What's in your backpack?

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

Photo: Hannah Wiesolek, freshman, biology, showing her backpack.Hannah Wiesolek
Cedarburg, WI
Freshman, Biology
Most critical: "My calculator. A lot of my classes involve math -- chemistry, pre-calc."
Photo: Dawn Graham, junior, English literature and American studies, showing her backpack.Dawn Graham
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."
Photo: Joe Perez, junior, communications/public speaking, shows his backpack.Joe Perez
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."
Photo: Anna Barton, sophomore, psychology, shows her backpack.Anna Barton
Appleton, WI
Sophomore, psychology
Most unusual: "I keep a one-way pocket face mask for CPR -- I am an EMT."
Photo: Jeff Carter, senior, psychology, shows his backpack.Jeff Carter
Bedford, TX
Senior, psychology
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."
Photo: Sean Bigness, freshman, undecided, leaning sports management, shows his backpack.Sean Bigness
Chicago, IL
Freshman, undecided, leaning sports management
Most critical: "My Gopher Guide. I use it for all my assignments."
Photo: Amina Maameri, senior, communications & media, shows her backpack.Amina Maameri
Fridley, MN
Senior, communications & media
Most unusual: "I have a homemade pizza my mom made. It's pretty amazing. It's cheese."
Photo: India Gurley, senior, BFA acting, shows her backpack.India Gurley
Troy, MI
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."
Photo: Michael Vang, freshman, undecided, shows his backpack.Michael Vang
Visalia, CA
Freshman, undecided, leaning pre-med
Most critical: "My laptop.
Most unusual: "An empty water bottle -- so I'll have it when I need it."
Photo: Aunyeja Flippin, freshman, psychology, shows her backpack.Aunyeja Flippin
Chicago, IL
Freshman, psychology
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."

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This page contains a single entry by Colleen Ware published on December 17, 2012 10:22 AM.

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