Last weekend we took a quick trip to Virginia to the town where Matt grew up and where we both went to college. We were there to celebrate the retirement of a much-loved professor and to visit family and catch up with other friends. It was a great change of scenery and really nice to walk around town and campus.
Because I perpetually overthink things, I have a lot swirling around in my brain right now about who I was before I went to college, and how it changed me, and what I value about having gone there, and the relationships that I formed there and how they’ve evolved and so on and so on. None of that is organized enough to write down right now, but here are my simpler observations.
> My school is lovely. It’s just a beautiful place. It’s quite a bit lovelier than it was when I went there, in fact. They’ve been working hard these last twenty years.
> People often assume that because Matt and I went to the same college, that’s how we know each other. In fact, we met years later. It’s interesting how different our experiences were. The things we wanted to show John – landmarks, dorms, houses – rarely overlapped.
> Speaking of which, the houses my friends and I lived in (off campus) are horrible. And it’s not because they’ve disintegrated since we lived in them. I’m pretty sure they were held together with duct tape even then.
> College was fun. So fun. I don’t think I worked as hard as my babysitters are working right now (my only frame of reference for current college students), and I’m not sorry. The experience isn’t just about academics.
> Seeing people that you went to school with – even people you didn’t spend that much time with – means seeing old friends. It’s easy and comfortable and a pleasure. For me, it’s also unusual. My very southern school doesn’t send a lot of us this far north.
> Both of John’s parents, plus a grandfather and a great-grandfather all went to this same school. I have no idea whether he would go there (and mixed feelings about whether I’d even want him to) but it is pretty cool to think of all that family history being in one place.
> I actually use what I learned every single day in my job and in my regular life. I’m so thankful for an education that continues to help me in a practical way. Thank you very much, Professors Richardson, Jennings, DeMaria, and Smith.
> College was a privilege. Thanks, Mom and Dad.