Thursday, January 17, 2008

The draw of familiarity

I was back on my old campus today, the campus that holds significance to four years of my life. I don't suppose that'll mean too much 20 years from now, but now, it's a lot. It felt strangely like coming home--running into old acquaintances I hadn't seen in months, chatting about where we've been and what we've done and where other mutual acquaintances have gone and what they've done and will be doing... I missed the vibe of an active, non-commuter campus. The buildings I knew like the back of my hand, the hallway where I walked a good several miles' worth in restless afternoon pacing. The eccentric prof whose office always had a distinct herbal aroma, who always came to me with frequent (and basic) computer problems even after my stint as secretary was over. He cleared off the chair in his office today when I came by; the gesture flattered me as he's not exactly the most sociable guy.

That campus draws me back, time and time again. If there was an opportunity there, I think I'd take it in a heartbeat. I could handle the town in exchange for seeing the people I know on a more regular basis. It has other redeeming features, too. I don't think it's in the cards right now, but if it was, I'd be there--screw the commute; I'd relocate.

I thought it was just my nostalgia for what's familiar, but it's not. I know almost as many people at the community college. I had a call from the humanities department secretary the other day about what she aptly described as "one of [my] headaches from last semester," and when I heard her voice and talked to her, I missed the place briefly. But it was only a twinge. I plan to go back from time to time, but only to visit, not to settle.

That podunk little town and campus I griped about for four years? It weaseled its way into my heart.

Now playing: Manchester Orchestra - Don't Let Them See You Cry
via FoxyTunes

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