Doctors have bags, carpenters have tool belts, ladies carry purses. Air travelers wheel suitcases crammed with socks and liquids in three-ounce bottles.
And CLA grads? They have backpacks! One and all!
But there's nothing uniform about what they stash inside: talismans of idiosyncratic interests, complicated lives, and sometimes more responsibility than one might assume, as we discovered one fall morning in front of Coffman Union.
- Photos by Lisa Miller
Most critical: "My calculator. A lot of my classes involve math -- chemistry, pre-calc."
Marine-on-St. Croix, MN
Junior, English literature and American studies, Dakota language track
Most unusual: "If you'd asked me yesterday I'd have said meds for my daughter. She's a special-ed student."
St. Paul, MN
Junior, communications/public speaking
Most critical: "I have one three-subject notebook. It's nice and easy to carry. I bus and have to walk around campus so it makes sense to travel light. It's small and practical."
Most unusual: "I keep a one-way pocket face mask for CPR -- I am an EMT."
Most critical: "My pen. I don't carry my computer around. Someone tried to steal it once, and some professors don't allow them."
Most unusual: "Guitar strings. I picked them up in Dinkytown and haven't had time to change them. I have two guitars, a ukulele, banjo. Play mostly Southern Rock."
Freshman, undecided, leaning sports management
Most critical: "My Gopher Guide. I use it for all my assignments."
Senior, communications & media
Most unusual: "I have a homemade pizza my mom made. It's pretty amazing. It's cheese."
Senior, BFA acting
Most critical: "My wallet and my scripts -- The Importance of Being Earnest and Measure for Measure.
Most unusual: "Almonds. I just came from the gym and need a snack to get me through the next couple of hours."
Freshman, undecided, leaning pre-med
Most critical: "My laptop.
Most unusual: "An empty water bottle -- so I'll have it when I need it."
Most unusual: "Another bike lock. I got it when I went home and was going to double-lock my bike. But I've decided just one is enough."