Back to Brown

This weekend was my fifth college reunion, so we red-eyed back to Providence for three days.

When you come back for reunion you get an empty room with bare furniture, sheets, a pillow, two towels, two bars of little soap, and a nice welcome packet. It’s so spartan – rather symbolic of arriving on campus without all of the trappings (friends, meal plan, computers, furniture, wall decor, music, endless work and commitments) that made college hum. And yet. Within minutes I ran into people I knew (and many people Kevin knew), and for most hours of the weekend we had more activities than minutes to devote to them. Even the trip back up to Logan had three options – leave early with my parents, stay an extra hour and take the train, or accept a last minute invitation to ride up to Boston with a fellow Brown dinner friend from Seattle (an ’07 grad). (We took the train – nostalgic for me and great conversation fodder for the two of us in our constant east coast/west coast struggle. And then we met up with the Seattle friend at the airport for a beer and the Red Sox game – a very college compromise.)

In shuffled order, some thoughts about the weekend:
– I miss the people I knew there. The BAM is helpful and recently facebook has been such a boon, but it was such a treat to see people in person again. And it was so fun to see how people have grown, and how they’ve remained constant. Marriages, kids, career paths (my favourite of the weekend was a classmate and former co-TA CS major who is now designing wooden puzzles and toys). I’d forgotten over time how varied and exceptional my classmates were. It was eye-opening to see them again and see all of the different routes that you can pursue with a liberal arts degree and five years. 🙂 Go, Brown.

(Wayland and Phi Psi friends out for byob sushi on Wickenden – 14 people in a small room with a mirror means a terrible photo, but the dinner was great fun.)

– Every time I go back, it feels like home. You can’t believe how hard it was not to steer into Sears 311, my dorm room of two years, every time we passed. I look for faces on campus that are no longer there. Force of habit is so strong.

– I came home footsore. Remember how busy and unsettling the prefrosh week was? 3 days of reunion is the same thing, but unexpected. As an 18 year old, you want and expect your foundations to be rocked. At 26, you’re complacent and prepared, but the experience of being back with your class in a place that feels like home shakes things up.

– My parents and both of my siblings graduated from the same school that I did. I can’t tell you how proud I am of that. It’s an additional, deep bond. I’m also so glad that Kevin and I met before senior year of college and that he spent enough time on campus to have a credible sense of the university. Dad and I share a reunion year, and so here we all are on Saturday evening:

– I was actually expecting way more people to be married. From what I can tell, it’s practically only the girls in my freshman unit? Something in the water?

Wonder where we’ll all be in life at our tenth?

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