Object Lessons

The class of 2009 roared into Ann Arbor in late August with enough books, dogs, iPods, babies, cats, plants, teddy bears, laptops, cameras, paintings, mascots, T-shirts, hoodies, and hats to fill two SPH auditoriums. Or at least that's what it seemed like when we issued an invitation for them to share a few of the items they'd brought along to "remind you of home." Here's what they showed us.

Lauretta Ovadje Delta State, Nigeria

"It's made of lace of European origins. We would wear this to any occasion, like weddings, birthday parties, any festive occasion."

Myriam Afeiche, Beirut, Lebanon

"Lebanon's traditional soaps are environment-friendly, made with olive oil, glycerine, and herbs like thyme, basil, and lavender."

Zachary Smith, with Josh, Seattle, Washington

"Home is where my family is, so Josh is home for me."

Emily Renda, with J, Cleveland, Ohio

"He is my best friend, really."

Katie Bush, Rochester, NY

"My parents helped me move to Ann Arbor, and my mom placed this right next to my bed."

Patrick Wycihowski, Troy, Michigan

"Pretty much everyone walking around at home has one of these on—listening to Detroit, definitely. A lot of hip-hop, rap."

Myra Tetteh, Detroit, Michigan

"My grandfather is the one who started the family here in the U.S. He came from Ghana to finish his education, and it's important for me to continue that legacy."

Jing He, Beijing, China

"I wish I could go back for the Olympics, but I'm not sure."

Julia Diebol, Saline, Michigan

"We bought our first house in January. My husband and I planted a garden and grew some things successfully, some things not so successfully, but the onions turned out great."

Laura Harrington, Lawrence, KSLaura Harrington, Lawrence, KS

"My grandmother made these pickles. I'll probably eat them all year long."

Dikshya Brubaker, Kathmandu, Nepal / Ann Arbor, Michigan

"The little laughing Buddha in my key chain reminds me of the serenity of life and the humor around it."

Grace Anglin, Athens, Georgia


Anna Ciesielski, Toledo, Ohio

"I like to keep this in my room to remind me of the big picture."

Poorva Virginkar, Huntington Beach, California


Elizabeth Rausch-Phung, Syracuse, NY


Kristin Meyer, with Luna, Gainesville, Florida

"She's a Florida dog - she loves the beach. She hasn't experienced snow yet. I expect she will like it."

Nichole Sorhaindo, Los Angeles, California

Tina Sang, with Louie, Oakland, California
"I like his little moustache - it's very French. Where do you find a toy beret? That's the question. He needs a monacle, too. He solves murders in his spare time."

Nichole Sorhaindo, Los Angeles, California

"This is my lucky hat. It got me through a lot of midterms and finals. I think I started getting better grades when I bought the hat."

Tina Sang, with Louie, Oakland, California

"I like his little moustache - it's very French. Where do you find a toy beret? That's the question. He needs a monacle, too. He solves murders in his spare time."

Ashley Dehudy, Norton Shores, Michigan

"I found this quilt at a Mennonite garage sale in the hills of West Virginia. It reminds me of the colorful and vivid 'patchwork' of experiences I have had while working for the National Youth Science Foundation in Bartow, West Virginia, for the past five summers."

Annie Huppert, Barre, Massachusetts

"I was living in Washington, D.C., when the Sox won. I had all my New England compatriots with me, and we were euphoric!"

Paula Johnson, San Diego, California

"I moved my whole life here."

Lindsey Cottrell, Kalamazoo, Michigan

"I'm currently still a member of the varsity soccer team at the University of Michigan.  One of the most memorable moments of my career was seeing my jersey hanging in my locker for the first home game freshman year."

Kraig Stevenson, Marshall, Michigan

"It reminds me of being at home, playing frisbee with my friends in my hometown. It's a beautiful city with a kind of small, hometown feel. Everybody knows each other."

Christine Glasheen, Indianapolis, Indiana

"This is my hat I wore through the season, and we won, so I'm wearing it again this year."

Photography by Peter Smith

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