Graceland University, like any other University I presume, has little quirks that make it unique. In fact, Lamoni, like any other small town, has its little quirks as well. As an insider, many times it is difficult to identify those peculiarities whereas an outsider would be able to pick up on them immediately. As a freshman, I am still adjusting to life at Graceland, which means these characteristics and traditions are a bit more prominent for me. So, for those of you who are so caught up in your Graceland life, or to anyone wishing to gain better insight into the world of Graceland, this article is for you.
Here are some things that are unique to Graceland goers and/or any Lamonians:
- Airband is just as important as your 8 am Physics class
It is homecoming time, people; which means it is also airband season. I was unfamiliar with airband and its importance until I arrived here. In a nutshell, airband is a remake of a movie in the form of a very short performance using only songs, dances, different acting, but there is absolutely no talking. These performances typically last five minutes. You are paired up with your brother/sister hall, and together you pick a movie or show that you feel that you could do justice. Then the work begins. Practice, props, choreography- a lot goes into this, and it is extremely competitive, and here at Graceland, we take it very seriously.
- You wake up at ridiculous hours of the night/morning while it is still dark, and you spray paint a bell that does not even ring with the colors of your house
Here on Graceland, we have this bell in the middle of campus. On this bell, there exists hundreds of layers of spray paint. There are literally permanent paint drips hanging off the rim. When asked what they know about the bell, many students are unsure exactly of its origin. They just know that it is old, and that it is their civic duty to paint it.
“I want to say it’s been around for at least 60 years-bare minimum. Because my mom [painted] it, and so did hers”
-Jaime Reyes, class of 2019
The houses all paint the bell as a demonstration of pride for their house. It’s a competition to see who’s paint job lasts the longest, so houses paint over each other. In order to be sure that your paint lasts, you have to be willing to sacrifice some sleep. Arguably, painting the bell is the only thing that can get students out of their beds at 5 o’clock in the morning.
- Pizza Shack, Pizza Hut, Subway, Dollar General, HyVee, and Casey’s are your best friends
We go to college in rural Iowa. Des Moines is an hour away, and the nearest Wal-Mart is 30 minutes from here. Lucky for us, we do have a few things here in town within walking distance, we have access to pizza, slushies, and other various food items that will help you to gain that freshman fifteen.
- It is perfectly normal to see a horse and buggy cruising down the road or hitched to a post at Hyvee
Amish are part of the culture here in the Midwest. People who have lived here for a while may not think anything of passing a horse on the road, like someone from out of town might. You can always tell who the tourists are because they are stopped in the middle of the road, taking pictures. Being from Washington state, I can say that before coming to Iowa, I had never seen a horse and buggy; had I stayed I probably would have never see one. You know you’re from Lamoni when you don’t bat an eye at horse poop in the middle of main street.
- Family is more than just who raised you
Acceptance into Graceland means acceptance into a family. No matter where we come from, what we believe in, or what we look like- each and every one of us has a home here. A tight-knit environment full of love, support, and tolerance for one another, the life at Graceland is unique in that aspect. How many other universities are you given the opportunity to eat ice cream with the president, or that you know your classmates personally? We are family. We are one. We are Graceland. This, more than anything, is what sets us Jackets apart from anyone else.