Not too long ago I was visiting a certain somebody who is very special to me. She happens to be a student at Iowa State University. ISU has been a university since 1858. As you can imagine at a university that has been around for over 150 years, there is a lot of history that has both happened at the school and because of the school. As the saying goes, “If those walls could talk”.
If you ever have a chance to go to the ISU campus, you will be hard-pressed to miss the giant clock tower that is in central campus near the student union. It stands on its own surrounded by a well-manicured lawn. This clock tower is center of one of the longest standing traditions on the campus of ISU. As the lore goes, one is not a “true Iowa stater” until they are kissed at midnight under the Campanile (the Italian word for bell tower). This activity is known as “Campaniling”. As you can imagine even though I am not a student at ISU I am now a “true Iowa Stater”.
After I drank in the moment and the high wore off from being in such close proximity on a night where the only heat was created between us, we started back to or evening’s accommodations. That’s when a thought came into my brain. We had just joined over 100 years of tradition and tens of thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands, of previous students. Every day that we go about our lives, we bipeds are joining history, and at the same time we are creating history.
See, after I thought how overwhelming it was that I had just done something that had been put into a history book, another thought occurred to me: history is not history unless we remember it. Would “campaniling” be a thing unless people remembered it? talked about it? wrote about it? if Seniors didn’t talk to Freshman about it? The simple answer is no, no it would not.
As we forage deeper into the information age we are given an amazing opportunity. Now more than ever the people who are participating in history have the ability to decide what and how it is remembered. It’s no longer just those in charge who get to dictate our past and therefore out future. However, in order to be able to have a history worth living we have to live it first. Some guy once said, “A life worth living is a life worth recording.” My only hope is that as we live though our history in a way worth talking about.
Yes, she is my girlfriend. And if you know the rest of the lore of the ISU Campanile, then I will say that I am very excited about the future. (: