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An Ode to Goolrick***

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This three star visual assignment really made me think about my story as a college student. I knew right away that I was going to do a picture from freshman year, mainly because I have pictures printed out from then and I also needed the location to be in Fredericksburg since I’m not going to New Jersey for a while. I took a look at the pictures that I had printed out and was suddenly brought back with tons of memories from my first year at college and my first year away from home. But I really wanted to pay a tribute to Goolrick Gymnasium. So here it is, my ‘ode’ to Goolrick.

So if you have been to the beautiful campus of the University of Mary Washington you may be familiar with Goolrick Gym. I know that I know almost every nook and cranny of that place. Being on the volleyball team for four years the gym has been a huge part of my college career, even after the Anderson Center was built. So let’s go back in time to three and a half years ago when I was just starting my college career out. After having no competitive experience playing volleyball I decided to try out and hope I made the team. I called my mother almost every day telling her about our three-a-day practices and explained how I was not anywhere close to the level that the girls trying out were. After a few grueling days of being unable to properly walk I finally found out I made the team (which is a funny story in itself). Success was mine, but I still was no where near the level that these girls were playing at. It was in Goolrick I had my first college mental breakdown, it was in Goolrick where I made friends that I’ll have for the rest of my life, it was in Goolrick where I had a team that was actually a family, and most importantly it was in Goolrick where we beat Salisbury University in the conference semi finals to close out the gym for the last time. Now there is the Anderson Center which is big and brand new and really amazing in so many ways, but to me Goolrick represents who I was when I got to school, kind of overlooked and trying to just blend in. Now, I too have developed not only as a player, but as a person as well; and I owe that all to Goolrick. So maybe it was just me being sentimental because it was basketball’s senior night tonight, or maybe this project gave me the opportunity to reflect on my time as a collegiate athlete, but I once again returned to the place where it all started, Goolrick.

Believe it or not, this picture was kind of hard to get. Getting the angle just right was a challenge and I was trying to match up the eagle on the middle of the courts together. I took a few different pictures by showing more of one side than the other, but this one was the one that I liked the best. These girls came in as freshmen with me, two of them left UMW to follow their dreams and one was a transfer so graduated a year early. But the two that I graduated with will forever be my  family.

Hope you enjoyed,
Princess Karissa

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