and sharing.  So I dug into it and studied all the materials before the classes, but in spite of it,  I was stressed out before each of them, because I wasn't sure how it would go, since it's been ages since I was a student. And once again I was surprised to see how the professors easily managed to create a pleasant atmosphere in their classes and make us feel relaxed and at ease. No stress at all, but a feeling of confidence and eagerness to learn.

This week also marked the beginning of the football season. On Saturday, the Nittany Lions played their first home game and it seemed that everyone in State College went to the game and tailgate. Not that I'm a sports fan, but I wanted to see firsthand what a tailgate picnic looked like.  And it was a completely new experience, my first football game and my first tailgate party.

The game started at noon, but lots of fans came as early as 7 am in their RVs, vans, trucks and cars. They parked their vehicles on the parking lots all around the stadium and then put chairs and tables at the back of their cars. Some of them brought food from home, while others had a barbecue or baked pizzas.

The game started at noon. I had my big purse on me but they didn't let me in with it, so I went home and came back without it! The seating capacity of Beaver Stadium, where the Nittany Lions played against Akron, is 106,000, which is twice as big as the biggest stadium in Croatia. The stadium was packed, there were 97,354 people inside! And what's fascinating is that the population of State College is is only 40,000. This number doubles during the academic year, so that's 80,000 people. But, obviously, many more, alumni and other supporters came from all over the state and beyond.   The fans were so passionately supporting their team that it was easy to get carried away and cheer for the home team, even though I know absolutely nothing about the rules and how football is played. But I cheered and booed, and yelled and raised my arms for the wave. And was happy. Because my husband was there with me :-)


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