October came and went with some big activities on campus.
It started with some last minute planning and adjusting to the weather in Iowa. It was Thursday, October 1st and we had a movie night scheduled at one of the apartment complexes following the Volleyball match on campus. With rain in the forecast, we made the decision to set up the big 13x15 foot screen at center court following the volleyball. So as the Eagles cruised to another volleyball victory, a few of us were busy getting things ready under the bleachers. Two weeks prior it took us about an hour and a half to get everything set up, but we knew we had to be much quicker than that this time around. As the match ended and the volleyball net came down, we immediately got the sound system up and running, the screen set up, and were ready to show the movie. Total time of set-up this time was 12 minutes! A crazy start to activities in the month of October.
Two days later we hosted our third annual Family Day. Kirkwood welcomed students and families from a variety of hometowns. Sure it was a cold and rainy day, but there were over 1,000 people in attendance. Hayrack Tours, a cookout, and live demonstrations were just part of the fun. Super deals at the bookstore, the alumni baseball game, and a scrimmage of the basketball teams were also crowd favorites.
Tuesday, October 6th brought two big activities; our NASCAER Simulator and our first ever Eagle Spirit Day. Designed as a fun filled day for all students, despite another cold and wet day. From 10am-4pm we had the NASCAR Simulator set up in the horticulture building. The simulator was actually Jeff Gordon’s actual racecar. The engine was taken out, hydrolics were added, and it became the most advanced racing simulator on the planet. Much like a video game in real life, student (and staffJ) climbed into the car and felt like we were actually racing. The car moved up and down, side to side, and we were looking into a video screen for the full effect of racing around the track. I found out I shouldn’t pursue a career in racing as I crashed into the wall on about the second turn of the first lap.
The second half of the day consisted of Eagle Spirit Day. Our first ever attempt to recognize our outstanding Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams and get students excited about the upcoming season. We had a cookout for those in attendance, allowed students to sign up for the Eagles’ Nest, and got the fun started. After introducing two outstanding teams (both men and women), we introduced our newly formed Cheerleading Squad. We then invited four interested students from the crowd to participate in the three point contest. The goal for these four students was simple – Hit more threes than the two women’s basketball players also competing. The student body fell short as Kari Goodchild, a sophomore on the women’s basketball team came away with the most points and was named the Three-Point Shootout Champion of the inaugural Eagle Spirit Day. Up next was the introduction of our State Champion Dance Team at Kirkwood. The girls followed the intro with a quick dance. The first Eagle Spirit Day ended with a slam dunk contest with members of the Men’s Basketball team. Guest judges included Kevin Nebergall, professor of English and Bob Freeman, Director of Human Resources. A handful of men’s players attempted dunks in three rounds with 30 seconds each round to do their best dunks. The Eagles had several players with hops, but in the end it was crowd favorite, Sophomore Jarvis Williams, who came away with the title of Dunk Champion. With his clock of 30 seconds winding down, Jarvis ran along the baseline toward the basket, threw the ball off the back wall (between the National Championship banners) and caught the ball mid-air before throwing it down. Perfect 10’s from the judges as he brought the house down with cheers. Overall it was a great event and a great way to recognize two outstanding basketball teams on campus before the season even gets started. A few hundred students in attendance also seemed to enjoy themselves.
In my next entry I’ll cover the second annual Glow Party and a community service event where several students and departments on campus came together to raise money for breast cancer.